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FILM 241

Topics in Film Cultures and Traditions

(may be cross-listed with ENG 255 or M L 164) This course offers intensive examination of specific issues in film cultures and traditions, often those at the center of current critical interest. Topics for this course are conceived broadly to encompass studies of national cinemas, specific directors, filmmaking practices, and specific genres. May be repeated for credit with a different topic.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
Arts and Humanities 1 course

Fall Semester information

Cheira Belguellaoui

241B: Tps: Contemporary Women Filmmakers in France

A broad introduction to the works of contemporary French women directors (both established and emerging) through the lens of feminist film theory. Please note that all films are subtitled.

Istvan Csicsery-Ronay

241C: Tps Film Cultures & Trad: Visual and Digital Narratives

Ronald Dye

241D: Tps Film Cultures & Trad: The Musical Quest on Film

Karin Wimbley

241F: Tps: New York Auteurs: Martin Scorcese and Spike Lee

Martin Scorsese and Spike Lee are both life-long New Yorkers, born and raised. Moreover, New York City often plays a title role in each director's aesthetic praxis and cinematic vision. Through the lens of auteur theory, this W-course examines the cinema of Martin Scorsese and Spike Lee. What is distinct about each director's style of filmmaking? How do race, gender, and ethnicity inform their creative vision(s) and cinematic praxis? What are the similarities and differences between their respective renderings of national belonging? Films we will explore include Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Age of Innocence, She's Gotta Have It, Inside Man, and Do the Right Thing, to name a few.

Spring Semester information

Su Jung Kim

241A: Tps:Religion and Film:Buddhism

Andra Alvis

241B: Tps:Japanese Horror Films: The Classics

Ghosts and demons and psychopaths--Oh my! Welcome to the world of classic Japanese horror... Each unit of the course focuses in depth on 1-2 seminal Japanese horror films from the last 60 years, films ranging from the cult classic Godzilla to the art house classic Onibaba. Taking these extraordinary and enjoyable films as our focus, we'll delve into crucial issues for the history, conventions, and production of Japanese horror cinema: for example, "Where did the ghosts typical of J-Horror originate?" and "How did WW II affect representations of demons, hell and insanity?" At the same time, however, we won't neglect to explore the many intriguingly quirky byways of horror film in Japan. (Think: "What special effects technology works best when creating a 100-year-old-umbrella monster?")

Class work will involve: 1) regular quizzes on films/readings; 2) a midterm; and 3) your final group projects--a 2-3 minute Japanese-style horror video.

Angela Flury

241C: Tps:Reading Literature: Visual and Digital Narratives

Sherry Mou

241D: Tps:China On Screen:From Confucius to Kung-fu

What does kung-fu mean? Did Confucius know kung-fu? How is gun-fu related to kung-fu? Through close examination, reading, and analysis of thirteen Chinese films and an assortment of readings on Confucianism and Taoism, we will investigate the world of Chinese knight-errantry. We will look at the philosophical orientations, world views, aesthetic features, and cultural motivations that produced what is broadly known as the kung-fu film genre, which for more than half a century has captured the imagination and interest of many Chinese and Western audiences. These films show how the rituals, spectacle, moral values, and social practices fostered in traditional theatre and in real life are re-presented on screen. We will trace the origins of important cultural traditions and ideas embedded in the kung-fu films, look at how they transform into action movies, and explore how the original ideas associated with knight-errantry are presented through various cultural signs, symbols, language, and codes of behavior.

Fall Semester information

Karin Wimbley

241B: Tps Film Cultures & Trad: African American Film

Reading African American cinema as a pivotal archive in African American cultural production, this course explores the diverse black aesthetic traditions that African American film has and continues to develop, explore, and shape. Specifically, we will track how African American films produced, written, and/or directed by African Americans are situated in larger debates about the politics of race and representation. Beginning with African American modernism and black cultural politics, we will look at the emergence of African American cinema in the 1910s through to the early 21st century. Films we will investigate include works by Oscar Micheaux, Mario van Peebles, Charles Burnett, Spike Lee, Cheryl Dunye, , and Julie Dash, to name a few.

Cheira Belguellaoui

241C: Tps:Intro to World Cinema

This introductory film course is a survey of contemporary and most influential films from Asia, Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, and South America. Students will be exposed to a diverse array of culturally distinct and unique aesthetic expressions and will be encouraged to engage perspective(s) apart from their own while discussing topics including, but not limited to, race, gender, ethnicity, religion, class, and sexual orientation.