FLMS2010: Film Genre Study

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dracula-bela_00373188FLMS2010: Film Genre Study

Screenings: Tuesdays, 12:15 – 14:15 (JL G014)

Lecture/Seminars: Fridays, 09:15 – 12:15 (JL G010)

 Dr. Mikel J. Koven (office BB133)

m.koven@worc.ac.uk

*Please note: this is the Semester 1 handbook only. The Semester 2 handbook will be produced by the end of the calendar year*

The module aims to present students with the historical development of popular cinematic genres, as well going in-depth into a single genre. Students will be expected to develop a critical understanding of characteristic conventions of the selected genres with particular reference to the periods on which the module will focus. They will compare and contrast generic conventions and explore genre theory as it has been used within Film Studies. Students will be expected to consider a range of genre texts. Students will develop various approaches to conducting research in Film Studies e.g. textual analysis, semiotic analysis and genre

 

Learning Outcomes,

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

  1. demonstrate an in-depth understanding of genre as well as develop analytical approaches to selected genres;
  2. give evidence of a sense of the historical placement of the genres as they developed and be able to relate their themes to a wider context;
  3. highlight through textual analysis the significance of particular and relatable sequences;
  4. develop arguments in which local detail is related to genre theory; demonstrate critical understanding of differences and similarities in the conventions of selected genres with tutor support.

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.

Essential books

Altman, Rick. 1999. Film/Genre. London: BFI.
Friedman, Lester, David Desser, Sarahh Kozloff, Martha P. Nochimson, and Stephen Prince. 2014. An Introduction to Film Genres. London: W. W. Norton & Company.
Grant, Barry Keith (ed.). 2012. Film Genre Reader IV. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press.
Neale, Steve. 2000. Genre and Hollywood. London: Routledge.

In addition to weekly “Suggested Readings”, the following reference books may also be useful.

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)

Films (Semester 1):

Every effort will be made to make the films available for you to watch. However, it is your responsibility to ensure that you have seen the texts being discussed. You can source many of the films on Netflix, Amazon Instant or You Tube, however there may be some DVD purchase necessary. In that instance, you will be informed well ahead of time.

The Adventures of Robin Hood (Michael Curtiz & William Keighley, 1938)
The Big Sleep (Howard Hawks, 1948)
Cat People (Jacques Tourneur, 1942)
Gold Diggers of 1933 (Mervyn LeRoy, 1933)
Guadalcanal Diary (Lewis Seiler, 1943)
Out of the Past (Jacques Tourneur, 1947)
Mildred Pierce (Michael Curtiz, 1945)
My Darling Clementine (John Ford, 1946)
Rebel Without a Cause (Nicholas Ray, 1955)
To Be or Not To Be (Ernst Lubitsch, 1943)

 

The DVD Library:

The DVD library for FLMS2010 – Film Genre Study is held in my office (BB133). All DVDs are available for a short term loan (1 day). You can view the film in the Pierson or on your own laptop but you must return the DVD on the day of the loan.

Module Outline (topics and films subject to change)

Module Outline (topics and films subject to change)

1 26-Sep No screening
29-Sep Introduction
2 03-Oct The Adventures of Robin Hood (Michael Curtiz & William Keighley, 1938)
06-Oct Action-Adventure Films
Required Reading Neale: pp. 52-60
Suggested Reading & Viewing Arroyo, Jose (ed.). 2000. Action/Spectacle Cinema: A Sight and Sound Reader. London: BFI.
Dixon, Wheeler Winston and Richard Graham. 2017. A Brief History of Comic Book Movies. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Inness, Sherrie A. 2004. Action Chicks: New Images of Tough Women in Popular Culture. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Lichtenfeld, Eric. 2007. Action Speaks Louder: Violence, Spectacle, and the American Action Movie. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press.
O’Brien, Harvey. 2012. Action Movies: The Cinema of Striking Back. London: Wallflower.
Tasker, Yvonne. 1993. Spectacular Bodies: Gender, Genre and the Action Cinema. London: Routledge.
Tasker, Yvonne. 2015. The Hollywood Action and Adventure Film. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
Tasker, Yvonne (ed.). 2004. Action and Adventure Cinema. London: Routledge.

