Course Descriptions

Rutgers Cinema Studies Courses for Summer and Fall 2016:

Summer 2016

Cinema Studies

01:175:266:B6      Cult Films in American Culture (Nigrin)        5/31-7/7/16 TTh 6-9:40PM
This lecture-discussion course focuses on the “cult” film from its origins in the 1920s to its evolution in American culture. Close analyses of cult films will be paired with readings by J. Hoberman and Jonathan Rosenbaum, Sigmund Freud, and others. According to Freud, for example, social organization for the primordial horde came about as a result of the incest taboo and the law of exogamy. Several of the films to be screened depict scenes that violate this organization and break the taboo. This course will explore how and why these violations permeate cult films. In addition, many cult films are open-ended metaphors for contemporary social anxieties. We will examine how some of these counter-culture films are a reaction to late ‘60s and ‘70s American society. Finally, this course will include in-depth analyses of the structure of celebrated American cult films ("mise-en-scene," editing, narrative form, set design, sound, and special effects) including: The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Eraserhead, Night of the Living Dead, Cat People, and others. Warning: some films may contain nudity, sexual situations, violence, profanity, substance abuse, and disturbing images.

English-­Film Studies

01:354:312:B6       Cinema and the Arts (Nigrin)       6/1-7/6/16 MW 6-9:40PM
A course focusing on the relationship between cinema and the arts. Films to be screened include David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive, Jean Cocteau’s Blood of a Poet, Orson Welles’s Citizen Kane, Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, Powell/Pressburger’s The Red Shoes, Peter Greenaway’s The Draughtsman’s Contract, and others. Warning: some films may contain nudity, sexual situations, violence, profanity, substance abuse, and disturbing images.

 

Fall 2016

Cinema Studies

01:175:265:01      American Experimental Film (Nigrin)       TTh 5:35-6:55PM; Th 6:55-8:35PM
A survey course focusing on the history and development of the various American experimental cinema movements from its beginnings to the present. In-depth analyses of the structure and content of films by Andy Warhol, Maya Deren, Stan Brakhage, Sidney Peterson, Kenneth Anger, Bruce Baillie, Yoko Ono ,and others. Emphasis on the "mise-en-scene," editing, narrative form, sound, and special effects in the films of these celebrated experimental filmmakers. Warning: some films may contain nudity, sexual situations, violence, profanity, substance abuse, and disturbing images.

English-­Film Studies

01:354:201:01      Introduction to Film I (Belton)      MW 2:50-4:10PM; M 6:10-9PM
                                   SAS Core Code: Arts and Literatures (AHp)
This course introduces students to the basic elements of film form, ranging from mise-en-scene (lighting, framing, composition, camera movement, etc.) and editing (continuity editing, alternatives to continuity editing) to sound (diegetic, non-diegetic sound). Films to be screened include those directed by Hitchcock, Welles, Murnau, Renoir, Lang, Godard, Lee, Lynch, and others. Requirements include two exams (a mid-term and a final), as well as two papers (one 3- 5 pages; one 5-8 pages).

01:354:202:01     Introduction to Film II (Koszarski) TTh 2:50-4:10PM; T 6:10-9PM
                                  SAS Core Code: Arts and Literatures (AHp)
What is it that makes a great film a great film? An examination of the development of film style, genre and technology as it has evolved from the era of the classical studio system through the present. Looking at the work of Kubrick, Godard, Dreyer, Ford, Polonski , Tim Burton and others, we will analyze how specific elements of mise en scene, including editing, sound recording, performance style and cinematography developed over time within specific national or generic contexts. Students will compose guided response papers weekly. Final exam.

01:354:250:01      Films of Alfred Hitchcock (Belton)       MW 4:30-5:50PM; W 6:10-9PM
A survey of the major films of the "Master of Suspense" from the silent era through the 1970s. This course looks at selected films directed by Alfred Hitchcock in terms of the director's unique moral vision. It will follow the adventures of the Hitchcock hero who, at a moment's notice, can be plunged into a world of chaos and disorder, and swept up in a cosmic fate over which he has no control. It will also look at the Hitchcock heroine, presumed guilty rather than innocent, who finds herself punished for the slightest transgression. Subjected to the ordeals of Hitchcock's suspense narratives, the hero and heroine lose their innocence and, in the process, gain knowledge of the less than perfect ways in which the world works. Their struggle for survival constitutes a modern morality tale in which Hitchcock and his cinematic technique play God.

