FLMS1100 – Introduction to Film, Semester 1

letterhead

 

The-Godfather-007

FLMS1100: Introduction to Film, Semester 1 

Fridays, 14:15 – 17:15

EE 2010 (Screenings, Lectures, Seminars)

Dr. Mikel J. Koven

m.koven@worc.ac.uk

 

Please note: this is the Semester 1 only handbook. Semester 2 handbook will be available by the calendar year-end.

This module develops the student’s cineliteracy – not just our familiarity with different kinds of cinema, but understanding its component parts as a wealth of cultural expression and meaningful interpretation. Through this module, we shall be exploring aspects of formal and historical films from around the world. In addition, this module seeks to breakdown the formal elements of film (mise-en-scene, cinematography, editing & sound), and in trying to recreate those elements, have a more nuanced understanding of filmic construction, and therefore a better critical perspective at the movies.

Learning Outcomes:

On successful completion of the module, students should be able to:

  1. Identify, through textual analysis, the basic aspects of film production and analysis
  2. Examine a sequence from a film in order to understand how the basic aspects of film work together
  3. Identify key approaches to the study of film
  4. Describe the processes of academic scholarship (at a rudimentary level), from research through to essay writing, including issues of citation and plagiarism

 

Attendance Policy:

 It is expected that you will attend all taught sessions, in the same way that attendance is expected in the workplace. Indeed, regular attendance has a significant impact on student engagement, understanding and successful completion of University courses. Furthermore, non-attendance will significantly affect your ability successfully to complete a module and may jeopardise your ability to undertake re-assessment in the event of failing a module.

It is your responsibility as a student, just as it would be if you were an employee, to ensure that you are punctual and that your attendance has been recorded on the register each week.

Should you, for some unavoidable reason, be unable to attend a scheduled session (for example if you are ill) then you must send an email to ihcastudentabsence@worc.ac.uk . Please include in your email your name and student number, the module code and name, the date of the missed session, and your reason for missing it. You should make sure that you copy the module tutor into the email and also contact your module tutor to make arrangements to catch up on any work you have missed.

Notification must be received within 6 days of the date of the missed session.

Alternatively, you can inform IHCA of your absence via the telephone. Please ring 01905 542015 (Shirley Adams) with the required details.

Students with two or more unexplained absences may be required to attend a tutorial/ interview with the module leader, course leader or head of division to discuss their progress.

 

Learning Contract:

On this module you are expected to be courteous and attentive to your fellow classmates and to the module tutor. You are also expected to undertake the required reading each week and to view the film or films under question. Failure to do either of these things will severely impede your success on the module.

The use of mobile phones will not be tolerated in classes, lectures or screenings. Please turn off all phones before the lesson starts.

Please feel free to email me (m.koven@worc.ac.uk) with any queries you have regarding the module, I will try to reply within 3 working days. My office hours will be posted on the door of my office (BB 133), however I am always open to seeing students at other times if you make an appointment.   

 

Books

The Resource List for this module can be found by following this link.

Semester 1 books will be from the following books:

Bordwell, David & Thompson, K. 2008. Film Art: An Introduction Eighth Edition. London, McGraw Hill.
Corrigan, Timothy. 2012. A Short Guide to Writing About Film Eighth Edition. London, Pearson.
Geiger, J. & R. L. Rutsky (eds). 2013. Film Analysis: A Norton Reader. Second Edition. London, W. W. Norton & Sons.
Thompson, K & D. Bordwell. 2003. Film History: An Introduction. Second Edition. London, McGraw Hill.

 

Useful reference books to have:

Cook, P. 2007. The Cinema Book 3rd Edition. London: BFI
Hayward, Susan. 2006. Cinema Studies: The Key Concepts. Third Edition. London: Routledge.
Mckee, Alan. 2003. Textual Analysis: A Beginner’s Guide. Sage.

