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Fall 2021 Classes

CMA 1500: Fundamentals of Film and Video Production

Taught by Jonathan Rattner (Section 1), Jonathan Waters (Section 2), and Carmine Grimaldi (Section 3)

MW 9:10am-10:50am (Section 1) and T 4:10pm-7pm (Sections 2 and 3)

Technologies and techniques of filmmaking. Digital video cameras, staging and lighting, sound recording, post-production sound, and image editing.

CMA 1600 01: Introduction to the Study of Film and Media

Taught by Iggy Cortez

MW 11:10am-12:25pm classes, M 7:30pm screenings

Stylistic tendencies and narrative strategies, genres, and theoretical approaches. Live-action cinema, animation, experimental cinema, television, and computer-generated moving images.

CMA 1600 02: Introduction to the Study of Film and Media

Taught by Claire Sisco King

TR 11:10am-12:25pm classes, M evening screenings

Cinema today exists in the plural. It stretches across cultural boundaries, inhabits various institutional frameworks, and involves diverse media platforms. This course serves as an introduction to major concepts of film style and moving image analysis. We will build a vocabulary to describe mise-en-scène, cinematography, editing, and sound and discuss different historical models of spectatorship. As important, we will study the diversity of contemporary moving image production (including non-fiction, experimental, televisual, web-based, and gaming-oriented) and explore critical methods addressing questions of genre, form, and history. Students will be expected to engage with familiar films in unfamiliar ways and to understand cinema as part of an ever-expanding media landscape.

In addition to our class meetings on Tuesdays and Thursdays, students are required to attend a weekly screening on Monday evenings. The texts for this class have been chosen to illustrate concepts in visual and sound analysis and to introduce you to a variety of types of moving-image practices. While I hope you will enjoy the screenings, their primary purpose is to help you build your skills and expand the breadth of your knowledge. Approach these films with an open and attentive mind!  You are expected to watch the films carefully from beginning to end (through the end credits), and you will be asked to recall specific details from them.  You are expected to take notes during the screenings so that you may remember specific examples related to the use of sound, camera work, mise-en-scène, editing, and narrative structure/form. Screening notes will also benefit you on exams.  In addition to those films we screen in class, you will be asked to view films outside of class for your paper assignments.

Content Warning:  We will be watching material that contains graphic violence and nudity and that sometimes deal with difficult themes, including suicide, war, gendered violence, mental illness, and cancer.

CMA 2250: 16mm Filmmaking

Taught by Jonathan Rattner

TR 9:10am-10:50am

Camera operation, lighting, non-sync sound design, and film pre-production for 16 mm and celluloid film. Offered on a graded basis only.

CMA 2260: Digital Production Workshop

Taught by Jonathan Waters

MW 4:10pm-7:00pm

Digital cinematography, sound design, and editing. Individual and group projects.

CMA 2400: History of World Cinema

Taught by Jennifer Fay

TR 9:35am-10:50am classes, T 5pm-7:30pm screenings

Cinema has always been a global phenomenon, even at the moment of its invention. As a narrative and entertainment medium, it has been subject to the demands of the international economy, political spheres of influence, and the forces of globalization. Writers, directors, and actors have often been well-versed in international film culture, and have, in turn, inspired the artistic production in their own film industries and in other countries.  This course surveys over a century of global film history as it unfolds in several different countries at various moments in time. We will consider not only those instances in which science and industry open up new possibilities for the medium while foreclosing others (particularly in the growth of the Hollywood studio system and commercial narrative cinema in the United States), but also how the exigencies of war, poverty, colonialism, and liberation (to name a few) have impinged on production, or served as the production’s foundation. In addition to how filmic texts are produced and disseminated, we will also attend to shifting exhibition practices, particularly in cases where the exhibition site radically alters the meaning of the text. Though this course is far from exhaustive, the goal is to teach students how to think about cinema in general, and individual films, in particular, in a historical framework. To this end, students will carry out an in-depth research project using a combination of primary and secondary source materials, including a host digital film archives. In this way, we will consider how new media technologies facilitate our understanding of historical media cultures.