01:354:315:01      American Cinema I (Koszarski)      TTh 4:30-5:50PM; Th 6:10-9PM
This class traces the history of film in the United States from its beginnings in Thomas Edison’s West Orange laboratory to the collapse of the Hollywood studio system model in the late 1940s. Topics include the development of screen narrative, the coming of sound, censorship issues, exhibition practices, silent cinema, and the influence of European films and filmmakers. Screenings feature the work of Griffith, Hawks, Murnau, Capra, Welles and others. Response essays and term paper required.

01:354:320:01      World Cinema I (Williams)      W 11:30-12: 50PM; F 1:10-5:50PM
A survey of the history of world cinema (including American cinema, to the extent that it participates in the global evolution of the medium), from its beginnings to Italian Neorealism. (Please note: ordinarily, the Friday screening/discussion will end at or before 5:00 p.m.)

01:354:371:01     Melodrama (Flitterman-Lewis)      TTh 2:50-4:10PM; W 6:10-9PM
To some extent, all Hollywood film is melodramatic and for one critic,”the family is Hollywood’s one true subject.” From its beginnings, film melodrama has represented crises in familial relations–whether these be of individual identity, of gender roles and sexuality, or of family harmony challenged by external forces. Melodrama articulates problems of passion, desire and emotional excess in a form that has come to be understood as “peculiarly American.” We will begin with the notion of genre as a way of categorizing Hollywood production and then look at individual films to determine the ways in which film melodrama combines social, psychic, and artistic elements to dramatize the contradictions of class, race, gender, and family in American culture. Films will include early works that established the tradition (Way Down East, Broken Blossoms, Sunrise), maternal melodramas (Stella Dallas), melodramas of female desire and sexuality (Guest in the House, Rebecca), as well as those 50's films by Douglas Sirk seen to be the culmination of the form (Imitation of Life, All That Heaven Allows, Written on the Wind). Requirements: A midterm, a final, one paper.

01:354:420:01     Seminar Film Theory (Flitterman-Lewis)     TTh 1:10-2:30PM; Th 6:10-9PM
                                  SAS Core Code: Writing and Communication, Revision (WCr)
Ever since the first public screening of motion pictures for a paying public took place (on December 28, 1895 in Paris), people have been asking the film-theoretical question "What is Cinema?" At the same time, they also asked—in different but precise ways—"What is Film Theory?" This seminar will attempt to answer both questions by looking at the work of different film theorists in relation to other critical approaches to the cinema (historical, biographical, literary- critical, etc.) to establish how each defines its object, how each conceives of cinematic specificity, and how each understands its critical traditions. We will read the major texts of film theory in conjunction with screenings of different films, from the theory of the cinematic text (Vampyr) and cinematic language (Breathless), to Soviet Montage (Strike) and theories of cinematic realism (Bicycle Thieves), symptomatic analyses of ideological production (Young Mr. Lincoln) and dream and the unconscious (Last Year at Marienbad and L'Atalante), to cinematic point of view (Notorious) and fascination (Irma Vep). Key terms: Theory of the cinematic text, textual analysis, the cinematic apparatus, cinema and ideology, feminist and psychoanalytic theory, semiotics, historical overview of film theory. One presentation, one midterm, one paper, and a final exam, with some short in-class writing.

French

01:420:480 Senior Seminar: Cinéma et Littérature. (Please Note: This course is taught IN FRENCH.)
Film borrows from, and resembles, many other art forms. We will examine the relations and the similarities/differences among French cinema, theater, and prose fiction-always placing each medium, and each specific work, within its historical/cultural context. We will read essays on film, the novel, and theater by André Bazin, and examine different versions of works such as Le Colonel Chabert, La Princesse de Clèves, Les Parents terribles and Les Bas-fonds (Gorky).

Mason Gross courses open to Cinema Studies students and eligible for CS production credit

(Contact Karina Daves for more information/special permission numbers: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

07:211:100                   Video Editing (note: 1‐credit course)
07:211:120                   Cinematography
07:211:300                   Short Film Repurposed
07:211:230                   Animation – 2D
07:211:306                   Web Series Filmmaking Screenwriting – Short Film
07:211:205                   Screenwriting- Short Film