Film List (subject to change)

Semester 1 films will be screened in class; however, due to their length, two three of the films will be required as homework. However, and beyond that, those of you interested in acquiring the films themselves on DVD or Blu-ray are encouraged to do so. Having a copy of the film will prove exceptionally helpful when you are trying to write an essay on that film.

The film we will be studying are:

Battleship Potemkin (SU, Sergei Eisenstein, 1925)
Blade Runner (US, Ridley Scott, 1982)
Blue Velvet (US, David Lynch, 1986)
*The Godfather (US, Francis Ford Coppola, 1972)
La Grande Illusion (FR, Jean Renoir, 1937)
*Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 (US, James Gunn, 2017)
Modern Times (US, Charles Chaplin, 1936)
Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens (DE, FW Murnau, 1922)
*The Shining (US/UK, Stanley Kubrick, 1980)
The Third Man (US/UK, Carol Reed, 1949)

*Films to be viewed in preparation for the class (i.e. as homework).

 

Semester 1 Schedule

 

1 29-Sep Why Study Film?
2 06-Oct Film Analysis
Film Blue Velvet (US, David Lynch, 1986)
Required Reading Geiger, J. & R. L. Rutsky. 2013. Film Analysis: Approaches & Strategies. In Geiger & Rutsky (eds). Film Analysis: A Norton Reader. Second Edition. London, W. W. Norton & Sons, pp. 1014-1061.
Suggested Reading & Viewings Atkinson, Michael. 1997. Blue Velvet. London: BFI.

Chion, Michel. 2005. David Lynch 2nd Edition. London: BFI.

Lynch, David and Chris Rodley. 2005. Lynch on Lynch. London: Farber & Farber.

McGowan, Todd. 2007. The Impossible David Lynch. New York, NY: Columbia University Press.

Nieland, Justus. 2012. David Lynch.  Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press.

Sheen, Erica. 2004. The Cinema of David Lynch: American Dreams, Nightmare Visions. London: Wallflower.

Todd, Antony. 2012. Authorship and the Films of David Lynch: Aesthetic Receptions in Contemporary Hollywood. London: I. B. Tauris.

 

All About My Mother (ES, Pedro Almodóvar, 1999)

Citizen Kane (US, Orson Welles, 1941)

Rashomon (JP, Akira Kurosawa, 1950)

3 13-Oct In-Class Analysis
Film TBC
Required Reading Corrigan, T.J. 2007. Beginning to Think, Preparing to Watch, And Starting to Write. In A Short Guide to Writing to Writing About Film. London, Pearson Longman, pp.18-35.
Suggested Reading Mckee, Alan. 2003. Textual Analysis: A Beginner’s Guide. Sage.

 

4 20-Oct Mise-en-Scene
Film The Godfather (US, Francis Ford Coppola, 1972)
Required Reading Bordwell, D. & Thompson, K. 2008. The Shot: Mise-en-Scene. In: Film Art: An Introduction Eighth Edition. London, McGraw Hill, pp. 112-161
  Lewis, J. 2013. The Godfather. In Geiger & Rutsky (eds). Film Analysis: A Norton Reader. Second Edition. London, W. W. Norton & Sons, pp. 670-691.
Suggested Reading & Viewing Bordwell, David. 1985. Widescreen Aesthetics and Mise en Scene Criticism. Velvet Light Trap 21: 18-25.

Bruzzi, Stella. 2013. Men’s Cinema: Masculinity and Mise-en-scene in Hollywood. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Gibbs, John. 2002. Mise-en-Scene: Film Style and Interpretation. London: Wallflower.

Larke-Walsh, George S. 2010. Screening the Mafia. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Co.

Lewis, Jon. 2010. The Godfather. London: BFI.

