Michigan State University
Michigan State University
Film Studies Program
2015-2016


Fall 2015

FLM 200 | MSU Film Collective | Professor Ken Harrow 
FLM 230 | Introduction to Film | Connor Ryan 
FLM 260 | Introduction to Digital Film and Media | Professor Swarnavel E. Pillai 
FLM 300 | History of Film to Midcentury | Professor Joshua Yumibe
FLM/MI 311 | Introduction to Documentary Production | Professor Swarnavel E. Pillai
FLM 334 | Screenwriting | Professor Bill Vincent 
ENG 335 | Film Directing | Professor Jeff Wray
FLM 337 | Topics in Film Form: Film Aesthetics | Professor Bill Vincent
FLM 355 | Studies in Film Genres: World Comedy | Connor Ryan
FLM 380 | Classical Film & Media Theory | Professor Ellen McCallum 
FLM 400 | Seminar in Film History: Film and Architecture | Professor Justus Nieland
FLM 435A | Creating the Fiction Film I | Professors Jeff Wray and Bob Albers
FLM 451 | Studies in Postcolonial Cinema | Professor Ken Harrow 

Spring 2016

FLM 200 | Film Collective | Professor Jeff Wray
FLM 211 | Documentary History and Theory
FLM 230 | Introduction to Film | Professor Justus Nieland
ENG 231 | Film and Literature | Professor Ken Harrow
LL 250D | Russian and Soviet Cinema | Professor Jason Merrill
FLM 260 | Introduction to Digital Film and Media | Peter Johnston
ROM 300 | French, Italian and Spanish Cinema since 1930 | Professor Juliet Guzzetta
FLM 301  | History of Film after Mid-Century | Professor Bill Vincent 
FLM 334 | Intro to Screenwriting | Professor Jeff Wray 
FLM 336 | Aesthetics of Film Editing | Professor Swarnavel Pillai 
FLM 350 | National and Transnational Cinemas | Professor Ken Harrow 
FLM 381 | Contemporary Film and Media Theory | Professor David Bering-Porter
FLM 434 | Advanced Screenwriting | Professor Bill Vincent
FLM 435B | Creating the Fiction Film II | Professor Jeff Wray and Bob Albers
FLM 452 | Film, Gender and Sexuality | Professor Ellen McCallum 
FLM 460 | Seminar in Digital Film/Media: Visuality and Data | Professor David Bering-Porter 


 

 FALL 2015


FLM 200 | MSU Film Collective | Professor Ken Harrow
Thursday, 8pm, B122 Wells

This one-credit screening course is available to Film Studies students. Regular attendance and participation is required throughout the semester.

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FLM 230 | Introduction to Film | Connor Ryan
Monday 12:40-3:30, Wednesday 12:40-2:30, Friday 50 min. (variable)  

This course introduces core concepts of film analysis, which are discussed through examples from different national cinemas, genres, and directorial œuvres. The coursework covers a wide range of styles and historical periods in order to assess the multitude of possible film techniques (camera techniques, editing, shot selection, etc.) and principles of narrative structuring. Along with questions of film technique and style, we consider the notion of the cinema as an institution that comprises an industrial system of production, social and aesthetic norms and codes, and particular modes of reception. Success in the course demands rigorous attention to both the films and the readings and requires students to watch, analyze, and write about film in new ways. Throughout the semester, students will learn different methods of viewing, analysis, exposition, and criticism and will have the opportunity to write extensively about the films seen in class. Films discussed include works by Brakhage, Burnett, Deren, Griffith, Eisenstein, Hitchcock, Sembene, Sternberg, and Welles.

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FLM 260 | Introduction to Digital Film and Media | Professor Swarnavel Pillai
Tuesday 4:10-7, Thursday 4:10-6  

This course introduces students to significant discourses surrounding cinema and the digital. Scholars have been divided on the way they look at digital technology/ aesthetics and its implications for the cinema. This course while offering a brief overview of the discourse surrounding the transition of the cinema to digital video/media, which varies in its tone from the skeptical to the euphoric, focuses on  practice by encouraging students to explore the poetics of cinema though their low-end technology driven projects. The emphasis will on exploring the possibilities offered by digital technology and new media, and working on projects in the category of fiction, non-fiction, and the rarer genre of the experimental. Towards this end, students in this class will be encouraged to experiment with autobiography, biography, video essay,  video diary, travelogue etc.

