Course Descriptions

Rutgers Cinema Studies Summer/Fall 2017 Course Descriptions:

Summer 2017

Cinema Studies

01:175:266:B6/I# 01923     Cult Films in American Culture (Nigrin)        5/31-7/7/16 TTh 6-9:40PM
Summer Session #1
May 30-July 6, 2017 Tuesday and Thursday 6:00PM-9:40PM
Location: Voorhees Hall #105, CAC, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ

Course Description: 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/I# 02233     Cinema and the Arts (Nigrin)
Summer Session #1
May 31-July 3, 2017 Monday+Wednesday 6:00-9:40PM
Location: Voorhees Hall #105, CAC, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey

Course Description: 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, Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom, 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 2017

Cinema Studies

01:175:265:01/I# 10218     American Experimental Film (Nigrin)     TTh 5:35-6:55PM; Th 6:55-8:35PM

Course Description: 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, non-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.

01:175:377:01/I# 18601     Topics In World Cinema: Cinemas of Africa and Asia (Sen)     TTh 1:10-2:30PM; T 6:10-9PM

Course Description: This broad survey introduces students to the cinemas of much of the Global South: Africa, Middle East, and South Asia. Divided into four categories: Political Cinema, Melodrama, Art/Experimental Cinema and Popular Film, the course contextualizes films within their own social, political, and industrial contexts, but simultaneously maps the transnational exchange between the three regions. From the traffic in radical ideas and tools of Third Cinema in the 60s and 70s, to the massive popularity of Bollywood films in Nigeria and Nollywood films globally, we will pay special attention to how genres, images, ideologies, and fandoms travel and cross-pollinate film-cultures in these regions of the globe. Since the Internet explosion has accelerated these travels and exchanges in unprecedented ways, we will also remain attentive to the ecology of new media.
Course Goals: This course has three basic goals: 1) to familiarize students to the important cinematic cultures of Africa, Middle-East, and South Asia, 2) to ensure that students able to situate these cinemas within histories of colonialism, oppression, war, and globalization, and 3) to ensure that students engage with these cinemas as national as well as transnational meaning-making systems.

01:175:377:02/I# 18602    Topics In World Cinema: Film & Lit So. Asia (Sen)     TTh 4:30-5:50PM; Th 6:10-9:00PM

Course Description: Shakespeare in Bollywood? The idea seems incongruous! And yet, Bombay filmmaker Vishal Bharadwaj has reinvented Macbeth, Othello, and Hamlet for audiences worldwide and to great acclaim. Indian Cinema has drawn on literary texts for its source material since its earliest days, when Dhundiraj Phalke made Raja Harishchandra in 1913. From epics like the Ramayana and the Mahabharata to the modern novel, many of the most celebrated films of South Asia are adaptations of literary works. In this seminar, we will engage with a wide range of South Asian films and the literary works they are based on or “inspired by”. The relationship between the literatures and cinemas of South Asia is a complex one, because adaptation is more than a matter of simple fidelity to or deviation from the original source. Adaptation is fundamentally also a task of translation—of the correspondences and differences between the written word and film language. Adaptations are also significantly informed by their location in history and culture—for example, certain kinds adaptations become possible with the progress of digital technology, while others are demanded by the political climate of their times.
In this course, we will interrogate especially the poetics and politics of this translation in South Asia from a variety of perspectives. We will explore an array of literary and filmic/televisual forms, from “high culture” films like Satyajit Ray’s Pather Panchali (1955) and Charulata (1960) to television adaptations of the great epics, to popular Bollywood adaptations of Jane Austen such as Bride and Prejudice (2004) and Aisha (2010), in order to understand the range and diversity of adaptation in South Asia.

01:175:377:03/I# 18603     Topics In World Cinema: Modern French Cinema (Williams)     M 1:10-4:10PM; W 1:10—2:30PM

Course description: This course surveys the history of French cinema from the late 1930s to the present. These are tumultuous years: they include the "New Wave" of the late 1950s and 1960s (works of Godard, Truffaut and others), the return to traditional forms in the 1970s (but often with untraditional content, as witness the disturbing sex comedies of Bertrand Blier), the "New New Wave" of the 1990s, and the radically diverse French cinema of the present day. There will be a midterm exam and a final, and students will write one 8-10 page paper. Please note that several films contain adult themes and situations, and occasional (full) nudity.

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)
Course description: This course introduces students to the basic tools used in the study of film. Its chief focus is on 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, Renoir, Eisenstein, Lang, Lester, 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:I# 15060     Introduction to Film II ((Flitterman-Lewis)     TTh 2:50-4:10PM; W 6:10-9PM
                                            SAS Core Code: Arts and Literatures (AHp)

Course description: In this second half of the Introductory course students will look at the major modes of fiction and non-fiction films, using these films as points of departure for learning about theoretical/critical issues of genre, authorship, realism, avant-garde and documentary. Students will learn to critically analyze the earliest forms of the Classical Hollywood Model, the basic Hollywood genres, the studio system (Ford, Hawks, and Hitchcock), and its alternatives. They will understand how the basic elements of film language—the shot, mise en scene, cinematography, editing and sound are deployed by directors to contribute to a notion of film as something more than entertainment, as artistic expression. In addition students will learn about alternative forms of filmmaking, from non-narrative to documentary and experimental films so that they can understand the cinema as both a language system and an institution.

01:354:210:01:I# 18469     Close Readings of Cinema (Belton)     MW 4:30-5:50PM; W 6:10-9PM

Course Description: A close reading of six or seven individual films, concentrating on the formal analysis of each film's visual track, sound track, and scenario/narrative construction. Each film will be screened twice and studied for two weeks. Filmmakers include Ford, Renoir, Hawks, Ozu, Altman, and Antonioni. Requirements: three 5-page papers.

01:354:315:01:I# 15118    World Cinema I (Williams)     W 11:30--12: 50PM; F 1:10-5:00PM

Course description: 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.)

01:354:350:01:I# 18471     Major Filmmakers (Koszarski)     TTh 4:30-5:50PM; Th 6:10-9PM

Course description: This semester the class will study the work of three filmmakers (Clint Eastwood and the brothers Joel and Ethan Coen) who have negotiated a position somewhere between the independent film community and the commercial studio system. How have they been able to resolve the dilemma of expressing a personal vision while— generally--satisfying the economic and industrial requirements of this medium? The historical, cultural and formal dimensions of their films will be analyzed within the context of their distinct personal and professional histories. Students will meet individually with me as they prepare two term papers throughout the semester.

01:354:370:01/I# 18470     Film Genres (Koszarski)     TTh 2:50-4:10PM; T 6:10-9PM

Course description: Genre may be a literary category, but it has also served the motion picture industry as an organizational tool, a way of grouping product according to similarities of plot, setting, period and character. Film genres like the western or the horror film were not ordained by producers or studio heads, but were the product of an ongoing negotiation in which filmmakers and film audiences worked together to shape the style and content of cinema’s most popular narrative categories. We will look at key examples of various film genres, noting how they continued to evolve over the years, and how individual filmmakers were able to personalize even the most familiar of them. Quizzes and term paper.

01:354:420:01/I# 05261     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, literarycritical, 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.

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.)

07:211:120:I# 13945          Cinematography                                                                        T 9:50-12:50PM
07:211:230:I# 13944          Animation – 2D (NO SPECIAL PERMISSION NEEDED)         T 6:10-9:00PM
07:211:306:I#13949           Web Filmmaking                                                                       M 4:30-7:30PM

Professor Nigrin's Experimental Filmmaking class

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