Martin, Adrian. 2014. Mise en Scene and Film Style: Film Classical Hollywood to New Media Art. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

 

La passion de Jeanne d’Arc/The Passion of Joan of Arc (FR, Carl Th. Dreyer, 1928)

The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T (US, Roy Rowland, 1953)

Tale of Tales (IT/FR, Matteo Garrone, 2015)

 

 

5 27-Oct German Expressionism
Film Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens (DE, FW Murnau, 1922)
Required Reading Thompson, K. & D. Bordwell 2003. Germany in the 1920s. In Film History: An Introduction. Second Edition. London, McGraw Hill, pp. 101-118.
Suggested Reading & Viewing Coates, Paul. 1991. The Gorgon’s Gaze: German Cinema, Expressionism, and the Image of Horror. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Cooke, Paul. 2002. German Expressionist Films. Harpenden: Pocket Essentials.

Eisner, Lotte E. 2008. The Haunted Screen: Expressionism in the German Cinema and the Influence of Max Reinhardt. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

Kracauer, Siegfried. 2004. From Caligari to Hitler: A Psychological History of the German Film. 2nd Revised Edition. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Massaccesi, Cristina. 2016. Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror. Leighton Buzzard: Auteur.

Prawer, S. S. 2004. Nosferatu: Phantom Der Nacht. London: BFI.

Roberts, Ian. 2008. German Expressionist Cinema: The World of Light and Shadow. London: Wallflower.

 

Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari/ The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (DE, Robert Wiene, 1920)

Faust (DE, F. W. Murnau, 1926)

Metropolis (DE, Fritz Lang, 1927)

6 Worcester Week – no screening or lecture
7 10-Nov Cinematography
Film The Third Man (US/UK, Carol Reed, 1949)
Required Reading Bordwell, D. & Thompson, K. 2008. The Shot: Cinematography. In: Film Art: An Introduction Eighth Edition. London, McGraw Hill, pp. 162-217
Suggested Reading & Viewing Alton, John. 1995. Painting with Light. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

Drazin, Charles. 2000. In Search of the Third Man. Corsham: Methuen.

Hall, Brian. 2015. Understanding Cinematography. Marlborough: The Crowood Press.

Keating, Patrick. 2015. Cinematography: A Modern History of Filmmaking. London: I. B. Tauris.

White, Rob. 2003. The Third Man. London: BFI.

 

 

Le Fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain/Amélie (FR, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, 2001)

In the Mood for Love (HK, Kar-Wai Wong, 2000)

A Quiet Passion (UK/BE, Terence Davies, 2016)

8 17-Nov French Poetic Realism
Film La Grande Illusion (FR, Jean Renoir, 1937)
Required Reading Thompson, K. & D. Bordwell 2003. France: Poetic Realism, the Popular Front, and the Occupation, 1930-1945. In Film History: An Introduction. Second Edition. London, McGraw Hill, pp. 284-301.
Suggested Reading & Viewing Crisp, C. 2002. Genre, Myth and Convention in the French Cinema, 1929-1939. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

Fournier Lanzoni, Rémi. 2015. French Cinema: From Its Beginnings to the Present. Oxford: Bloomsbury.

Jackson, Julian. 2009. La Grande Illusion. London: BFI.

O’Shaughnessy, Martin. 2000. Jean Renoir. Manchester: Manchester University Press.

Phillips, Alastair and Ginette Vincendeau (eds.) 2013. A Companion to Jean Renoir. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.

Temple, Michael and Michael Witt (eds.). 2008. The French Cinema Book. London: BFI.

 

Pépé le Moko (FR, Julien Duvivier, 1937)

Le quai des brumes/Port of Shadows (FR, Marcel Carné, 1938)

La règle du jeu/The Rules of the Game (FR, Jean Renoir, 1939)

9 24-Nov Editing
Film The Shining (US/UK, Stanley Kubrick, 1980)
Required Reading Bordwell, D. & Thompson, K. 2008. The Relation of Shot to Shot: Editing. In: Film Art: An Introduction Eighth Edition. London, McGraw Hill, pp. 218-263
Suggested Reading & Viewing Bordwell, David, Janet Staiger and Kristen Thompson. 1988. The Classical Hollywood Cinema: Film Style and Mode of Production to 1960. London: Routledge.