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FLM 300 | History of Film to Midcentury | Professor Joshua Yumibe

Tuesday 12:40-3:30, Thursday 12:40-2:30

This course surveys the history of cinema from the end of the nineteenth century to the middle of the twentieth century. Moving chronologically, we will track a variety of national schools and international trends of filmmaking in order to analyze the global development of film exhibition practices, the emergence of film audiences, and more broadly cinema’s role within the public sphere. We will examine the formal, industrial, and cultural changes of the medium from cinema’s emergence through the conversion to sound in the late 1920s. We will also explore the variety of national and international movements form the 1930s to the 1940s—including German and French cinemas, classical Hollywood cinema, and Japanese studio productions pre- and postwar. Through taking a broad and comparative approach to the history of cinema, we will gain critical perspective on the forces that shape the medium’s profoundly transnational character. To assist in this process, we will engage with a variety of primary and secondary textual sources in order to assess and cultivate theoretical methods for researching and writing film history.

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FLM/MI 311 | Introduction to Documentary Production | Professor Swarnavel E. Pillai
Tuesday/Thursday 10:20-12:10

This course offers an exploration of the documentary film as a category on its own, with an implicit opposition between nonfiction and fiction films. Starting with the early silent films (actualities) we will study the opposition between “fiction” and “document.” Through the different theories of the documentary form, and by studying various forms of the documentary film, we will explore how a filmmaker mediates between the viewer and the subject as he tries to represent or reconstruct reality. We will analyze the different styles of the documentary films and their content to discuss the fundamental issues concerning the documentary form: What is the “voice” of documentary? Is it possible to film an event objectively? How does persuasion inflect a documentary? How does a documentary persuade its viewers? What is the role of narration in documentaries?

This course has an equally significant production component to it, and it will introduce the students to the basics of production like shooting with a camcorder or a DSLR still/video camera. The semester will be divided equally between learning history, theory, and production, and the students are encouraged to shoot with easily accessible technology like the cell phone or the DSLR cameras and edit their footage with the basic editing software installed in their computer or in our editing lab. The focus will be on informed narration and creativity.

This is an interdepartmental course that is required for the Minor in Documentary Production. Students should register for MI 311.

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FLM 334 | Screenwriting | Professor Bill Vincent
Monday/Wednesday 7-8:50pm

Screenwriting. Sounds romantic, doesn’t it? Well, it can be, but mostly it’s learning proper formatting, plot structure, characterization, good dialogue. Weekly workshops, ten to fifteen pages per week. Yes, hard work. But by December you will have a full-length script and you will know that you can do it.

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FLM 335 | Film Directing | Professor Jeff Wray
Monday/Wednesday 12:40-2:30 

Part of the Fiction Film Specialization, Film Directing immerses students in the job of the director through a combination of film screenings and production projects. By studying the works of great directors, and working through a series of filmmaking projects which culminates in the creation of a 3-minute short, students learn first hand the challenges and triumphs of Film Directing. See examples of previous student work.

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FLM 337 | Topics in Film Form: Film Aesthetics | Professor Bill Vincent
Monday, 4:10-7pm, Wednesday 4:10-6pm

Visual strategies and visual style: The focus will be on fimmakers with a strong and consistent visual style--Fellini, Bergman, Ophuls, Wong Kar Wei, Denis,Tsai Ming Liang, Sirk, Fassbinder, Campion, Tikwer, and Akerman among them. 

