History and Theory of Film


Early Film

January

Week 1        
Introduction
10
Introduction to course, policies, etc.


Week 2
Introduction to Silent Film
15
Reading: Wexman, Chapter 1

In-class Screening: Selection of shorts by Lumière brothers, George Méliès, and Edison


17
Reading: Wexman, Chapter 2

In-class Screening: Porter, Griffith, and Chaplin


Week 3
Russian Formalism and Film Form
22
Readings: Wexman, Chapter 4

Screenings: October (Eisenstein, 1927)


24
Discussion of October and "montage"

QUIZ #1


Week 4
Early German Cinema
29
Readings: Wexman, Chapter 3

Screening: M (Lang, 1931)


31
Discussion of M and cinematic language


February

Week 5 Classical Hollywood
5
Readings: Wexman, Chapter 7

Screenings: The Little Foxes, (Wyler, 1941)


7
Discussion of The Little Foxes and "realism"

Recommended Reading: Arnheim, "Film and Reality" (WebCT)


Week 6
British Documentary Tradition
12
Reading: Wexman, Chapter 9

Screening: Listen to Britain (Jennings, 1942)


14
Discuss Listen to Britain and "social realism"
   
QUIZ #2



Post-War Changes and New Film Movements

Week 7
The Studio System and Transition
19
Reading: Wexman, Chapter 10

Screening: The Searchers (Ford, 1956)

Short Essay #1 DUE


21
Discussion of The Searchers and "auteurs"

Recommended Reading: Sarris, "Notes on the Auteur Theory" (WebCT)


Week 8  

26
MIDTERM EXAM


28
Spectatorship and the Cinema

In-class Screening: Peeping Tom (Powell, 1960)

Recommended Reading: Mulvey, "Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema" (WebCT)
March      

Week 9
The French New Wave
4
Readings: Wexman, Chapter 12

Screening: Les Quatre Cents Coup [400 Blows] (Truffaut, 1959)

3rd = LAST DAY to withdraw with grade of W


6
Discuss Les Quatre Cents Coup and the "jump cut"


Week 10
Post-Colonial and Third Cinema
11                
Reading: Wexman, Chapter 22

Screening: La Battaglia di Algeri (Pontecorvo, 1965)


13
Discuss La Battaglia di Algeri and "post-colonialism"


March 15-22
Spring Break - No classes


Week 11
New American Cinema, Ideology, and Auteurs

 25

Reading: Wexman, Chapter 17


Screening: Badlands (Malick, 1973)


27
Discuss Badlands and "independent" visions

QUIZ #3



New Hollywood, Global Cinemas, and Others

April

Week 12
New Hollywood and the Blockbuster Industry
1
Reading: Wexman, Chapter 20 (to p. 388)

Screening: Jaws (Spielberg, 1975)


3
Discuss Jaws and industrial changes

Recommended Readings: Lewis, "Money Matters" (WebCT)


Week 13
New Woman's Film and Independent Voices
8
Reading: Wexman, Chapter 20 (p.388-405)

Screening: Orlando (Potter, 1992)


10
Discuss Orlando and "performance" of gender

Recommended Reading: Mellencamp, "Haunted History" (WebCT)


Week 14
Three Chinas and Other National Cinemas
15
Reading: Wexman, Chapter  21

Screening: Chungking Express  (Wong Kar-Wai, 1994)


17
Discuss Chungking Express and "postmodernism"

QUIZ #4


Week 15
Digital Film and Video
22
Reading: Wexman, Chapter 23

Screening: Time Code  (Figgis, 1999)


24
Discuss Time Code and digital Hollywood


Week 16

29
Last Day of Classes 

Short Essay #2 DUE
May

6
FINAL EXAM from 11-1 pm