Dymtryk, Edward. 1984. On Film Editing. Waltham, MA: Focal Press.

Fairservice, Don. 2002. Film Editing: History, Theory and Practice. Manchester: Manchester University Press.

Luckhurst, Roger. 2013. The Shining. London: BFI

Mee, Laura. 2017. The Shining. Leighton Buzzard: Auteur.

Murch, Walter. 2001. In the Blink of an Eye: A Perspective on Film Editing. West Hollywood, CA: Silman-James Press.

Orpen, Valerie. 2003. Film Editing: The Art of the Expressive. London: Wallflower.

 

The Birth of a Nation (US, D. W. Griffith, 1915)

Enter the Ninja (US, Menahem Golan, 1981)

Malcolm X (US, Spike Lee, 1992)

10 01-Dec Soviet Montage
Film Battleship Potemkin (SU, Sergei Eisenstein, 1925)
Required Reading Thompson, K. & D. Bordwell 2003. Soviet Cinema in the 1920s. In Film History: An Introduction. Second Edition. London, McGraw Hill, pp. 119-141.
Suggested Reading & Viewing Bordwell, David. 2005. The Cinema of Eisenstein. London: Routledge.

Eisenstein, Sergei. 1969. Film Form. San Diego, CA: Harcourt.

Eisenstein, S. 1992. The Cinematographic Principle and the Ideogram and A Dialectic Approach to Film Form. In G. Mast, M. Cohen and L. Braudy (eds), Film Theory and Criticism: Introductory Readings 4th Edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 127-155.

Gillespie, David. 2001. Early Soviet Cinema: Innovation, Ideology and Propaganda. London: Wallflower.

Kenez, Peter. 2000. Cinema and Soviet Society: From the Revolution to the Death of Stalin. London: I. B. Tauris.

Leyda, Jay. 1983. Kino: A History of the Russian and Soviet Film. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Marshall, Herbert. 2015. Masters of the Soviet Cinema. London: Routledge.

Taylor, Richard. 2001. The Battleship Potemkin. London: I. B. Tauris.

Taylor, Richard (ed.) 1998. The Eisenstein Reader. London: BFI

 

Mat/Mother (SU, Vsevolod Pudovkin, 1926)

Oktyabr/October (Ten Days that Shook the World) (SU, Sergei Eisenstein, 1928)

Stachka/Strike (SU, Sergei Eisenstein, 1925)

11 08-Dec Sound
Film Modern Times (US, Charles Chaplin, 1936)
Required Reading Bordwell, D. & Thompson, K. 2008. Sound in the Cinema. In: Film Art: An Introduction Eighth Edition. London, McGraw Hill, pp. 264-303
  Maitland, Charles 2013. Modern Times. In Geiger & Rutsky (eds). Film Analysis: A Norton Reader. Second Edition. London, W. W. Norton & Sons, pp. 218-239.
Suggested Reading & Viewings Altman, Rick. 1992. Sound Theory, Sound Practice. New York: Routledge.

Crafton, Donald. 1999. The Talkies: American Cinema’s Transition to Sound, 1926 – 1931.

Evans, Mark and Philip Hayward (eds.). 2016. Sounding Funny: Sounthe tald and Comedy Cinema. Sheffield: Equinox Publishing.

Hanson, Helen. 2017. Hollywood Soundscapes: Film Sound Style, Craft and Production in the Classical Era. London: BFI.

Hayward, Philip. 2009. Terror Tracks: Music, Sound and Horror Cinema. Sheffield: Equinox Publishing.

Kalinak, Kathryn 2015. Sound: Dialogue, Music and Effects. London: I. B. Tauris.

Lastra, James. 2000. Sound Technology and the American Cinema: Perception, Representation, Modernity. New York, NY: Columbia University Press.