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FLM 355 | Studies in Film Genres: World Comedy | Connor Ryan
Monday, 9:10-12, Wednesday 9:10-11

It has long been a truism of film studies that comedy—unlike melodrama or horror—does not cross cultural boundaries, or does so awkwardly. And yet, as one of the “low culture” genres, comedy enjoys immense popularity wherever one goes in the world. With this observation in mind, this course examines how the “transnationalization” of cinema, which has render aesthetic and geographical boundaries increasingly porous or blurry, provides an opportunity to rethink our understandings of “genre” and “culture.” What gives a genre its unique contours? What gives a culture its particular identity? To examine these questions further, we will consider how comic film genres take shape differently in many places around the world. Students will examine slapstick, satire, the comedy of manners, and romantic comedy with attention to how generic conventions of comedy are interpreted and adapted by filmmakers from Latin America, South and East Asia, and Africa. The course reading list will include the writings of Mikhail Bakhtin, Henri Bergson, Paul Gilroy, Barry Keith Grant, Onookome Okome, Mark Reid, Kathleen Rowe, and Ella Shohat and Robert Stam. 

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FLM 380 | Classical Film and Media Theory | Professor Ellen McCallum
Monday, 4:10-7:00, Wednesday 4:10-6:00

Film theory examines how cinema uses all the means at its disposal--including images, sound, words, and narrative--to engage us emotionally and phenomenologically. Film theory takes up fundamental questions about representation in cinema, including what film is, how it represents, how it innovates aesthetically and evolves different styles. Film theory is concerned with individual films as well as how the cinema works as a system that has social, political, and cultural significance. Film theory also considers how movies fit into a broader context of media, art, and storytelling.  As a mode of intellectual inquiry, this course in film theory builds upon the skills for analyzing film that you learned in English 230, but pushes you to refine and complicate how you watch films, even as some of the texts we will consider push the limits of filmmaking or of thinking about film.  This course draws on the work of key film theorists from the first part of the twentieth century; our primary focus will be on film, although the role of other media—particularly theatre and photography—will come into play. 

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FLM 400 | Seminar in Film History: Film and Architecture | Professor Justus Nieland

Monday, 12:40-3:30; Wednesday, 12:40-2:30 | 307 Ernst Bessey Hall

This course explores the relationship between film and architecture, and various histories of crossings between these media. We will consider cinema’s architectural qualities: the specific capacity of film to construct, organize, and sequence space, and to move spectators through space in time. We will examine the work of directors whose films are strongly interested in architecture, design, and transformations in the built environment, as well as the work of architects and designers who have worked in and with film, and have embedded their architecture and design practice in various cultures of the moving-image.  We will explore the relationship between directors, art directors, and production designers in the construction of cinematic architecture, as well as the history of the architecture of the film studio itself. We will study films that foreground important works of architecture. And we will consider the role of film and multimedia in the artistic construction of immersive “environments.” While the course will place special emphasis on modern and contemporary architecture, we will consider a range of styles and idioms. Readings will be drawn from film theory and history, urban history and planning, architectural and design history and theory, sociology, and art history. Readings would likely include the work of Donald Albrecht, Jean Baudrillard, Walter Benjamin, Giuliana Bruno, Beatriz Colomina, John Harwood, Sigfried Giedeon, Jane Jacobs, Henri Lefebvre, Reinhold Martin, Marshall McLuhan, Merrill Schleier, Fred Turner, Pam Wojcik, and Anthony Vidler.

Films might include:

L’Inhumaine (Marcel L’Herbier, 1924)
Metropolis (Fritz Lang, 1927)
Conical Intersect (Gordon Matta-Clark, 1975)
2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968)
Lost Highway (David Lynch, 1997)
The Lonely Villa (D.W. Griffith, 1909)
Antonio Gaudí (Hiroshi Teshigahara, 1985)
The Apartment (Billy Wilder, 1959)
Blade Runner (Ridley Scott, 1982)
Rear Window (Alfred Hitchock, 1954)
Contempt (Jean-Luc Godard. 1963)
Old and New (The General Line) (Sergei Eisenstein, 1929)
Things to Come (William Cameron Menzies, 1936)
Grey Gardens (Ellen Hovde and Albert Maysles, 1975)
Panic Room (David Fincher, 2002)
Executive Suite (Robert Wise, 1954)
Neighboring Sounds (Kleber Mendoca Filho, 2012)
Playtime (Jacques Tati, 1967)
House: After Five Years of Living (Charles and Ray Eames, 1955)
The Big Lebowski (Joel and Ethan Coen, 1998)
The Big Clock (John Farrow, 1948)
London (Patrick Keiller, 1994)
Los Angeles Plays Itself (Thom Anderson, 2003)
The Naked City (Jules Dassin 1948)
Man with a Movie Camera (Dziga Vertov, 1929)
The Moon is Blue (Otto Preminger, 1953)
Red Desert (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1964)
Still Life (Jia Zhangke, 2006)


