Spring 2015 Class Schedule (Atlas)

FILM 501: Seminar in Authorship


W 1:00-4:00

Mandatory film screening M 7:00-10:00

Course Description:  Still in print after 47 years, The American Cinema: Directors and Directions 1929-1968, Andrew Sarris¿ landmark auteurist ranking of American studio-era directors, remains the single most influential text on our thinking of authorship in the classical Hollywood period.  This seminar will test Sarrisian auteurism against itself and re-think it against subsequent challenges, particularly the industrial-based arguments of Bordwell/Thompson/Staiger for a classical ¿group style¿ and Thomas Schatz¿s case for the studio-as-auteur.  We will also think about directorial authorship as an industry-created marketing tool.  Over the course¿s 14 weeks students will watch 28 films from seven different Hollywood directors, working either independently or for one of the seven major studios.  Finally, to tighten our focus, all 28 pictures are going to be from a single five-year period: 1929-34, the peak years of so-called ¿pre-code¿ cinema.  Selected directors include examples from Sarris¿ categories of ¿Pantheon¿ (Josef von Sternberg), ¿Far Side of Paradise¿ (Frank Capra, King Vidor, George Cukor), ¿Lightly Likable¿ (James Whale) and ¿Less than Meets the Eye¿ (William Wellman, Rouben Mamoulian).  Students can expect to write weekly reactions to the films and readings and produce a final 20-24 page paper.  They will also joyfully participate in¿and in some cases actually lead¿class discussions.

FILM 503: Seminar in History


Tu 1:00-4:00

Mandatory film screening Th 6:00-8:00pm

Course Description:  Theories and representations of the urban through films depicting Asian cities: Tokyo, Seoul, Shanghai, Beijing, Taipei, Singapore, Bangkok.  From the premodern castle town to the postmodern global metropolis in ghost films, melodrama, anime, etc.

FILM 573: Special Topics in Film: The Bauhaus and After


W 5:00-8:00

Course Description:  The legacy of the Bauhaus runs deep. The art, architecture, photography, film, theater dance, design, and educational theories produced and theorized by the Bauhaus teachers Walter Gropius, Wassily Kandinsky, Lazlo Moholy-Nagy, Paul Klee, Mies van der Rohe and others between 1919 and 1933 have shaped the character of modern and contemporary art theory and practice at large. This seminar explores the central ideas and practices of the Bauhaus at its origins and its posthumous resonance within a wide range of associated artistic events in the 20th century. We will also consider central examples of International Style architecture (Richard Neutra and R.M. Schindler, for instance) and "New Object" photography that emerges from the Bauhaus approach as well as the works of John Cage whose basic attitude was shaped by the Bauhaus example.

FILM 582: Contemporary Film and Media Theory


TTHF 12:00-12:50

Mandatory film screening Tu 4:00-6:00

Course Description:  This course considers key methodological approaches that have shaped contemporary thinking about film and media.  These include semiotics, narratology, psychoanalysis, feminist and critical theory.

Objectives:  By the end of this class you will be able to:

  • Identify and describe key trends of Western film theory and criticism written after 1960
  • Use, and critique, the methods of semiology, narratology, psychoanalysis, critical and cultural theory as ways of understanding contemporary film and media.
FILM 597: Directed Study


A supervised project in an area of study to be determined by instructor and student.  This could involve a topic in film authorship, genre, antional cinema, or other area.  Permission of the instructor required.

FILM 598: Graduate Colloquium


Th 4:00-6:00

This course, which is required for the completion of the M.A. in Film Studies, consists of bi monthly talks by Film Studies and affiliated faculty and advanced graduate students.  It is designed for the presentation of new research and the professionalization of graduate students in the Film Studies program.  One credit hour.

FILM 599:  Thesis Research


Permission of the Director of Graduate Studies in Film Studies required prior to registration.