courses 2012 fall
CORE REQUIREMENTS COURSES
CINE 101.401 - World Film History to 1945
ARTH 108; COML 123; ENGL 091
TR 1:30-3pm | FBH 401
This course surveys the history of world film from cinema’s precursors to 1945. We will develop methods for analyzing film while examining the growth of film as an art, an industry, and a political instrument. The course begins with the emergence of film technology and early film audiences. We will then look at the rise of narrative film and the birth of Hollywood before turning to a number of national film industries that flourished after World War I, including French, Italian, Soviet, German, Japanese, Chinese, and Indian film. Along the way, we will look at different genres and topics including African-American independent film during the silent era, animation, ethnographic and documentary film, censorship, and the coming of sound. We conclude with the transformation of several film industries into propaganda tools during World War II (including the Nazi, Soviet, and US film industries). There are no prerequisites. Requirements include a short essay, a research project, a midterm, and a final. Fulfills the Arts and Letters Sector (All Classes).
CINE 102.601 - World Film History, 1945-present
ARTH 109; COML 124; ENGL 092
T 4:30-7:30pm | ANNS 111
Focusing on movies made after 1945, this course allows students to learn and to sharpen methods, terminologies, and tools needed for the critical analysis of film. Beginning with the cinematic revolution signaled by the Italian Neo-Realism (of Rossellini and De Sica), we will follow the evolution of postwar cinema through the French New Wave (of Godard, Resnais, and Varda), American movies of the 1950s and 1960s (including the New Hollywood cinema of Coppola and Scorsese), and the various other new wave movements of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s (such as the New German Cinema). We will then selectively examine some of the most important films of the last two decades, including those of U.S. independent film movement and movies from Iran, China, and elsewhere in an expanding global cinema culture. There will be precise attention paid to formal and stylistic techniques in editing, mise-en-scene, and sound, as well as to the narrative, non-narrative, and generic organizations of film. At the same time, those formal features will be closely linked to historical and cultural distinctions and changes, ranging from the Paramount Decision of 1948 to the digital convergences that are defining screen culture today. There are no perquisites. Requirements will include readings in film history and film analysis, an analytical essay, a research paper, a final exam, and active participation. Fulfills the Arts and Letters Sector (All Classes).
CINE 015.301 - Katharine Hepburn Films
TR 1:30-3pm | HARN 102
Ranked by the American Film Institute (AFI) as the “greatest female star in the history of American cinema,” Katharine Hepburn (1907-2003) lived as originally as so many of the heroines she depicted in her movies. This seminar examines a corpus of films and roles that defined the pioneering Hepburn as an actress, a businesswoman, and progressive thinker. This course will also analyze critical and audience reception to gain familiarity with the historical context in which these films premiered throughout the decades. Hepburn’s career will therefore serve as a prism through which students will discuss issues such as the Hollywood studio system, the McCarthy era, the rise of the television industry, the changing role of women in the 20th century, and civil rights in the U.S. Why was Katharine Hepburn considered so unconventional, outspoken, and defiant during her own time? How was she able to ensure her inimitable and enduring legacy? Included in this course will be a field trip to the Katharine Houghton Hepburn Center at Bryn Mawr College in conjunction with activities from Harnwell College House’s ArtsHouse Residential Program.
CINE 016.301 - Modern Sci-Fi Cinema
TR 3-4:30pm | FBH 406
Science Fiction has been a cinematic genre for as long as there has been cinema—at least since Georges Melies’s visionary Trip to the Moon in 1902. However, though science fiction films have long been reliable box office earners and cult phenomena, critical acknowledgement and analysis was slow to develop. Still, few genres reflect the sensibility of their age so transparently—if often unconsciously—or provide so many opportunities for filmmakers to simultaneously address social issues and expand the lexicon with new technologies. Given budgetary considerations and the appetite for franchises, science fiction auteurs face a difficult negotiation between artistic expression and lowest common denominator imperatives, the controversy over Terry Gilliam’s Brazil (1985) being perhaps the most infamous example. Nevertheless, many notable filmmakers have done their most perceptive and influential work in the scifi realm, including Gilliam, Ridley Scott, Steven Spielberg, David Cronenberg, James Cameron and Paul Verhoeven. This course will survey the scope of modern science fiction cinema, beginning with two films that inspired a rare wave of academic discourse, Scott’s Alien (1979) and Blade Runner (1982), which attracted postmodernists, feminists, and film historians interested in how the works both drew from earlier movements (German Expressionism, Noir), and inspired new ones (Cyberpunk). We will look at smaller, more independent-minded projects, such as Michel Gondry’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) and Duncan Jones’ Moon (2009) as well as risky, massively budgeted epics such as Spielberg’s AI: Artificial Intelligence (2001) and Christopher Nolan’s Inception (2010).
CINE 055.401 - Monsters of Japan
T 3-6pm | WILL 316
A look at monstrous beasts and other strange creatures in Japanese history, literature, mythology and film. From the eight-headed Orochi described in the 8th century Kojiki to the cute “pocket monsters” popular in anime of the 1990’s, we will look at many strange creatures, focusing most on the “King of the Monsters,” Godzilla, and his many subjects in the Toho films of the last half-century. The course will be paralleled by a (required) film series.