FLM [ENG] 435A | Creating the Fiction Film I | Professors Jeff Wray and Bob Albers
Monday, Wednesday 12:40-2:30

The capstone class of the Fiction Film Specialization tasks students with writing, producing, finishing and distributing a short film over two semesters. In the first semester, students must form a production team, create and polish a short script, and move through the processes of pre-production and principle photography--no small feat. The professors are there to act as guidance and councel, but make no mistake: students are truly thrust into the independent filmmaking world. Past productions have gone on to screen and win awards at film festivals in Michigan and beyond.

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FLM 451 | Studies in Postcolonial Cinema | Professor Ken Harrow
Tuesday 4:10-7, Thursday 4:10-6

Films of the Postcolonial World, including major directors and trends from Africa, Asia, and Latin America. This course will trace the trajectory of postcolonial cinema from its early “Third World” beginnings down to recent “world” or “global” cinema, seen from the perspective of the Global South. Beginning with Third Cinema in the 1960s, the age of Revolution and Decolonization, early Postcolonial cinema was often associated with the theorizing of Latin Americans, and the cinemas of revolt from Africa and Latin America. That orientation began to morph by the 1980s after newly independent nations had emerged from the shadows of colonization, and when neocolonialism began to yield to postcolonialism. The groundwork for the struggles between popular cinemas, like Nollywood and Bollywood, and auteur or independent cinema, was laid in the 1980s and 1990s. Contemporary global cinema is strongly marked by those differences, especially as video and digital filmmaking made possible the expansion of inexpensive, commercial forms. This course will track that development from the early works of the 1960s down to the current moment, and will encompass viewings of a wide range of films from the “Global South,” including Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, and Asia.

A few of the films we will study include:

Sembène Ousmane, Borom Sarret (1963);  Ceddo (1977),
Satyajit Ray, Pather Panchali (1955)
Getino and Solanas, Hour of the Furnaces (1968)
Tomas Alea’s  Memories of Underdevelopment (1968)
Chen Kaigi, Farewell My Concubine (1993)
Djibril Diop Mambéty, Le Franc (1994); The Little Girl Who Sold the Sun (1999)
Wong Kar-Wai, Chunking Express;  In the Mood for Love (2000)
Ismaël Ferroukhi, Le Grand voyage (2004)
John Akomfrah, Nine Muses (2010)
Sujoy Ghosh, Kahaani (2012)
Abderrahmane Sissako, Timbuktu (2015)

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Spring 2016

  


FLM 200 | Film Collective | Professor Jeff Wray
Thursday, 8:00-10:30pm 

This one-credit screening course is available to Film Studies students. Regular attendance and participation is required throughout the semester.

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FLM 211 | Documentary History and Theory | Professor Lyn Goeringer
Monday 12:40 PM-3:30pm 

From early cinema actualities to contemporary television and film, documentary film structure has had a deep influence on both cinema and on culture. This class explores documentary as a formal structure of societal critique and question, one that allows the viewer a glimpse into the lives and situations that we live in. We will look at the the historical trajectory of the genre, considering along the way the methods of distribution and reception of the films studied. Along the way, we will consider the relationship between the directors and the subject, as this is an often troubled and complex relationship that is often set aside when reviewed for public distribution. Coursework will include written analysis of films, weekly screenings, and in class discussion.