 

Captain Blood (Michael Curtiz, 1935)

The Sea Hawk (Michael Curtiz, 1940)

They Died with Their Boots On (Raoul Walsh, 1941)

3 10-Oct Gold Diggers of 1933 (Mervyn LeRoy, 1933)
13-Oct Musicals
Required Reading Friedman et. al.: pp. 200-241
Neale: pp. 104-112
Feuer, “The Self-Reflexive Musical and they Myth of Entertainment” in Grant: pp. 543-557
Suggested Reading & Viewing Cohan, Steven. 2010. The Sound of Musicals. London: BFI.
Cohan, Steven (ed.) 2001.  Musicals: Film Reader. London: Routledge.
Creekmur, Corey K. and Linda Y. Mokdad (eds). 2013. The International Film Musical. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
Dyer, Richard. 2002. Only Entertainment, 2nd Edition. London: Routledge.
Dyer, Richard. 2003. Heavenly Bodies: Film Stars and Society. London: Routledge.
Donnelly, Kevin J. and Beth Carroll (eds.). 2017. Contemporary Musical Film. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
Feuer, Jane. 1993. The Hollywood Musical, 2nd Edition. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.
Grant, Barry Keith. 2012. The Hollywood Film Musical. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell.
Smith, Sue. 2008. The Musical: Race, Gender and Performance. London: Wallflower.

 

Singin’ in the Rain (Stanley Donen & Gene Kelly, 1952)

Top Hat (Mark Sandrich, 1935)

Wizard of Oz (Victor Fleming, 1939)

4 17-Oct My Darling Clementine (John Ford, 1946)
20-Oct Westerns
Required Reading Friedman et. al.: pp. 242-277
Neale: pp. 133-142
Suggested Reading & Viewing Buscombe, Edward and Roberta E. Pearson (eds.). 1998. Back in the Saddle Again: New Essays on the Western. London: BFI.
Carter, Matthew. 2015. Myth of the Western: New Perspectives on Hollywood’s Frontier Narrative. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
Cawelti, John G. 1984. Six Gun Mystique. Bowling Green, OH: Bowling Green State University Popular Press.
Kitses, Jim. 2007. Horizons West: The Western from John Ford to Clint Eastwood. London: BFI.
Rollins, Peter C. and John. E. O’Connor (eds.). 2009. Hollywood’s West: The American Frontier in Film, Television, and History. Lexington, KY: University of Kentucky Press.
Saunders, John. 2001. The Western Genre: From Lordsburg to Big Whiskey. London: Wallflower.
Walker, Janet (ed.). 2001. Westerns: Films Through History. London: Routledge
White, John. 2010. Westerns. London: Routledge.
Wright, Will. 1975. Sixguns and Society: Structural Study of the Western. Berkeley: University of California Press.

 

Rio Bravo (Howard Hawks, 1959)

The Searchers (John Ford, 1956)

Stagecoach (John Ford, 1939)

5 24-Oct Cat People (Jacques Tourneur, 1942)
27-Oct Horror
Required Readings Friedman et. al.: pp. 368-405
Neale: pp. 92-104
Suggested Reading & Viewing Bansak, Edmund G. 2003. Fearing the Dark: The Val Lewton Career. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Co.
Benshoff, Harry M. (ed.) 2016. A Companion to the Horror Film. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell.
Cherry, Bridgid. 2009. Horror. London: Routledge.
Fujiwara, Chris. 2013. Jacques Tourneur: The Cinema of Nightfall. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Co.
Heffernan, Kevin. 2004. Ghouls, Gimmicks, and Gold: Horror Films and the American Movie Business, 1953-1968. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
Hutchings, Peter. 2004. The Horror Film. London: Routledge.
Newman, Kim. 2011. Nightmare Movies: Horror on Screen Since the 1960s. London: Bloomsbury.
Newman, Kim. 2013. Cat People. London: BFI.
Tudor, Andrew. 1989. Monsters and Mad Scientists: Cultural History of the Horror Movie. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
Wells, Paul. 2001. The Horror Genre: From Beelzebub to Blair Witch. London: Wallflower.
Worland, Rick. 2006. The Horror Film: An Introduction. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell.