CINE 061 - Video I
FNAR 061; VSLT 061
401 | Ellen Reynolds | W 5-8pm | ADDM 207
402 | Ellen Reynolds | T 1-4pm | ADDM 207
403 | Emory Van Cleve | T 10am-1pm | ADDM 207
404 | Jos Duncan | R 5-8pm | ADDM 207
405 | Emory Van Cleve | R 10am-1pm | ADDM 207
406 | David Novack | M 1-4pm | ADDM 207
This course provides students with the introductory skills and concepts needed to create short works using digital video technologies Students will learn the basics of camerawork and editing through a series of assignments designed to facilitate the use of the medium for artistic inquiry, cultural expression and narrative storytelling.
CINE 062.401 - Video II
R 1:30-4:30pm | ADDM 207
Video II offers opportunities to further explore the role of sound, editing and screen aesthetics. Through a series of three video projects and a variety of technical exercises, students will refine their ability to articulate more complex and creative projects in digital cinema. In addition, advanced level production and post-production equipment is introduced in this course.
CINE 063.401 - Documentary Video
T 5:30-8:30pm | ADDM 207
A digital video course stressing concept development and the exploration of contemporary aesthetics of the digital realm, specifically in relation to the documentary form. Building on camera, sound and editing skills acquired in Film/Video I, students will produce a portfolio of short videos and one longer project over the course of the semester. Set assignments continue to investigate the formal qualities of image-making, the grammar of the moving image and advanced sound production issues within the documentary context.
CINE 065.401 - Cinema Production
Emory Van Cleve
W 2-5pm | ADDM 207
This course focuses on the practice and theory of producing narrative based cinema. Members of the course will become the film crew and produce a short digital film. Workshops on producing, directing, lighting, camera, sound and editing will build skills necessary for the hands-on production shoots. Visiting lecturers will critically discuss the individual roles of production in the context of the history of film.
CINE 075.401 - Image and Sound Editing
David Novack & Nancy Novack
M 5-8pm | ADDM 207
This course presents an in-depth look at the storytelling power of image and sound in both narrative and documentary motion pictures. Students apply a theoretical framework in ongoing workshops, exploring practical approaches to picture editing and sound design. Students edit scenes with a variety of aesthetic approaches, and create story-driven soundtracks with the use of sound FX, dialogue replacement, foleys, music and mixing. Students not only learn critical skills that expand creative possibilities, but also broaden their understanding of the critical relationship between image and sound.
CINE 111.401 - Poetics of Screenplay: The Art of Plotting
COML 118; RUSS 111
MW 3:30-5pm | WILL 317
This course studies scriptwriting in a historical, theoretical and artistic perspective. We discuss the rules of drama and dialogue, character development, stage vs. screen-writing, adaptation of nondramatic works, remaking of plots, author vs. genre theory of cinema, storytelling in silent and sound films, the evolvement of a script in the production process, script doctoring, as well as screenwriting techniques and tools. Coursework involves both analytical and creative tasks.
CINE 112.401 - The Vietnam War in Literature and Film
MW 11am-12pm (plus RECs) | FBH 401
The Vietnam War was not only waged by soldiers on the battlefield. Long after the fall of Saigon in 1975, the traumas of war continued in the intimate memories and scarred bodies of those who fought, and in the nightmares of civilians whose lives were destroyed or irrevocably changed. The Vietnam War has also had an enduring and contentious national legacy, which still shapes military policy, political debates, and the way war is portrayed in journalism, literature, and film. This course explores the creative outpouring of responses to the Vietnam War in literature and film. We will ask how artists and film makers represented the experience of those on the battlefield and the home front; how they fought symbolic battles over the interpretation and memory of the war; how they sought consolation for unfathomable losses; and how they produced a legacy for future generations. Films may include Cimino’s The Deer Hunter, Coppola’s Apocalypse Now, De Palma’s Casualties of War, Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket, and Stone’s Platoon. We will read novels, stories, poems and memoirs by Bao Ninh, Hayslip, Herr, Heinemann, Komunyakka, Kovic, Mason, and O’Brien.
CINE 116 - Screenwriting
401 | Kathleen DeMarco Van Cleve | M 2-5pm | CPCW 111
402 | Keir Politz | R 4:30-7:30pm | FBH 322
601 | Keir Politz | T 4:30-7:30pm | FBH 139
This is a workshop-style course for those who have thought they had a terrific idea for a movie but didn't know where to begin. The class will focus on learning the basic tenets of classical dramatic structure and how this (ideally) will serve as the backbone for the screenplay of the aforementioned terrific idea. Each student should, by the end of the semester, have at least thirty pages of a screenplay completed. Classic and not-so-classic screenplays will be required reading for every class, and students will also become acquainted with how the business of selling and producing one's screenplay actually happens. Students will be admitted on the basis of an application by email briefly describing their interest in the course to the instructor.
CINE 119.401 - Middle Eastern Cinema
COML 129; NELC 119
TR 10:30am-12pm | MUSB 101
This course aims to introduce students to major trends in contemporary Middle Eastern cinemas. Organized thematically rather than geographically, the class encourages students to map cultural ties among the countries that constitute a region defined too often by its conflict. Together we will examine the representation of politics, religion, social structures, and war by films that can be classified as documentary, comedy, drama, and experimental. Our goal is to distill important cultural information about the peoples of the Middle East. Recognizing both these thematic links and the reality of multi-country production, we will also attempt to compound our understanding of national and transnational cinema. Do national cinemas exist in the Middle East? How do we make sense of the overwhelming success of Middle Eastern productions on the western film festival circuit and how do those films relate to films intended for local audiences?
