This is both a writing class for movie-lovers and a film class for writers interested in new media. With cinema touching nearly every corner of popular and intellectual culture, new varieties of film writing have flourished along with it. From thinking about what cinema is (and what it can be) to personal explorations of cinema, we will dive into the exciting new opportunities for film criticism, from the force of the critical essay and the art of the film review to the rapidly evolving landscape of new media/video essays, podcasts, websites, social media, blogs, and other engagements with film. The core work of this class focuses on discovering our own compelling insights into films and film art from around the world and from different eras of cinema and then expressing those discoveries effectively in moving images, written words, and audio experiences for diverse audiences.
Cinema, literature and the city are historically interrelated, and urban spaces have proved to be a rich and diverse imagetic setting and subject. Cities have been explored in a myriad of manifestations: as a character, as a fetish, as a historical document, as a cultural monument of religiosity, as a symbol of liberalism, sexuality, progress, and decay. This course provides a comprehensive view of the Portuguese-speaking countries literature and film focused on urban spaces, such as Brasilia, S?o Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Lisboa, Porto, Luanda, Benguela, Maputo, Beira, Bissau, Praia and S?o Tome). Through short readings and films, students will gain a critical understanding of many key events that have shaped Lusophone history, culture, politics, and economy. Student will be guided to discover themes related to language, cultural identity, language, ethnicity, migration, economic injustice, unhealed wounds of dictatorship, colonialism, and war. Students will specifically reflect on the following questions: how literary and filmic texts provide an urban archive or memory bank that reflects historical and cultural changes in the urban landscape? How do these texts serve to produce the cities, ideas (real or ideal) about the cities, or even multiple versions of even a single city?
Video, still images and sound are used in this course to explore the fundamental character of storytelling, filmmaking and time-based art practices. Students perform all aspects of production with particular attention to developing ideas and building analytical, critical and production skills. We will read seminal written work and interviews with practicing artists in order to expand our knowledge, understanding and love for the medium. Through exercises that include weekly projects students will produce sketches aimed at exploring video as an experimentation tool. There will be special emphasis paid to sound design that includes original music, and ambient sound gathered with separate sound recorder. The class will review students the basic theoretical tools to critique their own productions and develop an understanding of the possibilities that medium offers. UNDERGRADUATE FILM STUDIES CERTIFICATE CATEGORY:V FILM STUDIES MAJOR IN BDIC CATEGORY:E
16mm FILMMAKING AND TECHNOLOGY is an introductory workshop in 16mm single-camera filmmaking, non-linear editing, and film projection intended for students interested in pursuing further creative production and coursework in film, especially toward completion of the Certificate in Film Studies. Creative work is complemented by a rigorous selection of readings and screenings. Exploration of technological possibilities to broaden student creativity will be emphasized, and the development of personal vision and style will be stressed.
This is a history of film course focusing on what is sometimes referred to as the "Golden Age" of Hollywood. An examination of classical Hollywood cinema, this course will concentrate on the period from the 1920s to the 1960s. We will look at the production and distribution practices of the Hollywood studio system, and pay special attention to the way this preeminent form of cinema established many of the norms of the immersive film experience. Among other subjects, we will consider the construction of classical continuity by studying the narrative structures and devices, stylistic techniques, and approaches to editing of a wide range of exemplary films. Weekly in-class screenings, with separate discussion. This course fulfills the Film History I (H1) requirement of the film studies major through BDIC. Undergraduate film studies certificate category: II, V
This course provides an in-depth overview of key theoretical approaches to the study of cinema by examining historically significant ways of analyzing film form and its social and cultural functions and effects. The course seeks to equip students with a command of the diverse history of theoretical frameworks for understanding the medium and experience of cinema, from early concerns over film?s relation to other arts to the way the movie as a cultural form has been reconceptualized within the contemporary explosion of new media. The pressing relevance of film theory becomes clear once we stop to consider?taking just one small example?the many implications of a society-wide movement away from the collective experience of movies in a public theater to private viewing with earbuds on the tiny screen of a cell phone or tablet. We will explore a wide range of questions (concerning the nature of the cinematic medium and its apparatus, aspects of the spectator?s experience of film, and the aesthetic and ideological dimensions of film genre, to name just a few) as a way of putting ourselves in dialogue with various film theoreticians. And we will ground our examination by looking at cinematic practice in relation to theory. This will be done through regular film screenings throughout the semester. This course fulfills the Undergraduate Film Studies Certificate category IIA, IV, V.
This is a course in writing unconventional screenplays, singular film scripts that not only take innovative forms but also tell stories not often found in established film and media production. We will read from an international selection of screenplays, examine clips from unconventional films, and address questions of representation, inclusion, and the work of writing underrepresented characters and untold narratives for the screen. ?Untold? signifies in two ways?it can mean boundless or limitless, and it can refer to a narrative that is not recounted. We are witnessing the beginnings of a film and media renaissance, with new works emerging and evolving that tell stories not commonly told and take innovative forms that can surprise, edify, delight, and enrich us. In this class, we will write screenplays for such works, starting with an appreciation for established forms and conventions of screenwriting and pushing to expand the boundaries of what stories films can tell, and how. UMass Amherst Undergraduate Certificate Categories: IV, V