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FLM 230 | Introduction to Film | Professor Justus Nieland
Tuesday 12:40-3:30, Thursday 12:40-2:30, Friday 50 min (varies by section) 

This course introduces core concepts of film analysis, which are discussed through examples from different national cinemas, genres, and directorial œuvres. The coursework covers a wide range of styles and historical periods in order to assess the multitude of possible film techniques (camera techniques, editing, shot selection, etc.) and principles of narrative structuring. Along with questions of film technique and style, we consider the notion of the cinema as an institution that comprises an industrial system of production, social and aesthetic norms and codes, and particular modes of reception. Success in the course demands rigorous attention to both the films and the readings and requires students to watch, analyze, and write about film in new ways. Throughout the semester, students will learn different methods of viewing, analysis, exposition, and criticism and will have the opportunity to write extensively about the films seen in class. Films discussed include works by Brakhage, Burnett, Deren, Griffith, Eisenstein, Hitchcock, Sembene, Sternberg, and Welles. 

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ENG 231 | Film and Literature | Professor Ken Harrow
Monday and Wednesday, 9:10-Noon

Differences and similarities between filmic texts and literary texts and between viewing and reading. The process of adaptation from literature to film. This course will look at ways films and works of literature relate to and interact with each other. The focus will be upon adaptations, where texts viewed as sources (typically novels or plays) will be set against the filmic versions.

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LL 250D | Russian and Soviet Cinema | Professor Jason Merrill
MW 12:40–2:30, F 12:40–1:30

This course is a survey of the major trends in Russian and Soviet cinema from its pre-revolutionary roots to post-Soviet films.  The course is organized around the major themes of the last 100 years and how they are developed in Russian cinema, including “Women, Men, and Families,” “Stalin and the Legacy of Stalinism,” “The Great Patriotic War,” “Russia and the West,” and “Putin’s Russia.” In this class we will:

  • view and discuss the key films of Russian and Soviet cinema;
  • place these films in their historical and political context;
  • learn about the Russian and Soviet film production systems;
  • work with various film theories and approaches to interpreting films.

All films shown with subtitles, no knowledge of Russian required.

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FLM 260 | Introduction to Digital Film and Media | Peter Johnston
TBA

This course introduces students to significant discourses surrounding cinema and the digital. Scholars have been divided on the way they look at digital technology/ aesthetics and its implications for the cinema. This course while offering a brief overview of the discourse surrounding the transition of the cinema to digital video/media, which varies in its tone from the skeptical to the euphoric, focuses on  practice by encouraging students to explore the poetics of cinema though their low-end technology driven projects. The emphasis will on exploring the possibilities offered by digital technology and new media, and working on projects in the category of fiction, non-fiction, and the rarer genre of the experimental. Towards this end, students in this class will be encouraged to experiment with autobiography, biography, video essay,  video diary, travelogue etc.

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ROM 300 | French, Italian and Spanish Cinema since 1930 | Professor Juliet Guzzetta
Tuesday 9:10-12, Thursday 9:10-11

France, Italy, and Spain have produced some of the most celebrated national cinemas of the past century from the silent era through Neorealism and the New Wave to more recent digestions of the Franco regime in psychological horror films such as Pan’s Labyrinth. The films that emerged during the postwar period in particular influenced new generations of filmmakers at home and abroad. Both then and now, these works challenge us to consider the boundaries of genre as much as nation, and the controversial figure of the auteur as a singular visionary. In this course we will analyze French, Italian, and Spanish films in the context of their national cultures, but also question the extent to which they are in conversation with each other and Europe’s shared postwar experiences. We will investigate works by filmmakers such as Jean-Luc Godard, François Truffaut, Agnès Varda, Claire Denis, Roberto Rossellini, Federico Fellini, Bernardo Bertolucci, Liliana Cavani, Luis Buñuel, Victor Erice, Pedro Almodóvar, and Guillermo del Toro, among others. 

Films will be screened in original language with subtitles, and required readings will be in English, with additional original-language materials available for language students. All discussion and presentations will be in English, while all writing assignments can be in a foreign language if students so choose.