CINE 124.401 - Writing, Blogging, Tweeting About Movies
T 1:30-4:30pm | CPCW 111
Everyone's a movie critic but not everyone is master of the many forms and platforms that contemporary film criticism takes. Does a movie like BRIDESMAIDS profit from frame analysis? Can one tweet a review of a sensory experience like TREE of LIFE in 140 characters or less? How do you take films diverse as HUGO, SHERLOCK HOLMES: GAMER of SHADOWS, and WAR HORSE and extract a theme for an essay that gives readers the flavor of how movies reflect contemporary times? (One answer: all three are set in part during the run-up to World War I. Another: Each deals with the disruptions of war and European dis-union.) When should you tweet, when should you blog and when should you write an extended film review? Are the differences amoung these three forms? Students accepted in the course are expected to see five assigned movies during the semester on their own time and write up to 1,000 words per week plus read assigned articles and blogs. The final will be three reviews of the same movie, one in essay form, one in blog form and one as tweet. Attendance and class participation constitute 1/3 of the final grade. Students interested in the course should send two writing samples to the instructor at firstname.lastname@example.org. Include your scholastic year.
CINE 130.401 - Advanced Screenwriting
Kathleen DeMarco Van Cleve
W 2-5pm | CPCW 111
This is a workshop-style course for students who have completed a screenwriting class, or have a draft of a screenplay they wish to improve. Classes will consist of discussing student's work, as well as discussing relevant themes of the movie business and examining classic films and why they work as well as they do. Classic and not-so-classic screenplays will be required reading for every class in addition to some potentially useful texts like /What Makes Sammy Run?/ Students will be admitted on the basis of an application by email. Please send a writing sample (in screenplay form), a brief description of your interest in the course and your goals for your screenplay, and any relevant background or experience.
CINE 159.401 - Israeli Literary Autobiographies
COML 282; JWST 102; NELC 159
TR 1:30-3pm | WILL 202
Modern Hebrew literature, an offspring of Zionism, has long rejected writing about one's personal life as embarrassing egocentrism and self-exposure. However, many well-known Israeli artists have reached the age where they want to tell their true stories, and the younger generation has grown up in an individualistic period where it is acceptable to talk about open wounds and trauma. Israeli scholar of autobiography Nitza Ben-Dov sees this trend as a symptom of the culture of exposure in which we live (e.g. reality TV, Facebook, etc.). In addition to the author's life. Therefore, the genres examined in this course are fluid: We will be studying memoirs; poetry and prose that conceal the author's life story; and even biographies (literary or not). Authors to be studied included: Yehuda Amichai, Dahlia Ravikovitch, Haim Be'er, Aharon Appelfeld, Amos Oz, Sami Michael, and S.Y. Agnon. Filmmakers include: Dror Shaul, Eli Cohen and Ari Folman. Not everything included in the syllabus will be studied. All works in translation. There will be 5-6 film screenings. Films will be placed on reserve at the library for those unable to attend the screenings. The contents of the course changes from year to year so students may take it for credit more than once.
CINE 164.401 - Russian Film 1900-1945
MW 2:00-3:30pm | WILL 301
This course presents the Russian contribution to world cinema before WWII - nationalization of the film industry in post revolutionary Russia, the creation of institutions of higher education in filmmaking, film theory, experimentation with the cinematic language, and the social and political reflex of cinema. Major themes and issues involve: the invention of montage, Kuleshov effect, the means of visual propaganda and the cinematic component to the communist cultural revolutions, party ideology and practices of social-engineering, cinematic response to the emergence of the totalitarian state. Great filmmaker and theorist in discussion include Vertov, Kuleshov, Eisenstein, Pudovkin, Medvedkin and others.
CINE 202.401 - Romantic Comedy
ARTH 292; COML 292; ENGL 292
TR 10:30am-12pm | FBH 201
We may know what it is like to fall in love, but how do movies tell us what it is like? Through an exciting tour of American and World cinema, we will analyze the moods and swings, successes and failures of love in romantic comedy, one of the most popular but generally overlooked and taken for granted genres. We will turn a spotlight on it by examining what elements and iconography constitute the “romcom” genre, what specific qualities inform its sub-groupings such as screwball, sex comedy or radical romantic comedy, how they are related to their historical, cultural and ideological contexts, and what we can learn about their audiences. Watching classic as well contemporary examples of the genre, from City Lights (1931), It Happened One Night (1934) and Roman Holiday (1953), to Harold and Maude (1971), Annie Hall (1977), Chocolat (2000), and The Notebook (2004), we will problematize this overly-familiar cinema to make it new and strange again, and open it up to creative analysis. Assignments include a film-viewing journal, a critical film analysis and a creative final project.
CINE 204.401 - Visual Communications
TR 3-4:30pm | ANNS 109
Analysis of viewers' reactions to visual media (advertising, movies, TV, photography, etc.). Effects of: (1) production techniques (camera angles, editing, etc.); and (2) content of visual media (sex, violence, etc.)
CINE 230.601 - The Great Illusion: Introduction to Spanish Cinema
T 5-8pm | WILL 214
Film in Spain has a rich but turbulent tradition that, until recently, occupied a marginal position within Cinema Studies departments in American universities. From the pioneering shorts of Segundo de Chomón —often nicknamed “the Spanish Méliès”— to the worldwide success of Pedro Almodóvar’s melodramatic and irreverent films that caricature contemporary (Spanish) culture, this course offers both a survey of Spanish film and an introduction to critical thought in the field of Film Studies. We analyze the trajectory of Spanish film beginning in its silent origins in the nineteenth century, passing through the censorship and hegemonic ideology of the Francoist regime, and ending in the years of Spain’s progressive transition to democracy that leads us to the present-day status of Spanish cinema. Along the way, we supplement the shorts and feature-length films with a diverse selection of critical readings that present pertinent historical and cultural contexts, fundamental cinematic concepts, as well as current theoretical debates in Film Studies. We conclude the class by exploring new trends in cinematic productions including short digital cinema, recent developments in new media, and the rise in participatory cinema. Over the course of the semester students will learn to discuss the technical and stylistic aspects of cinema while developing a theoretical language to think critically about the cultural and historical contexts of Spanish cinema. We interrogate the specificity of cinema as a means of representation (in comparison with literature) and we question the particularities of a cinema “made in Spain.”