 

The Bride of Frankenstein (James Whale, 1935)

Dracula (Tod Browning, 1931)

Mad Love (Karl Freund, 1935)

6   Worcester Week – no screening or lecture
7 07-Nov Guadalcanal Diary (Lewis Seiler, 1943)
10-Nov War Film
Required Readings Friedman et. al.: pp. 278-323
Neale: pp. 125-133
Jeffords, “Friendly Civilians: Images of Women and the Feminization of the Audience in Vietman War Films” in Grant: pp. 510-523
Suggested Reading & Viewing Basinger, Jeanine. 2003. The World War II Combat Film: Anatomy of a Genre, 2nd Edition. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press.
Binns, Daniel. 2017. Hollywood War Film: Critical Observations from World War I to Iraq. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Cunningham, Douglas A. and John C. Nelson (eds.). 2016. A Companion to the War Film. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell.
Donald, Ralph. 2017. Hollywood Enlists!: Propaganda Films of World War II. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.
Eberwein, Robert. 2009. The Hollywood War Film. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell.
Rubin, Steven Jay. 2011. Combat Films: American Realism, 1945 – 2010, 2nd Edition. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Co.
Slocum, J. David (ed.). 2006. Hollywood and War: The Film Reader. London: Routledge.
Westwell, Guy. 2006. War Cinema: Hollywood on the Front Line. London: Wallflower.

 

All Quiet on the Western Front (Lewis Milestone, 1930)

Paths of Glory (Stanley Kubrick, 1957)

Sands of Iwo Jima (Allan Dwan, 1949)

8 14-Nov To Be or Not To Be (Ernst Lubitsch, 1943)
17-Nov Comedy
Required Readings Friedman et. al.: pp. 120-159
Neale: pp. 65-71
Shumway, “Screwball Comedies: Constructing Romance, Mystifying Marriage” in Grant: pp. 463-483
Suggested Reading & Viewing Austerlitz, Saul. 2010. Another Fine Mess: A History of American Film Comedy. Chicago, IL: Chicago Review Press.
Barnes, Peter. 2002. To Be or Not To Be. London: BFI.
Byrge, Duane and Robert Milton Miller. 2001. The Screwball Comedy Films: A History and Filmography, 1934 – 1942. Lanham, MD: McFarland & Co.
Grindon, Leger. 2011. The Hollywood Romantic Comedy: Conventions, History and Controversies. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell.
Harvey, James. 1998. Romantic Comedy in Hollywood: from Lubitsch to Sturges. Cambridge, MA: Da Capo Press.
Horton, Andrew (ed.). 2012. A Companion to Film Comedy. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
King, Geoff. 2002. Film Comedy. London: Routledge.
Krutnik, Frank (ed.). 2002. Hollywood Comedians: The Film Reader. London: Routledge.
McDonald, Tamar Jeffers. 2007. Romantic Comedy: Boy Meets Girl Meets Genre. London: Wallflower.
Mortimer, Claire. 2010. Romantic Comedy. London: Routledge.
Neale, Steve and Frank Krutnik. 1990. Popular Film and Television Comedy. London: Routledge.
Novak, Ivana, Mladen Dolar, & Jela Krecic (eds.). 2014. Lubitsch Can’t Wait: A Collection of Ten Philosophical Discussions on Ernst Lubitsch’s Film Comedy. Ljubljana: Slovenian Cinematheque.
Sands, Zach. 2017. Film Comedy and the American Dream. London: Routledge.