CMA 3891 01: Special Topics in Film and Video Production – Experiments in Documentary Film

Taught by Carmine Grimaldi

R 4:10pm-7pm classes, T 7:30pm screenings

This production course explores the contested edges of the documentary form, where filmmakers and artists are experimenting with the boundary between fact and fiction, authenticity and artifice; where they are radically rethinking the most basic relationships between image, sound, and the real. Students will explore this tradition both through weekly screenings and by expanding their own practice as filmmakers.

Throughout the course, a number of themes will recur, including: the relationship between filmmakers and their subjects; the ethics of empathy and alienation; corporeality and embodied knowledge; mediation and self-reflexivity; performativity and radical collaboration; dreams, myths, and fantasies; and representations of the invisible, suppressed, and unknowable.

CMA 3891 02: Special Topics in Film and Video Production – Digital Storytelling

MW 9:35am-10:50am

Digital Storytelling: Interactive Narratives, Digital Memory, and Storytelling. Emphasizing interconnections between identity, cultural memory, and narrative practice in the digital age, students will learn about effective and meaningful storytelling with digital technologies across a variety of applications and platforms. Students will explore and discuss interactive narratives, read theoretical works about narrative, memory, and technology, and create a series of engaged, interactive stories of their own, working in small groups and using a variety of digital technologies to mobilize different kinds of imaginative immersion and interactivity.

CMA 3892 01: Special Topics in the Study of Film – Cinema and New media

Taught by Jennifer Fay

TR 2:35pm-3:50pm

When cinema was new, it took its cues from “old” technologies and found possibilities for the silent moving image. This course thinks about contemporary cinema as it is being absorbed into digital culture, social media, streaming platforms, and modes of data organization.  What is “new” about new media? Specifically, what new range of visibilities, accessibilities, archives, screens, and viewer protocols does this digital/ social regime make possible?  This course asks what “cinema” is, where we are likely to encounter it, and also what difference “cinema” makes as a category of art, a form communication, an experience of time, and an encounter with information especially in the context of our current attention economy.

We will consider films about new media (The Social Dilemma, Love, Guaranteed, Eighth Grade, Lo and Behold) as well as films that make use of new technologies (Iphone cinema like Tangerine, High Flying Birds) and YouTube distribution. We’ll consider the relationship between a movie and its excerpts (gifs) as well as new paradigms of advertising and “influencing.”

CMA 3892 02: Special Topics in the Study of Film – Race in Film and Media

Taught by Iggy Cortez

M 4:10pm-7:00pm classes, W 7:30pm screenings

How cinema and other modern technologies produce race as an object of knowledge and control. The concept of race across Hollywood cinema, independent film, contemporary art, television, social media, and surveillance networks.

Italian 3641: Contemporary Italian Cinema

Taught by Andrea Mirabile

MWF 3:00pm-3:50pm

Italian 3641 – Contemporary Italian Cinema is an interdisciplinary exploration of Italian cinematography and its multifaceted connections with other art forms (literature, painting, theatre, music, and architecture), social institutions (politics, religion, and sexual identities), and filmic traditions (African, American, Asian, and European filmmakers). The course deals with a period that spans from 1968 to 2020. We will analyze the recent developments of a transnational film industry in the context of the E. U. and the expansion of current multimedia practices, which defy conventional classification. Five great artists will help us analyze five decades of European history, the characteristics of contemporary Italian society, and its unique cultural complexity oscillating between the heritage of the past and new global challenges. A selection of works from other important directors (Antonioni, Archibugi, Bellocchio, Bertolucci, Comencini, Corbucci, De Sica, Emmer, Ferreri, Leone, Moretti, Muccino, Petri, Pontecorvo, Risi, Rossellini, Salvatores, Verdone, Visconti, Wertmüller, Zeffirelli, and others) will be on reserve at the Central Library or available on Kanopy and Brightspace.