CINE 245.401 - French Cinema
T 3-4:30pm (plus REC) | WILL 205
The purpose of this course is to provide an introduction to the history and scope of French cinema all the way to the present time through the analysis of key works of the French film canon. Particular attention will be paid to successive period styles (“le réalisme poétique”, “la qualité française”, “la nouvelle vague”, “le film de banlieue”, etc.) as well as various genres (war, drama, comedy, crime, etc.) and a variety of critical lenses will be used (psychoanalysis, socio-historical and cultural context, politics, aesthetics, gender…) in an effort to better understand the specificities and complexities of these films.
CINE 260.401 - British Cinema
TR 10:30am-12pm | FBH 244
This class treats British cinema of the past twenty-five years, with particular emphasis on the changing social, political, and economic environments in which the British film industry has operated during that period. One of our aims in the course will be to identify some of the distinctive aspects of contemporary British cinema and its particular place in an increasingly regional and global media market. Toward that end, we will consider the differences between films that have succeeded for the most part domestically and those that have achieved widespread international (and especially North American) distribution and acclaim. We will screen some examples of the so-called Heritage Cinema (such as the Merchant-Ivory production Howard's End) as well as films that run sharply counter to this tendency (such as Menalik Shabazz's Burning an Illusion, the Kureishi/Frears collaboration Sammy and Rosie Get Laid, and two films by Gurinda Chadha). We will pay particular attention to the docu-realist tradition in the British cinema and its new engagement with transnational and multicultural subjects; in this connection, we will view two films each by Ken Loach and Mike Leigh as well as recent documentary-inflected films by Paul Greengrass and Michael Winterbottom.
CINE 267.401 - Computer Animation
TR 1-4pm | ADDM 106
Through a series of studio projects, this course will focus on 2D and 3D computer animation. Emphasis is placed on time-based design and storytelling by developing new sensitivities to movement, cinematography, editing, sound, color, and lighting. Compositing software covered in the course will be used to combine 2D graphics, 3D animation, and sound. Recommended materials: Wacom Pen.
CINE 292.601 - Alfred Hitchcock
W 5-8pm | FBH 201
This course focuses upon Alfred Hitchcock, one of the greatest filmmakers of the 20 th century. We will explore his films and authorship, from his early British works to his late Hollywood films, and how he helped to develop, refine, and expand the repertoire of cinema technologically as well as dramatically. Spanning over half a century, Hitchcock's films participate in social and political history--bridging two world wars--as well as in the development of cinema, from silent film to sound, from black and white to color, from expressionism to classical Hollywood cinema; from the challenges of censorship and the introduction of the studio system to the concept of the director as auteur. With these formal and historical considerations, we will examine how Hitchcock realizes the artistic and commercial possibilities of film, attracting critical as well as popular audiences. We will also explore how Hitchcock similarly engages with scholarly film critics, particularly in the development of formalist, psychoanalytic, and feminist film theory and criticism. Screenings will include: The Lodger, Blackmail, 39 Steps, Rebecca, Strangers on a Train, Notorious, Vertigo, Rear Window, North by Northwest, Marnie,Psycho, The Birds.
CINE 294.401 - Mexico, Mexican America: Nation, Diaspora and Globalization in Literature and Cinema
LALS 296; ROML 296
Rachel Ellis Neyra
MW 2-3:30pm | WILL 205
The imaginaries of Mexican, Mexican American, and Chicana/o writers and film directors form this course, and three main movements will organize our readings and viewings throughout the fall. The first movement involves distinguishing the meanings of the word mestizaje in Mexican usages from its valences when used by Mexican American and Chicana/o artists in the US. Within this study of mestizaje, we will focus on different literary and cinematic portrayals of the icons of La Virgen de Guadalupe and La Malinche. Second, we will contrast romantic and violent narratives of the Mexican nation in the mid-20th century and today. Within this movement, we will also consider the oft-stated claim that the border crossed Mexican American subjects in the late 19th century, they did not cross it, how the geographic concept of Aztlán relates to this claim, and what it means today for the Mexican diaspora. In the third movement, we will study contemporary intensifications of the term “globalization” in literature and cinema. Mexico, la frontera, migratory changes, and the US southwest pose a tremendous quandary for the clear division of the world into three parts, and for globalization theories that discuss the macro-movements of capitalism and cities, but elide other nuances and re-alignments of bodies and spaces, and which politics and aesthetics are emergent therein. Moving imaginarily on foot, horseback, by car, train, and bus, through urban labyrinths and rural ranges, we will carry a Mexican and Mexican American compass to guide our critical thinking about the desire for place, the forces of displacement, and the aesthetic imperative of rendering alternative existences. The writers we may read are: Rulfo, Paz, Bartra, Anzaldúa, Castillo, R. Rodriguez, and Bolaño. The films we may study are: Nosotros los pobres (1947), El ángel exterminador (1962), Lugar sin limites (1978), El norte (1983), Sólo con tu pareja (1991), Amores Perros (2000), Y tu mamá también (2001), The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (2005), Babel (2006), Sin Nombre (2009), and Machete (2010). All films in Spanish have English subtitles. The final paper may be written in English or Spanish.
