Spring Quarter

Dept Course No and Title Instructor
Introduces the language and techniques of visual and film analysis.
Teaches students to analyze the moving image; emphasizes framing, camera movement, and sound; and conveys how editing produces meaning, reproduces historical ideologies, fosters or disrupts narrative, and cues spectators.
Prerequisite: Satisfaction of the UC Entry Level Writing requirement.
This introduction to digital culture examines ways of thinking about, and with, new media, and so continues the 85 series on film and media studies into the 21st century. We now live in a world of gadgets and multimedia, networked gaming and surveillance, file sharing and citizen journalism. In digital culture, we witness not only a new storage paradigm, but a transition to interactivity, to proliferating screens of all sizes, to new systems of circulation and transmission - including computers, streaming servers servers, and handheld devices. This course will examine how digital technologies alter our notions of presence and the real, transform our experience of language and reality, space and time, publicity and privacy, memory and knowledge, and produce new configurations of information and entertainment.
This course is the second in a three-part introduction to the history of cinema. This quarter, we will in the late 1920s, when the Hollywood studios initiated the transition to sound film, and conclude with the emergence of the French New Wave in the 1950s and 1960s. We will focus on canonical films that have influenced film aesthetics around the world, and we will examine the development of local film cultures. In the process, we will consider how film is shaped by its cultural context, historical events, technology, and industrial factors have shaped film practice.
This course provides an opportunity for students to research digital objects, infrastructures, and interactions using qualitative cross-disciplinary methods. Students will become familiar with and engage with the interdisciplinary field of New Media studies, particularly in regard to how scholars construct research questions and formulate a plan for analysis.
This course is built on the premise that critical analysis of visual effects – which have become ubiquitous and naturalized in contemporary Hollywood and independent cinema – is a key component of digital visual literacy in general and film and media theory in particular. The class explores the following issues: perceptual realism and depth; acting and performance in digital cinema; posthuman intimacy and digital doubles; and the challenges faced by the VFX industry and VFX artists.This class familiarizes students with critical approaches to digital visual effects in cinema. Students will learn to recognize and analyze contemporary visual effects as well as historical alternatives to this norm, such as practical special effects.
Theories of Media Industry and Technology
This course will consider how media scholars have theorized the industry and technology of the media. In this class, we will be approaching theory as a tool for analysis and for thinking: a way to make sense of complex social relations and embedded ideologies. Theories of technology and industry ask us to think about the apparatus and structures that produces the media texts that we consume. The readings for this class introduce a range of approaches, but the assigned reading is just the beginning of a wide world of thinking about media industries and technology.
In this course we will examine the Hollywood films of the 1940s and 1950s that have come to be identified as film noir. We will begin by identifying the films’ common characteristics as we trace the history of the idea of noir. It wasn’t until the mid 1950s—when French film critics began to identify a shared sensibility in the melodramas and crime thrillers coming out of Hollywood—that films ranging from The Maltese Falcon  and The Big Sleep to Mildred Pierce were collectively labeled “noir” for their expressionist cinematography and bleak narratives. We will explore the films and fiction that helped shape noir aesthetics and we will consider the cultural and industrial context that contributed to the films’ shared preoccupations with violence and sexual difference. Finally, we will examine the legacy of film noir in more recent neo-noir.
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 short essay responses to prompts that explore facets of the screenplay such as structure, character, and theme. The final grade is based on participation, attendance, discussion board posts, and a traditional feature-length screenplay project.

The prerequisites for this course is FLM&MDA 85A
This course introduces the fundamentals of film production using digital video. Assignments provide hands-on learning of the basic elements of filmmaking.  From cinematography, lighting, and sound, to writing a short script and editing with Adobe Premiere Pro, this class takes students through the production process, culminating in the completion of a 3 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.
This advanced production workshop is designed to develop your creative vision and your ability to apply the technical skills necessary to realizing your vision.  Emphasis is placed on thorough pre-production, organized production shoots and work-in-progress screenings.  Class is structured as a workshop.  It is designed to deepen your experience as a filmmaker, from discussing script ideas, shot lists and storyboards, to work-shopping scenes and work-in-progress screenings.  By the end of the quarter, you will have completed an 8-12 minute polished short digital film with multiple sound tracks and titles.  University-owned equipment and are financially responsible for the University equipment on loan to them.