 

Duck Soup (Leo McCarey, 1933)

His Girl Friday (Howard Hawks, 1940)

Some Like it Hot (Billy Wilder, 1959)

9 21-Nov Mildred Pierce (Michael Curtiz, 1945)
24-Nov Melodrama
Required Readings Friedman et. al.: pp. 80-119
Neale: pp. 179-204
Elsaesser, “Tales of Sound and Fury: Observations on the Family Melodrama” in Grant: pp. 433-462
Suggested Reading & Viewing Barefoot, Guy. 2001. Gaslight Melodrama. London: Continuum.
Byars, Jackie. 1991. All that Hollywood Allows: Re-Reading Gender in 1950s Melodrama. London: Routledge.
Gledhill, Christine (ed.). 1987. Home is Where the Heart Is: Studies in Melodrama and the Woman’s Film. London: BFI.
Goldberg, Jonathan. 2016. Melodrama: An Aesthetics of Impossibility. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
Klinger, Barbara. 1994. Melodrama and Meaning: History, Culture and the Films of Douglas Sirk. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.
Landy, Marcia (ed.). 1991. Imitations of Life: Reader on Film and Television Melodrama. Detroit, MI: Wayne State University Press.
Mercer, John. 2004. Melodrama: Genre, Style and Sensibility. London: Wallflower.
Metelmann, J. and Scott Loren (eds.) 2015. Melodrama After the Tears: Victimhood, Subjectivity and the Melodramatic Mode. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.

 

Imitation of Life (John M. Stahl, 1934)

Jezebel (William Wyler, 1938)

Stella Dallas (King Vidor, 1937)

10 28-Nov Rebel Without a Cause (Nicholas Ray, 1955)
01-Dec Teen Film/Social Problem Film
Required Readings Friedman et. al.: pp. 446-483
Neale: pp. 112-118 (SPF)/ 118-125 (teen film)
Shary, “Teen Films: The Cinematic Image of Yourth” in Grant: pp. 576-601.
Suggested Reading & Viewing Cagle, Chris. 2016. Sociology on Film: Postwar Hollywood’s Prestige Commodity. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.
Colling, Samantha. 2017. The Aesthetic Pleasures of Girl Teen Film. London: Bloomsbury.
Doherty, Thomas. 2002. Teenagers and Teenpics: Juvenilization of American Movies in the 1950s. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.
Driscoll, Catherine. 2011. Teen Film. Oxford: Berg.
Lewis, Jon. 2013. The Road to Romance and Ruin:  Teen Films and Youth Culture. London: Routledge.
Roffman, Peter and Jim Purdy. 1981. Hollywood Social Problem Film: Madness, Despair and Politics from the Depression to the Fifties. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.
Shary, Timothy. 2006. Teen Movies: American Youth on Screen. London: Wallflower.
Slocum, J. David. 2005. Rebel Without a Cause: Approaches to a Maverick Masterwork. Albany, NY: SUNY Press.
Tropiano, Stephen. 2005. Rebels and Chicks: A History of the Hollywood Teen Movie. Washington, DC: Back Stage Books.

 

Blackboard Jungle (Richard Brooks, 1955)

The Lost Weekend (Billy Wilder, 1945)

On the Waterfront (Elia Kazan, 1945)

11 05-Dec The Big Sleep (Howard Hawks, 1948)
08-Dec Crime Film
Required Readings Friedman et. al.: pp. 406-445
Neale: pp. 71-82
Mitchell, “Apes and Essences: Some Sources of Significance in the American Gangster Film” in Grant: pp. 255-264.
Suggested Reading & Viewing Clarens, Carlos. 1997. Crime Movies: An Illustrated History. Cambridge, MA: Da Capo Press.
Larke-Walsh, George S. 2010. Screening the Mafia. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Co.
Leitch, Thomas. 2002. Crime Films. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Mason, Fran. 2003. American Gangster Cinema: From Little Caesar to Pulp Fiction.  Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Munby, Jonathan. 1999. Public Enemies, Public Heroes: Screen the Gangster from Little Caesar to Touch of Evil. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
Nochimson, Martha P. 2007. Dying to Belong: Gangster Movies in Hollywood and Hong Kong. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell.
Phillips, Gene D. 2014. Gangsters and G-Men on Screen: Crime Cinema Then and Now. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.
Rafter, Nicole. 2000. Shots in the Mirror: Crime Films and Society. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Shadoian, Jack. 2003. Dreams and Dead Ends: The American Gangster Film. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Thompson, David. 1997. The Big Sleep. London: BFI.
Thompson, Kirsten M. 2007. Crime Films: Investigating the Scene. London: Wallflower.
Wilson, Ron. 2015. The Gangster Film: Fatal Success in American Cinema. London: Wallflower.