CINE 300.401 - Paul Strand Curatorial Seminar: Designing a Major Retrospective
Karen Beckman & Peter Barberie
M 2-5pm | JAFFE 104
This seminar will allow students to study in-depth one of the key artists of the twentieth century and to participate in the early planning stages for a major retrospective exhibition that will take place in the fall of 2014. Students will participate in extensive review of the literature on Paul Strand, and they will have access to the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s collection of more than 3,000 prints. Each participant will be asked to conduct research on one project of Strand’s career. The central question of the seminar will be: how to organize a major single-artist exhibition? The class will participate in every aspect of planning a large exhibition, including organizing the publication; object selection and loan requests; conservation; exhibition layout; exhibition programming. In addition to working with the Strand collection at the PMA, the class may visit The Museum of Modern Art and a private collection of Strand’s photographs, as well as several major museum exhibitions. The seminar will proceed chronologically, with every week treating one or two major projects by Strand. Strand projects include: Strand’s modernist work; Manhatta; Southwestern and Mexican photography, including Redes; Frontier Films Project, including Native Land; Egypt; Morocco and Ghana. Course requirements: 1 15-page research paper; in-class presentations; full participation in seminars (held both at Penn and at the PMA, alternating weeks) and short research trips (TBA).
CINE 340.401 - Italian Neorealism
COML 382; ITAL 380
TR 12-1:30pm | WILL 304
Italian writer Italo Calvino says about the Post-war literary movement of Italian Neorealism: "The literary explosion of those years was, in Italy, a physiological, existential, collective fact. [...] Our coming out from an experience - the war, the civil war - which did not save anybody, established an immediate communication between writers and their public: we stood face to face, equal, loaded with stories to be told, each one had their own, each one had lived irregular, dramatic, adventurous lives, we were finishing each other sentences[...], we were moving in a multicolored universe of stories." After 22 years of silence under a dictatorship, a world war and a civil war, Neorealism was that universe of stories told in a new way, both in cinema and literature. We will explore that season of ruptures and continuities in literary Neorealism - with readings from Calvino, Pavese, and Fenoglio - and in the great Neorealist Italian cinema with films by Rossellini, De Sica, Visconti, De Sanctis, and Antonioni. The course will be taught in English.
CINE 365.601 - Chekhov on Stage and Screen
T 5:30-8:30pm | TBA
“What’s so funny, Mr. Chekhov?” This question is often heard from critics and directors who still are puzzled with the definition of Chekhov’s four major plays as comedies. Traditionally, all of them are staged and directed mostly as dramas, melodramas, or even tragedies. The course is intended to provide the participants with a concept of dramatic genre that will assist them in approaching Chekhov’s plays as comedies. In addition to reading Chekhov’s works, Russian and western productions and film adaptations of Chekhov’s works will be screened. Among them, Vanya on 42nd Street (Andre Gregory), and Four Funny Families (Vera Zubarev).
CINE 370.401 - Blacks in American Film and TV
M 5-8pm | WILL 318
An examination and analysis of the changing images and achievements of African Americans in motion pictures and television. The first half of the course focuses on African-American film images from the early years of D.W. Griffith's "renegade bucks" in The Birth of a Nation (1915); to the comic servants played by Stepin Fetchit, Hattie McDaniel, and others during the Depression era; to the post-World War II New Negro heroes and heroines of Pinky (1949) and The Defiant Ones (1958); to the rise of the new movement of African American directors such as Spike Lee (Do the Right Thing), Julie Dash (Daughters of the Dust), Charles Burnett, (To Sleep With Anger) and John Singleton (Boyz N the Hood). The second half explores television images from the early sitcoms "Amos 'n Andy" and "Beulah" to the "Cosby Show," "Fresh Prince of Bel Air," and "Martin." Foremost this course will examine Black stereotypes in American films and television--and the manner in which those stereotypes have reflected national attitudes and outlooks during various historical periods. This course will also explore the unique "personal statements" and the sometimes controversial "star personas" of such screen artists as Sidney Poitier, Dorothy Dandridge, Paul Robeson, Richard Pryor, Oscar Micheaux, Spike Lee, Bill Cosby, Eddie Murphy, and Whoopi Goldberg. The in-class screenings and discussions will include such films as Show Boat (1936), the independently produced "race movies" of the 1930s and 1940s, Cabin in the Sky (1943), The Defiant Ones (1958), Imitation of Life (the 1959 remake), Super Fly (1972), and She's Gotta Have It (1986) and such television series as "I Spy," "Julia," "Good Times," "The Jeffersons," "Roots," "A Different World," "I'll Fly Away," "LA Law," and "Hangin' With Mr. Cooper."
CINE 380.401 - Madness and Women in Contemporary Spanish Literature
TR 10:30am-12pm | WILL 205
This course will explore the representation of women identified as suffering from mental illnesses in a multiplicity of genres ranging from historical novels and fantastic literature to detective stories and horror films. We will pay special attention to the variety of political and ideological agendas with which the female icon of “la loca” has been infused. Works include: Del amor y otros demonios by Gabriel García Márquez, Pedro Páramo by Juan Rulfo, Delirio by Laura Restrepo, and Hipnos by Javier Azpeitia. Additional readings from a wide range of disciplines (feminism, literary and film theory, psychology and psychoanalysis) will enhance our understanding of these texts.