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FLM 301 | History of Film after Mid-Century | Professor Bill Vincent
Tuesday 4:10-7, Thursday 4:10-6 

The dawn of the digital age has coincided with the “death” of cinema, leading to renewed interest in understanding what cinema really is within the convergent fields of technology, history, and culture. Recent approaches to the history of film have been comparative, looking at cinema in contrast with pre-cinematic technologies, radio, x- rays, television, video games, and digital media in order to better understand film as an evolving medium. This course engages with contemporary approaches to this history of film in comparison with other media, focusing on a ‘media archaeological’ approach to the history of film that emphasizes the formal characteristics of media in order to better understand how, and why, film and media change over time. Over the course of the semester, students will learn the story of how cinema became a digital technology by exploring and excavating this current medium through its past. Students will learn an historical approach that will intersect with ideas from software studies, film theory, histories of material culture, and the digital humanities. Current historical approaches to film teach us about contemporary media, but also how understanding media will provide new insights into the changing visual environments that surround us.  

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FLM 334 | Intro to Screenwriting | Professor Jeff Wray
Tuesday/Thursday 10:20-12:10 

This course introduces students to significant discourses surrounding ‘acts’ in a screenplay. Starting with the foundational “three-act” screenplay, it interrogates the strengths and weaknesses of formulating rigid structures. Students in this class will learn conventional as well as alternative ways of thinking about the structure of screenplay through analysis of mainstream, art as well as independent categories of films. The aim is to enable students to look critically at the screenplay of seminal and significant films so that they can work out a structure for the story they want to tell. The students in this course are expected to engage with the creative process of writing a screenplay by watching, analyzing, and discussing films, while at the same time pitch their ideas, and observe the transformation these ideas undergo as they work toward the final goal of writing 1/3rd of their story in a chosen screenplay format—in the conventional sense it could be the act-1 and the beginning of act-2, or the end of act-2, and the act-3, but one could opt for an episodic, or a short film, or other unconventional format as well.

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FLM 336 | Aesthetics of Film Editing | Professor Swarnavel E. Pillai
Tuesday/Thursday, 4:10-6

This course will introduce students to the aesthetics of editing and the art of video post-production. The focus will be on the history of film editing as well as on the art of organizing the materials for the purposes of the digital-video projects in the fiction and nonfiction genre. Students will be introduced to editing software, like Adobe Premiere Pro/Final Cut X, and expected to work on projects which will involve both archival/found footage and materials originally shot for the class with DSLR cameras. The focus will be on the significance of editing to the fiction, nonfiction as well as experimental categories. Towards this end, students in this class will be expected to engage with classical forms of storytelling, as well as experiment with autobiography, biography, video essay, video diary, and travelogue. The focus on the history, theory, and practice will enable students to understand and experience the centrality of editing to cinema as an art form as well as industrial practice.

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FLM 350 | National and Transnational Cinemas | Professor Ken Harrow
Tuesday 12:40-3:30, Thursday 12:40-2:30 | 307 Bessey Hall

The category of the transnational has recently emerged, in distinction from earlier cinemas conceived as national, and from later notions that struggled to define films that crossed national borders, like “hybrid” cinema, or cinemas of exile, creole cinemas, international film, or global or world cinema. We will explore the specific space “transnational” seeks to establish in distinguishing itself from other, less productive concepts. The films will range over those that reach beyond the limits of national cinemas, such as Atom Egoyan, Exotica; Claire Denis,  35 Shots of Rum;  Alain Renais, Hiroshima Mon Amour; Olivier Asseyas, Clouds of Sils Maria; Abderrahmen Sissako, Heremakono;  Bouchareb, Little Senegal (2001); 11.Wong Kar Wai, 2046 (2004) ; Antonioni, The Passenger; Alejandro Inarritu, Babel (2006); Ismaël Ferroukhi, Le Grand voyage (2004); Sujoy Ghosh, Kahaani (2012).

