Fall Quarter

Dept Course No and Title Instructor
This course serves as an introduction to film analysis. This class fosters a critical awareness of how the language of film employs image and sound to produce meaning and elicit spectatorial response. Beginning with cinema's debts to series photography, the course concentrates on film form, teaching students to attentively analyze films in relation to mise-en-scène, cinematography, editing, sound, narrative, and meaning. Preparing students, especially film majors, for a deeper study of film, the course equips students with an analytical vocabulary for storyboard and scene analysis, as well as an understanding of key historical and critical concepts regarding film.
This course is the third in a three part series in film history. 101A and 101B focused on the historical evolution of cinematic practices, and on the convergence between the historical context and the motion picture industry. This course, 101C, is structured as a survey class in an attempt to introduce international film movements and styles between the end of the 1960s and the present. We will address viewings with the following questions in mind: How do these films contribute to various Histories of Cinema (eg., international film history, the history of national film movements, the history of film style, the history of film marketing, the history of technology)?, Through what cinematic means do these films depict historical periods, documentary, fiction, fictional documentaries?, In what ways do these films conform to and diverge from traditional US cinematic conventions, such as editing, lighting, mise-en-scene, characterization?, and What are the modes of narration employed in these films, what stories do they tell, and how do they tell them? Course requirements include prompt attendance and participation, assignments, midterm exam, final exam. The prerequsites for this course are FLM&MDA 85A and 101B.
This seminar is structured into three parts. The class begins with a historical and theoretical exploration of the links between mechanical clocks, railway travel and the cinema, closely considering films that attempt to synchronize the diegetic clock time of the narrative world with the extradiegetic time of the film viewer. The second section of the class examines medium-specific claims about temporality and indexicality in the transition from analog/photochemical/celluloid film to digital cinema. The third and final section of the syllabus builds on this materialist understanding of analog and digital cinema to consider issues of archival preservation and decay. Nostalgia for the so-called “death of (celluloid) cinema” is an undercurrent in many of the course readings. The class aims to develop the student's ability to analyze and articulate a historically-grounded, medium-specific theoretical argument about temporality in cinema. The prerequisites for this course are FLM&MDA 85A-B-C and one course from the FLM&MDA 101 series.
Film theorists have been at odds over the relationship between cinema and physical reality. Does film hold a special place in the arts because of its ability to record an indexical trace of the world? Or are the most cinematic of films those that use the tools of the medium—editing and cinematography, for example—to create entirely new worlds? Is the move screen more like a window to the world we live in or a frame around the self-contained worlds on the screen? Should we understand film and other moving-picture media as realist or formative? In this course, we will examine the history of these debates through close analysis of specific films. The prerequisites for this course are FLM&MDA 85A-B-C and one course from the FLM&MDA 101 series.
This course will introduce the formal features, thematic elements and historical development of the Western as a key American genre.  We will begin by reviewing its pre-cinematic sources, including Western photography and Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, then examine some classical examples that constitute the genre’s codes and conventions. Later, the course will focus on revisionist examples, including ‘spaghetti’ and ‘acid’ Westerns, among others. More broadly, we will examine the Western and representations of the American West for their cultural and mythical resonances. What does the ‘American West’ signify? How and why has it endured? Whose story does it tell? Toward this end, we will scrutinize the Western’s narratives of nation and region in relation to rits discourses of ace, class, gender, and sexuality. The prerequisite for this course is FLM&MDA 85A.
Students learn about "the world of the screenwriter" by reading and studying screenplays, and writing parts of them-including the beat outline, treatment and character biography. Assignments include reading, viewing and analyzing selected films; and writing papers that explore facets of the screenplay such as structure, character and theme. The final grade is based on participation/attendance, writing the set-up for an actual feature film and storyboarding a traditional 3-act screenplay. The prerequisite for this course is FLM&MDA 85A.
A beginning screenwriting class, in which the one-hour or half-hour television format will be used to explore character, storytelling, structure and scene development. In this lecture and screenwriting workshop series, we will study a critically acclaimed television series with a focus on the long narrative and episodic story structure. The series selection may vary from year to year. We will analyze the creative decisions, approaches and techniques of the writing team. Weekly writing exercises and in-class free-writes will culminate in students proposing a one-hour drama series treatment and the first act of the pilot. Course Requirements: Prompt attendance and participation at all classes; completion of all readings, weekly written responses, and screenwriting assignments. The prerequisite for this course is FLM&MDA 85B.
This course introduces the fundamentals of film production using digital video. It is designed for students who have little or no production experience. Assignments provide hands-on learning of the basic elements of production. From cinematography, lighting, and sound, to writing a short script and editing with Final Cut Pro, this class takes students through the production process, culminating in the completion of a 2 to 5 minute short digital film. Students enrolled in this class may use University owned equipment and are financially responsible for the University equipment on loan to them. The prerequisite for this course is FLM&MDA 85A.
Using history and theory, cinema and documentary, commercial and independent film, this course seeks to explore the brilliant complexity that constitutes the contours of Blackness as a site for collective identity, political empowerment, and radical consciousness. With Black visual representation and Black creative impulses from throughout the diaspora as our guide, this course will explore how cinema became a vehicle for situating a multiplicity of Black identities within a broad social, political and cultural field. This course is cross listed with African American Studies 113.