CINE 385.401 - Strange Girls, Books, and Labyrinths: Women in Avant-Garde Spain
MWF 11am-12pm | WILL 3
In many senses, the avant-garde (what has usually named as the “Generation of 1927”) was the first moment in Spanish literary history when women earned a modest access to the fundamentally masculine world of intelligentsia. But what did it take to be regarded as a vanguard intellectual, when sewing, embroidering, and lace-making was all you had ever been taught at school? This course will explore the reiterative textile-textual trope found in the work of these female writers and artists, and their discussion on “género” –in the Spanish triple sense of textile fabric, sexual gender, and literary genre. We will focus on the recurring topics of the strange girl and the labyrinth –obsessed with books, labeled as perverse, rejecting needlework, and submerged in the entangled narratives of her own creation. We will watch films dealing with labyrinthine girlhood –like Víctor Erice’s “El Espíritu de la Colmena” (1973), Carlos Saura’s “Cría Cuervos” (1975), Peter Weir’s “Picnic at Hanging Rock” (1976), Jim Henson’s “Labyrinth” (1986), and Guillermo del Toro’s “El Laberinto del Fauno” (2006). Readings will include novels, short stories and autobiographic excerpts by authors such as María Teresa León, Rosa Chacel, Mercè Rodoreda, and Concha Méndez –as well as paintings by artists such as Remedios Varo. Our analysis will encompass their works in pre-Civil War Spain, as well as in post-war exile. Secondarily, we will observe their influence on Spanish women writers of a later generation, such as Carmen Laforet or Carmen Martín Gaite.
CINE 390.401 - Literature and Film from Andean Region
LALS 396; SPAN 390
MWF 12-1pm | WILL 28
This course explores important works of literature from the highlands of Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, and Colombia. Genres covered include the novel, essay, poetry, testimonial, short story, and film. As we progress through the syllabus we will examine how key components of the Latin American experience are manifest in the Andean context. These elements include representations of indigenous people, mestizaje, machismo, women’s roles, the Church, political terrorism, and the struggle for social justice. Among the longer works covered are Matto de Turner’s Aves sin nido, Icaza’s Huasipungo, and Vargas Llosa’s Historia de Mayta.
CINE 392.401 - Cinema and Globalization
COML 391; ENGL 392
TR 3-4:30pm | FBH 323
In this course, we will study a number of films (mainly feature films, but also a few documentaries) that deal with the complicated nexus of issues that have come to be discussed under the rubric of "globalization." Among these are the increasingly extensive networks of money and power; the transnational flow of commodities and cultural forms; and the accelerated global movement of people--whether as tourists or migrants. At stake, throughout, will be the ways in which our present geographical, economic, social, and political order can be understood and represented. What new narrative forms have arisen to make sense of contemporary conditions? Films will include: The Year of Living Dangerously, Perfumed Nightmare, Dirty Pretty Things, Monsoon Wedding, Babel, Y Tu Mama Tambien, Maria Full of Grace (or Sugar), In This Word, Darwin's Nightmare, Black Gold, Life and Debt, The Constant Gardener, Syriana, and Children of Men. In addition to studying the assigned films carefully, students will also be expected to read a selection of theoretical works on globalization (including Zygmunt Bauman's Globalization: The Human Consequences) and, where appropriate, the novels on which the assigned films are based. Advance viewing of the films is required. (I find it is best to place films on reserve for students' use, or to ask that students get their own DVDs from Amazon or Netflix, but screenings can certainly be arranged.) Writing requirements: either a mid-term and final paper, or an in-class powerpoint presentation and final paper.
CINE 392.402 - Cinema of the Balkans
ARTH 392; COML 391; ENGL 292; SLAV 392
TR 1:30-3pm | FBH 201
This course will be a study of Balkan cinema, with a focus on a wide range and variety of films that were made in response to the 1990s crisis in the Balkans. While the Balkans may be familiar as one of Hollywood’s favorite fantasy nightmares—the bloodthirsty Transylvanian count and vampire, Vlad Tepes-Dracula, orCat People’s horrific historical Serbs who morphed into ferocious black panthers now living in the heart of Manhattan—Balkan cinema is an often overlooked but one of the richest and most significant cinemas of Europe today. While tracing the history of Balkan cinema, the main focus of the course will be on films made during and after the Balkan war in the 1990s. by filmmakers such Milcho Manchevski, EmirKusturica, Srdjan Dragojevic, Goran Peskaljevic, and Danis Tanovic. These directors achieved great success in their native countries as well as abroad, and started appearing regularly at all major international film festivals. As such they not only mark a significant moment in thinking about the nation but show how a nation has come to depend on the persuasive power of cinema to articulate itself. As we recognize the difficulties in asserting Balkan culture as a unified one, the aim of the course will be to explore an astonishing thematic and stylistic consistency in the cinematic output of the Balkan region. Looking at these shared issues—the turbulent history and volatile politics, a semi-Orientalist positioning sometimes seen as marginality and sometimes as a bridge between East and West, encounters between Christianity and Islam, a legacy of patriarchy and economic dependency--we will examine how cinema of the Balkans testifies to a specific artistic sensibility that comes from a shared socio-cultural space.
CINE 396.402 - Latin American Contemporary Issues Through Lens and Pen
LALS 397; SPAN 396
TR 12-1:30pm | WILL 219
Contemporary issues like globalization and violence are common topics of visual media and literary works in Latin America. This course will explore a shift in Latin American literature from the Boom to a new style of textual and visual fiction that captures the Latin America of today. In this course, we will explore the visual and textual works of filmmakers, writers and painters in search of a style and a narrative mode that better describes the urban Latin America in a globalized world as well as the violence linked to drug trafficking which impacts the lives of many Latin Americans today.