The prerequisite for this course is FLM&MDA 120B
This course examines the intersection of race, sports, and media in everyday U.S. popular culture (film, TV, advertising, social media, gaming) and political culture. We will analyze historic and contemporary debates at this intersection, with particular focus on African American representation and U.S. ideology regarding race, gender, nation, celebrity and capital in the “mass” media era. Attention to current debates (e.g., the “politics” of sports celebrity and activism; the concept of “colorblindness” and the “post-racial” in sports; the semiotics of race in sports’ commodification and marketing; sports league’s corporate social responsibility “activism”;  and broader debates regarding race, gender, self-expression, sexuality, and violence in sports will be contextualized and studied through scholarly theories of race and media representation and analysis that encourage us to think about U.S. media as sites of struggle over what constitutes citizenship, local and national identity, and what it has meant to “be American” in post-World War II U.S. culture. That is, we will investigate the ways in which debates or controversies at the intersection of “race/sports/media” have most often been struggles over what it means to be a “representative” American citizen. Required course work will involve extensive readings, active participation in class, discussion board posts, screenings, essay and exam writing, and student presentations.
This course will explore the histories and theories of a socially engaged cinematic practice by examining a range of films whose aesthetic, thematic, and commercial imperatives were deeply informed by the social, historical and institutional forces that made radical cinema a necessity. From documentary to experimental and avante-garde films, as well as to the cinemas of liberation and decolonization, this course will probe not only the role of cinema within social movements, but also how the very idea of the ‘political’ can be imagined within cinema.
This course focuses upon three forms of critical writing: the “hot take,” the review as popular media criticism and the academic/scholarly essay. Each offers interesting perspectives on critical writing on film and media and provide different tools for edifying, persuading and provoking the reader. By analyzing and writing each of these forms, students will hone their critical reading and writing skills for multiple audiences.
This class will focus on writing about travel and tourism experiences as they are depicted in film and other audiovisual media. By constructing visions of destinations, and the journeys to and from them, media-makers play a powerful role in creating cinematic “elsewheres.” We will take a multi-media approach, considering feature films, documentaries, social media travelogues, and video games that simulate travel experiences. As we explore cinematic journeys and the “tourist’s gaze” in our reading, viewing, and writing, this course can help us reflect on the significance of travel and tourism experiences as mediated, virtual experiences.
139W- Decolonial Sensorium
Can we listen to images, or touch the sounds? In this course, we will explore the political potentialities of the senses. We will focus on practices and theories that address our bodily senses as political tools for decolonization: a “decolonial sensorium." We will study works in different media, bridging geographies and histories, from Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Some of the fundamental questions that the course addresses are: is it possible to counter the rationality of power—white, national, patriarchal—without countering the established rationality of the filmic medium? How can cinema go beyond visuality in order to imagine a different world?  Using our senses to watch, read, and write, we will consider how different histories of coloniality call for different aesthetic strategies, looking at how artists and activists have imagined alternative modes of sensorial engagement with the world and its order.
The course will introduce key moments of experimental avant-garde filmic practices in Japan, from the silent era to nowadays. As a politically charged term, we will also reconsider what “avant-garde” means, looking into the different projects, circuits, and political goals that usually go under the category of Japanese avant-garde, with its transnational dialogues and global awareness. From leftist documentary collectives in prewar Japan, intermedial practices bridging film and other media in the postwar, to high-profile “art cinema” and political video art that circulate in international venues in the recent decades, we will look into a broad scope of works that allow us to rethink the role of aesthetic form crossing borders between media, aesthetics, and politics.
What is the “War on Terror”? To a generation born around the turn of the century who have no memory of 9/11, the “War on Terror” is a normalized condition that in many ways goes unquestioned. To older generations, the "War on Terror" is either a fundamental break with previous historical moments or a logical extension of them. Through popular culture and theory, this course will explore the “War on Terror” as both a cultural object and an ideological formation that has material and aesthetic dimensions. Using film, documentary, visual art, and music, this course will explore the varying dimensions of the “War on Terror,” probing questions of genre, national identity, security, war, gender, citizenship, and memory, amongst others.
This course will examine the proliferation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) programming following the popularization of cable television in the 1980s. We will consider how emerging technology allowed for activist contingents and queer “counter-publics” to explore facets of marginalized identity and pursue community politics through the medium of TV. At the same time, our discussions will interrogate ways that cable developed as a privatized and restrictive realm for the consolidation of corporate interests and fragmentation of audiences along the lines of “marketing demographics.” The class explores the complex and contradictory interplay between how cable executives, television creative talent, viewers/audiences/fans, and members of the press have negotiated LGBTQ+ representations/subjectivities across a diverse selection of targeted cable outlets and shows.
The movies have always had color. The desire to see the world reproduced in the full spectrum has existed since the first bits of celluloid moved through a projector. Color, like sound, is a key aspect of moving image media that is often taken for granted and seldom given its due in histories but for moments of rupture. This course will explore the history, theory, and aesthetics of filmed color, from the earliest days of tinting and toning to the digital color grading that has become standard in the last two decades. This class will look at the history of the desire to recreate the world in full color and the many theories that have been generated by technicians, filmmakers, and scholars alike. Screenings will include films such as The Phantom of the Opera, Black Narcissus, Leave Her to Heaven, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, Daughters of the Dust, Fallen Angels, and Pleasantville among others.
The purpose of this course is to provide a nuanced examination of televised contemporary US Stand Up Comedy, its functions as cultural, industrial & commercial product and how these varied comic voices speak to notions of citizenship, identities and performance in American Popular Culture. By examining how their comic discourse respond to changes in social and political sensibilities in our current socio-historical moment, we will tease out why Stand Up comedy, perhaps more than any other example of the genre, can get people to engage (and to think about) a variety of human experiences—often in spite of themselves.
Students will explore the ethos & legacy of the famed LA Rebellion history and their films known for engaging communities in their storytelling. The texts for this course will cover the history of the movement and will be accompanied by screenings followed by Q&A sessions with guest filmmakers.  This course will also introduce students to filmmaking practices in which film, video, and photo archives are utilized for research and/or to secure visual elements to incorporate in documentary filmmaking.

The prerequisites for this course is FLM&MDA 85A