 

Little Caesar (Mervyn LeRoy, 1931)

The Public Enemy (William Wellman, 1931)

Scarface (Howard Hawks, 1932)

12 12-Dec Out of the Past (Jacques Tourneur, 1947)
15-Dec Film Noir
Required Readings Friedman et. al.: pp. 484-519
Neale: pp. 151-177
Schrader, “Notes on Film Noir” in Grant: pp. 265-278.
Suggested Reading & Viewing Bould, Mark. 2006. Film Noir: From Berlin to Sin City. London: Wallflower.
Brookes, Ian. 2017. Film Noir. London: Bloomsbury.
Christopher, Nicholas. 1997. Somewhere in the Night: Film Noir and the Underside of American Urban Life. New York, NY: The Free Press.
Dimendberg, Edward. 2004. Film Noir and the Spaces of Modernity. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Dixon, Wheeler Winston. 2009. Film Noir and the Cinema of Paranoia. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
Fay, Jennifer. 2009. Film Noir. London: Routledge.
Kaplan, E. Ann. 1998. Women in Film Noir. London: BFI
Krutnik, Frank. 1991. In a Lonely Street: Film Noir, Genre, Masculinity. London: Routledge.
Luhr, William. 2012. Film Noir. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell.
Naremore, James. 2008. More than Night: Film Noir in its Contexts. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
Pettey, Homer B. and R. Barton Palmer (eds.) 2016.  Film Noir. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
Spicer, Andrew. 2002. Film Noir. London: Routledge.
Spicer, Andrew and Helen Hanson (eds.). 2013. A Companion to Film Noir. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell.

 

Double Indemnity (Billy Wilder, 1944)

The Maltese Falcon (John Huston, 1941)

Touch of Evil (Orson Welles, 1958)

    Christmas Break
13 09-Jan TBC
12-Jan Genre pragmatics
  Altman, Film/Genre: specifically pp. 207-215

Assignments:

Sequence Analysis

This assignment is designed to assess your abilities at textual analysis within the context of genre studies. In this assignment you are asked to textually analyse the opening five minutes of a genre film from one (1) of the following, action-adventure, musical, western, horror (or science fiction) or combat film and through close textual analysis of that clip, demonstrate how the film establishes its genre.  Effectively, the question you are answering here is “How do we (in the audience) know, from the first five minutes, that this particular film belongs to this particular genre?”  You are free to choose any film from the Classical Hollywood period (~1927-1960), other than one studied on the module.

Your essay will be assessed according to the Learning Outcomes (as noted on page 2 of this handbook):

  1. demonstrate an in-depth understanding of genre as well as develop analytical approaches to selected genres;
  2. give evidence of a sense of the historical placement of the genres as they developed and be able to relate their themes to a wider context;
  3. highlight through textual analysis the significance of particular and relatable sequences;
  4. develop arguments in which local detail is related to genre theory; demonstrate critical understanding of differences and similarities in the conventions of selected genres with tutor support.

Length, 1000 words; Due, 24 November, at 15:00; Weighting, 20%

Pragmatics Essay

Discuss Altman’s idea of genre as defined by pragmatics in a representative film of your choice. Your only limit is you are not able to discuss a film you’ve previously written on.

Your essay will be assessed according to the Learning Outcomes (as noted on page 2 of this handbook):

  1. demonstrate an in-depth understanding of genre as well as develop analytical approaches to selected genres;
  2. give evidence of a sense of the historical placement of the genres as they developed and be able to relate their themes to a wider context;
  3. highlight through textual analysis the significance of particular and relatable sequences;
  4. develop arguments in which local detail is related to genre theory; demonstrate critical understanding of differences and similarities in the conventions of selected genres with tutor support.

Length, 1500 words; Due, 22 January, at 15:00; Weighting, 30%

 

Theoretical Essay

Details included in the Semester 2 handbook, forthcoming.

*Assignments will be graded within three weeks of submission*

Submission,

All assignments should be electronically submitted via the student’s SOLE page. All assignments will be submitted to Turnitin by the module leader.

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

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