CINE 397.401 - Latin American Cinema and Globalization
LALS 398; SPAN 397
TR 10:30am-12pm | WILL 6
In this course, we will explore the different ways in which Globalization has been increasingly affecting Latin American Cinema in recent years. We will aim at gaining a better understanding of the impact of Globalization in Latin America and its cinema. In order to contrast the cinematic production from before and after the beginning of Globalization, we will study the region’s filmic production from 1960’s onward. We will start by taking a look at the Nuevo Cine Latinoamericano movement and the filmmaking trends in the decades prior to Globalization, to then move on to explore the region’s cinematic production up to the present day. In this course, we will focus mainly on the study of issues related to how Globalization affects representation: e.g. the construction of (trans)national imaginaries, issues of identity, the glocality phenomenon; but we will also take a look at other matters more closely related to the film industry itself in the context of a globalized world that might be shaping representation: e.g. coproduction, technological advances/limitations, the varied politics of distribution and exhibition. Through various selected readings, we will throw light on to the complex phenomenon of Globalization and its many social, economical, political, and cinematic intricacies. We will study the works of film directors such as Tomás Gutiérrez Alea, Cary Fukunaga, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Lucrecia Martel, Fernando Meirelles, Claudia Llosa, Nelson Pereira dos Santos, Walter Salles, and Barbet Schroeder, among others. The class will be conducted in Spanish, but we will watch some movies in Portuguese with English subtitles.
CINE 515.640 - MLA Proseminar: Fake!
Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw
T 5-8pm | JAFFE 104
In conjunction with Penn's 2012-13 "Year of Proof," this proseminar explores forgery, reproduction, and questions of authenticity in history, art, and film. We will read The Man Who Made Vermeers (2008) and Passing Strange (2009), watch The Return of Martin Guerre (1982) and The Thomas Crown Affair (1999), and study contemporary attitudes toward appropriation art by Sherrie Levine and Hank Willis Thomas and multiples by Salvador Dali and Thomas Kinkade (tm), Painter of Light.
CINE 591.401 - Film Theory
ARTH 593; COML 592
F 9-11am | JAFFE 113
This class will look at some of the ways in which contemporary film and media scholars engage some of the pressing issues in the history of film theory, including realism, medium specificity and intermediality, movement, space, politics, affect, historicity, the screen and other exhibition-related issues, the global and the national, and spectatorship. Requirements: completion of assigned weekly reading / viewing and full participation in seminar discussion; short writing assignments, in-class presentations, and final seminar paper (20 pages).
CINE 592.401 - The Essay Film
ARTH 590; COML 581; ENGL 592
R 9am-12pm | FBH 140
At least through much of the nineteenth century, the essay was perceived by many as a secondary, less creative genre of writing, suspected for its incidental, public, and parasitic nature. Others, such as Walter Pater, T. W. Adorno, and Roland Barthes, have been considerably more appreciative, often, like Pater, seeing the essay as the "strictly appropriate form of our modern philosophical literature." The first part of this seminar will examine the different possibilities and debates that have described this particular form of writing from its sixteenth-century beginnings in the works of Montaigne (when, in Foucault's words, "commentary yields to criticism") through twentieth-century theories and practices of the essay from Lukacs and Adorno through Umberto Eco, Roland Barthes, and Christa Wolf. The majority of the course, however, will concentrate on the reincarnation of this literary form as the essay film, and in this context we will investigate the work of Chris Marker, Jean-Luc Godard, Trinh T. Minh-ha, Erroll Morris, Derek Jarman and others. Rather than assuming experience with film scholarship and film history, we will use this course as at least a partial introduction to both. Students will be encouraged to develop their own positions and arguments (most notably in a final research project). My own emphasis, however, will be on 1) the historical and cultural conditions that encouraged essayistic writing, 2) the formal and expressive possibilities made exclusively available by the essay, and 3) the larger issues raised by the essay about the relation of writing to creativity or originality, to the politics and industry of a public domain, and to aesthetic categories such as romanticism, modernism, and postmodernism. Besides the primary research project, students will submit one shorter essay and, at some point in the semester, lead the seminar in a short discussion of their project.
CINE 595.401 - Copyright and Culture
T 9am-12pm | FBH 140
This course examines the impact of copyright law on artists and creative industries. Looking at publishing, music, film, and software, we will ask how the law drove the adoption of new media, and we will consider how regulation influences artistic decisions. The course will cover both the history of copyright law and current debates, legislation, and cases. We will also follow major copyright stories in the news. Readings cover such diverse topics as the player piano, Disney films, YouTube, video game consoles, hip hop, the Grateful Dead, file sharing, The Catcher in the Rye, and many more. In addition to active participation, students will write short papers on fair use, compile annotated bibliographies, present their work in class, and write research papers.
CINE 680.301 - French Cinema
R 5-7pm | WILL 303
This course has a dual purpose. Firstly, it offers an in-depth look at the history and scope of French cinema all the way to the present time through the analysis of key works of the French film canon. Particular attention will be paid to successive period styles (“le réalisme poétique”, “la qualité française,” “la nouvelle vague,” “le cinéma du look,” etc.) and genres (drama, comedy, war, crime, banlieue film, etc.). Secondly, it aims at providing students with the proper analytical and technical tools for studying and teaching film. A variety of critical lenses will be considered (psychoanalysis, socio-historical and cultural context, politics, aesthetics, gender…) from a primarily practical, rather than strictly theoretical, perspective.