This class is designed to help you think and write about film. This quarter’s focus will be on examining the figure of the Muslim in popular culture, specifically film. We will examine the role that this figure plays in determining ideas about the “West,” race, gender and national identity. We will begin with early theoretical foundations about cinema, power and race and as the quarter progresses, explore various iterations and manifestations of the figure of the Muslim in cinema, looking closely at what “work” this figure does in shaping contemporary society. The prerequisites for this course are [FLM&MDA 85A or FLM&MDA 85B or FLM&MDA 85C] and satisfactory completion of the lower-division writing requirement.
This course seeks to provide opportunities for students to expand and sharpen their writing skills while exploring two related questions: 1) How are audiovisual essays different from written essays? 2) How do we define “truth” and what is “real” in film and media? What relationship do these questions have to the development of documentary, and to creative manipulations of film and media editing and uses of sound? This course will provide an intensive opportunity to view, think, and write thoughtfully about media practice and critical reception through an examination of the “essay film” or video or television news program as they have evolved for over a century in various cultural contexts, in the hands and through the eyes of talented mediamakers. Special attention will be given to the distinction between history and memory, to the reckoning with traumatic events, the launching of new cultural and social identities, and the bridging of individual with collective experience. Examples from the work of Chris Marker, Orson Welles, Agnès Varda, Karim Aïnouz, Sergei Eisenstein, Helena Solberg, Jean-Luc Godard, Tânia Cypriano, Alain Resnais, Trinh T. Minha, Benito Alazraki, Lourdes Portillo, Mona Hatoum, Michael Moore, and others will be contemplated. The prerequisites for this course are [FLM&MDA 85A or FLM&MDA 85B or FLM&MDA 85C] and satisfactory completion of the lower-division writing requirement.
Why should we read television critically? What distinguishes the study of TV from the study of other media, especially in a “post-broadcast,” streaming-content digital era? What are the “texts” of TV and why is understanding this important to understanding other contemporary media forms? What is television’s relation to its broader cultural context? This class introduces scholarly methods for analyzing popular, U.S. television and for thinking about how people have made sense of and used TV in their everyday lives. Upon completion of the course students will understand various theoretical and methodological approaches used in critical and cultural, humanistic studies of TV; they will understand the structure and practices of television as a communication medium, industry, and entertainment form; and, they will be able to apply various critical approaches in analysis of television programming, industrial strategies, and audience reception practices. The prerequisite for this course is FLM&MDA 85B.
This course will focus on how the podcast phenomenon for multiple voices in comedy and socio-political discourse. We will explore the comedy landscape in this Golden Age of Podcasting—from the very personal lessons on comedy and culture of landmark WTF with Marc Maron and the alternative (multicultural) millennial comedy showcase brought to you by 2 Dope Queens with Jessica Williams and Phoebe Robinson to the comedy true crime sensation, My Favorite Murder with Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark and the fiercely independent, irreverent and unapologetically Black comic commentary of The Black Guy Who Tips with Rod and Karen Morrow. From independently produced shows and independent podcast networks to transmedia programming and production, this new iteration of old media (namely radio) offers a multiplicity of offerings for just about every comic taste, cultural niche, special interest and place on the political spectrum. Podcasts offer spaces for comedians to establish or strengthen their personas and brands, to make sense of the current social and political climate, to explore specific cultural perspectives and/or special topics (from nerd culture to true crime). While podcasters are able to produce programming unfettered by FCC regulation, they are still dependent on advertising and/or varying degrees of network oversight, which can definitely impact their product. We examine how podcasting can be used a tool to get people to laugh and think critically about serious issues facing the nation in 2018. The prerequisite for this course is FLM&MDA 85A.
Pop lyrics are the poetry of the mediated world, telling our stories and telling us how to live these stories, how to process romance, personal crisis, war and disaster.  They often help us think through and call us to action about social and political events.  The course focuses on several key cultural moments from the pop era, including the rise of pop culture in the 1960s (especially Lennon and McCartney lyrics), auteur figures like Gil Scott-Heron, Leonard Cohen, and Nina Simone, and new social music today, particularly west coast rap.  The course includes poetry adapted into pop, such as Anne Sexton’s “Mercy Street,” lyrics that are transformed by new musical versions (for example, “Cry Me a River”), and song lyrics from the Caribbean, Algeria, Mexico, and France (in translation where needed) to ask what social and personal work they do.  Film lyrics studied could come from The Lion King, Straight Outta Compton, and Children of Men, among others. This course is cross-listed with COM LIT 160.
This course will explore the history of Hollywood cinematography. We will consider how aesthetic norms have evolved in relation to technological developments (deep focus, color, widescreen, digital), industrial practice (stardom and genre), and international film movements (German Expressionism, the French New Wave). We will examine interviews with influential cinematographers (Greg Toland, James Wong Howe, Ava Berkofsky) in order to understand how they perceived their own role in shaping Hollywood imagery. And we will explore the relationship between cinematography, race, and gender. The prerequisite for this course is FLM&MDA 85A.
This course is devoted to current topics in advanced film production. This quarter’s special topic is directing and producing the experimental narrative film. As film and video are collaborative media, students form production groups and ultimately produce final 6-10 minute film projects.

Course Requirements:
Prompt attendance and participation at all classes, completion of all readings and assigned films, messageboard writing assignments due every week at 12pm noon on the Friday before class, three assignments and three short papers, final digital film project due on the last day of class.

The prerequisite for this course is FLM&MDA 120A.
Intermediate screenwriting students are introduced to "development" through lecture, case studies, guest speakers and script analysis.  Students will study story structure and explore script evaluation through the practice of writing coverage and story notes for screenplays for television and film.  Each student will develop their own 30-minute comedic series idea and prepare preliminary materials for their "pitch".  This project culminates with an in-class "pitch festival" with invited guest judges.  This course includes a field trip to ABC Disney where we will learn more about the entities that shape the overall development process. The prerequisite for this course is FLM&MDA 117A or FLM&MDA 118A.