 

Berberian Sound Studio (UK, Peter Strickland, 2012)

Blow Out (US, Brian De Palma, 1981)

Nashville (US, Robert Altman, 1975)

12 15-Dec Soundtrack
Film Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 (US, James Gunn, 2017)
Required Reading To be confirmed
  Suggested Reading & Viewing Kartkowiak, Matthew J. 2015. The Music of Counterculture Cinema: A Critical Study of 1960s and 1970s Soundtracks. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Co.

Dickinson, Kay (ed.) 2002. Movie Music: The Film Reader. London: Routledge.

Donnelly, Kevin (ed.) 2001. Film Music: Critical Approaches. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Kalinak, Kathryn. 2010. Film Music: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Knight, Arthur and Pamela Robertson Wojcik (eds.). 2001. Soundtrack Available: Essays on Film and Popular Music. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Reay, Pauline. 2004. Music in Film: Soundtracks and Synergy. London: Wallflower.

Slobin, Mark. 2008. Global Soundtracks: Worlds of Film Music. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press.

Walker, Elsie. 2015. Understanding Sound Tracks through Film Theory. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

 

American Graffiti (US, George Lucas, 1973)

The Big Chill (US, Lawrence Kasdan, 1983)

Saturday Night Fever (US, John Badham, 1977)

 
  Christmas Break
13 12-Jan Film Style
Film Blade Runner (US, Ridley Scott, 1982)
Required Reading Bordwell, D. & Thompson, K. 2008. Style as a Formal System. In: Film Art: An Introduction Eighth Edition. London, McGraw Hill, pp. 304-316
  Suggested Reading & Viewing Bordwell, David. 1998. On the History of Film Style. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Brooker, Will. 2006. The Blade Runner Experience: The Legacy of a Science Fiction Classic. London: Wallflower.

Bukatman, Scott. 2012. Blade Runner. London: BFI

Coplan, Amy and David Davies (eds.) 2015. Blade Runner. London: Routledge.

Flisfeder, Matthew. 2017. Postmodern Theory and Blade Runner. London: Bloomsbury.

Gibbs, John and Doug Pye (eds.). 2011. Style and Meaning: Studies in the Detailed Analysis of Film. Manchester: Manchester University Press.

Hills, Matt and Sean Redmond. 2012. Blade Runner. London: Wallflower.

Salt, Barry. 2009. Film Style and Technology: History and Analysis. London: Starword Press.

 

Fah talai jone/Tears of the Black Tiger (TH, Wisit Sasanatieng, 2000)

Moonrise Kingdom (US, Wes Anderson, 2012)

Suspiria (IT, Dario Argento, 1977)

Assignments:

 Sequence Analysis

Taking a five-minute sequence from any film of your choice (other than one studied on the module), prepare a shot-by-shot analysis of that sequence, and write an essay discussing how mise-en-scene, cinematography, editing and sound work together, creating a meaningful unit in the film (i.e. reflect the overall theme of the film, or reflect a distinct style).

It is expected that, in addition to the analysis of the film, appropriate secondary source materials will also be used to bolster or otherwise support your analysis. The shot-by-shot breakdown should be included as an appendix to the essay, and does not get included in the word count.

Length: 1000-words

Due: 15 Jan, at 15:00

Weighting: 30%

 

Learning Log

This module is based on nine (9) units of work, consisting of two or three week sets. They are as follows: Film Analysis, Mise-en-scene, Cinematography, Editing, Sound, Style [in the first semester], New Waves, Neorealisms, and Auteurs [in the second semester]. For each unit, you will be expected to write a very short (250 word) summary of that unit with particular attention to the films studied.

These summaries will be submitted via Blackboard. Grading will be based on the quality of the work, with the final grade being an average of the nine. These will be due by the end of the week the unit concluded, at 17:00. Submissions after that cut off will not be marked.

Final Grade for the entire learning log will be calculated early in May.

Weighting: 30%

 

Research Essay

Details forthcoming in Semester 2. Don’t worry, the essay won’t be due until the end of the module in May.

1500-words

Weighting: 40%

For information regarding plagiarism, referencing, and general study skills please visit http://www.worc.ac.uk/studyskills

 

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