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FLM 381 | Contemporary Film and Media Theory | Professor David Bering-Porter
Monday/Wednesday 4:10-7 

Film theory addresses fundamental questions about the possibilities and limitations of the medium of film, and about the nature of representation, technology, aesthetics, subjectivity, politics, and culture that have gone into film as a cultural phenomena as well as the way that film itself has made contributions to these aspects of our lives. Starting from the late 1960s, contemporary film and media theory explores the development of thinking in and around the cinema and its related arts into the present-day. We will be following the development of film theory chronologically, looking at technological, aesthetic, and political changes in film as it moves from an analog medium into the digital age. We will also move thematically, looking at major trends of thinking in and around film including (but not limited to) psychoanalysis, Marxism, feminism, postmodernism, postcolonialism, and other relevant schools of thought. The purpose of this course is to give you a working understanding of how film theory has developed over the course of the twentieth century, leading to questions of film and its status as a technology, medium, and cultural form today. The central approach of this class is that both films and readings illustrate important conceptual and theoretical problems of the medium of cinema and, thus, both films and readings will be treated with equal importance. This course relies upon your active participation in readings, screenings, and class discussion and so it is vital that you come to class prepared with questions and concerns from the theoretical texts as well as specific formal details from the films.

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FLM 434 | Advanced Screenwriting | Professor Bill Vincent
Monday/Wednesday 7-8:50

Okay, you’ve written a script, now what? Revision, tightening, polishing. Workshopping. Another full- length script, better than the first one. Pitching. Treatments. Log lines. Tag lines. After all, you want to know how to sell it. 

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FLM[ENG] 435B | Creating the Fiction Film II | Professors Bob Albers and Jeff Wray
Tuesday/Thursday 3-4:50 

The capstone class of the Fiction Film Specialization tasks students with writing, producing, finishing and distributing a short film over two semesters. In the second semester, students pick up right where they left off by moving the film into post-production and distribution. Over the course of 16 weeks they must form a post-production team and complete picture editing, sound sweetening, visual FX and color grading, then take the film into distribution and organize and execute premiere and additional screenings. Past productions have gone on to sell-out screenings at Celebration Cinemas's Studio C and win awards at film festivals in Michigan and beyond.

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FLM 452 | Film, Gender and Sexuality | Professor Ellen McCallum
Monday 4:10-7, Wednesday 4:10-6

This course examines recent queer cinema, working from the "New Queer Cinema" movement to more recent films (from, for instance, My Own Private Idaho to Pariah via Derek Jarman and Patricia Rozema) Our focus will be primarily on independent cinema rather than LGBTQ representation broadly speaking, investigating whether/how “New Queer Cinema” still is a phenomenon, aesthetically or cinematically speaking, and if not what has emerged since? Readings and screenings will be equally important for this course. We will be engaged with queer theory texts and considering how those inform filmmaking and film theory, as well as with the films themselves.  We will be interested in how feminism, critical race theory, and critiques of capitalism intersect with queer cinematic concerns.

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FLM 460 | Seminar in Digital Film/Media: Visuality and Data | Professor David Bering-Porter
Monday 12:40-3:30, Wednesday 12:40-2:30

An unprecedented number of images surround us today through media ranging from print to cinema to the digital. This network of screens and images surround and entice us at various scales, from the smartphone to the IMAX theater. Drawing on the idea of the “visual archive” as it is understood in media archaeology to define the vast array of images circulating across locations and media platforms, this course will explore the intersections of visual studies and the tools and techniques of information studies and “big data", specifically the visualization of data. In this course, we will explore the history, theory, and practice of generating, understanding, and using visual data within the context of film and media studies. Students will acquire a working knowledge and hands-on training with data visualization technologies including ImagePlot, and use this practical knowledge in scholarly and creative assignments in the class. This course blends theoretical and practice-based approaches to data visualization and film studies. Navigating this visual archive means fostering new kinds of visual and informational literacy within the context of film studies as the boundaries between media and data become increasingly difficult to discern. This class asks how does data visualization fit into the field of film studies and visual culture both as an analytical tool and an object of study on its own? Drawing on historical and theoretical texts from film studies, new media theory, and the digital humanities, this course helps foster an important critical understanding and engagement with the flow of images and information that circulate around us 24/7.

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