CINE 682.401 - Madness and Mental Distress in Italian Literature and Cinema
W 4:30-6:30pm | WILL 316
Madness is a human condition. Madness exists and is present in us just like reason. (Franco Basaglia)
From man to the true man, the road passes through the madman. (Michel Foucault)
This course wants to investigate the theme of madness and mental distress in XX and XXI century Italian Literature and Cinema. Constructing our interpretations with the theoretical support of Foucault, Freud and Basaglia among others, we will explore the “mad” pages of Tozzi, Svevo, Pirandello, Tobino, Merini, Rosselli, Berto, Manganelli. We will also watch the movies which told the story of madness, neurosis and melancholia in Italian cinema: from Rossellini to Antonioni, from Bellocchio to Marazzi, Giordana and Alatri. The course will be taught in Italian.
CINE 685.301 - Fascism in Italian Cinema: History, Memory, Representation
Every other Friday @ 2-6pm | WILL 516
Produced since World War II, the films we will study in this seminar establish a theoretical framework for the analysis of Fascism, its political ideology, and its ethical dynamics. Emphasis on the concept of fascist normality, the racial laws, the morality of social identities (women, homosexuals), the Resistance, and the aftermath of the Holocaust. Films include: Bertolucci's The Conformist, De Sica's The Garden of the Finzi-Continis, Fellini’s Amarcord, Wertmüller's Seven Beauties, Rossellini's Open City, Benigni's Life Is Beautiful, Bellocchio’s Vincere. The approach is interdisciplinary and combines the study of socio-historical themes with an in-depth cinematic reading of the films. Students are expected to view at least two films per seminar. Grades will be based on class discussion and a final paper (18-20 pages).
CINE 694.401 - Cinema Transgresivo
LALS 694; SPAN 694
M 2-5pm | WILL 216
This seminar is designed to provide an overview of significant movements, traditions, and periods in Spanish and Latin American cinema by focusing the way specific films break with or stand against prevailing artistic and ideological imperatives. Each week is dedicated to one movement or period, one feature film, and a cluster of shorts and clips from relevant works. We begin by examining early Spanish filmmaker Segundo de Chomón and his departure from the “Cinema of Attractions” practiced by filmmakers such as George Méliès. We continue by interrogating the 1931 film Limite by Brazilian filmmaker Mario Peixoto and the way it breaks from European avant-garde cinema and the work of Spanish surrealist Luis Buñuel. The seminar moves on to explore the technological innovations of Spanish filmmaker Val de Omar and his non-narrative opposition to the hegemony of narrative cinema in Francoist Spain. Returning to Latin America, we review the Brazilian udigrudi (underground) movement and the work of Ze Mojica (Coffin Joe) and the challenge to the ideas of Cinema Novo in Brazil. Moving back to Spain, the seminar looks at the metacinematic work Arrebato (1980) by Iván Zulueta and its break from politically engaged New Spanish Cinema (NCE) that flourished in the final years of Franco’s dictatorship. We will review how the Ukamau Group and the narrative elements in Bolivian Filmmaker Jorge Sanjinés’s Yawar Mallku (Blood of the Condor) stand in opposition to the documentary imperative promoted by New Latin American filmmakers such as Carlos Álvarez, Fernando Birri, Octavio Getino, and Fernando Solanas. In the wake of the Tlatelolco crisis in Mexico, we explore the rise of provocative filmmakers such as Rafael Corkidi, Alejandro Jodorowsky, and Juan Moctezuma who provide a paracinematic alternative to the state sponsored New Mexican Cinema of Casals, Ripstein, and Hermosillo. Returning to the Iberian Peninsula, the seminar evaluates the Barcelona School and the works of Pere Portabella and Jacinto Esteva including Esteva’s manifesto film Dante no es unicamente severo (1967). We end the seminar by exploring the rise of narcocinema in Mexico in relation to the longstanding Mexican genre of border cinema. The course is taught in English and students from Cinema Studies and Comparative Literature are welcome. A reading knowledge of Spanish is helpful, but not absolutely necessary
CINE 695.401 - The Return of the Commons: Neoliberal Crisis, Public Sphere, and Cultural Practices in Contemporary Spain
R 2-5pm | FBH 139
This seminar will explore the growing democratization of the production of social discourse in contemporary Spain. In parallel with the global “digital revolution,” Spain has experimented in last decades the rise of “participative cultures” that are displacing the traditionally assumed passivity of mass-consumers, as well as the preeminence of the figures of the author and the intellectual as creators of social discourse. The battle for access, information, and freedom in the Internet is at the epicenter of the configuration of a new social sphere; one that is not exactly public, nor private, and that some have already called “the new digital Commons.” In a sort of postmodern reenactment of the “enclosures” of common land that saw the birth of agro-capitalism, the neoliberal regulations of the Internet are trying to impose a sense of scarcity and competition that clashes with the widespread experience of immaterial goods as a collaborative and infinitively reproducible flow. This seminar will study literary, audiovisual, and performative cultural practices that are at the crossroads of these tensions and debates in contemporary Spain.
FNAR 669.201 - Graduate Video Studio
MW 9am-12pm | ADDM 207
Through a series of studio projects, this course focuses on the conceptualization and production of time-based works of art. A seminar component of the course reviews contemporary examples of media based art and film. A studio component of the course introduces production techniques including lighting, cinematography, audio, editing, mastering projects, and installing audio-visual works in site-specific locations or gallery spaces.