Film Studies



Assistant Professors:  Morin, Reich; Associate Professor Martin, director

The Major in Film Studies

Students electing a film studies major will draw upon the interdisciplinary variety that characterizes the study of moving images−combining theory, criticism, history, and practice in developing the ability to think in filmic terms, and gain an understanding of how film functions as both an art and a social force.

The major consists of a minimum of eleven courses (44 semester hours), at least nine of which must be at the 200 level or above, as follows:

Core courses:

               Courses 101 and 202 (or their equivalents);

               Two courses in national cinemas (list A);

               Two courses in filmmaking and writing for film (list B);

               Two courses in theory and criticism (list C);

Three additional courses drawn from lists A, B, C, or D, or chosen with approval of the student's major adviser.

The Minor in Film Studies

The minor in film studies consists of at least six courses, including 101, 202, and four courses chosen from lists A, B, and C below, with at least one from each list.  At least five courses must be at the 200 level or above.

Qualifying Courses for the Major and Minor

Different departments at the college regularly add new courses that fall under the different categories of requirements for the Film Studies program, sometimes on a one-time basis.  It is impossible, therefore, to offer in this catalog a complete and exact list of courses that fulfill each requirement.  As such, some courses that will count for the major are likely to be absent from the lists that follow.  Students should consult the Film Studies program for information on whether a particular course offering in another department may count for the film studies major or minor.

A.  National cinemas: 

Anthropology 235 (same as Gender and Women′s Studies 235) Chinese 236; Film Studies 254, 255, 256, (same as German Studies 254, 255, 256), 217, 247, 317, 357, 377 (same as East Asian Studies 217, 247, 317, 357, 377), 307 (same as Slavic Studies 307), 403 (same as French 403), 409 (same as French 409), French 329; Hispanic Studies 309, 319, 331; Italian 317.

B.  Filmmaking and writing for film: 

Film Studies 222, 238 (same as Theater 238), 310, 321, 362, 391, 392, 393, 394, 410;

C.  Theory and criticism: 

Film Studies 252 (same as Philosophy 252), 311 (same as Gender and Women's Studies 313), 360 (same as English 360), 395, 396, 493, 494; Gender and Women's Studies 356, 419; Slavic Studies 288.

D.  Additional courses: 

Arts and Technology 110; East Asian Studies 101; Film Studies 211 (same as Philosophy 211), 497-498; Art 200, 300 (formerly 201); Art History 251 (formerly 240), 356 (same as Anthropology/Comparative Race and Ethnicity 356); English 221, 307, 322; Philosophy 251 [same as Art History 296 (formerly 230)], 281, (formerly 263); Theater 104, 226, 301.

Learning Goals for the Film Studies Major

Film Studies at Connecticut College approaches the study of moving images in a unique and comprehensive manner.  The program integrates theory with practice and combines film scholarship with creative work in film production.  Coursework is designed to educate students in the language of moving images while firmly framing the study within the traditions and goals of the liberal arts.  As budding film scholars, students are asked to critically analyze the moving image in many forms, such as documentary, narrative (from Hollywood to numerous national cinemas), experimental film, animation, and television.  Film Studies offers an array of production classes to give students the technical training and stylistic devices to author their own creative projects.

FILM STUDIES LEARNING OUTCOMES

  • Explore film, television, and other media texts through forms as varied as narrative, documentary, experimental, and animation and within cross-cultural and international contexts.
  • Recognize and wield the formal aesthetic components of moving picture imagery which encompass mise-en-scène, cinematography, editing, sound, narrative structure and form, and narration.
  • Examine cinema with both critical acuity and creative insight by utilizing theoretical and critical terminology specific to the discipline, while also building on critical skills and tools from other fields that connect dynamically to the construction of motion picture discourses.  This interdisciplinary framework touches on multiple languages and disciplines that impact the production and interpretation of media.
  • Create film and media works that convey artistic vision and expression with social sensitivity and responsibility, recognizing the intersections of cinema with modalities of race, class, ethnicity, gender and sexuality, and the global resonances of nationhood.
  • Persuasively argue, in both verbal and written forms, for one′s critical interpretation of film and television texts through close textual and contextual analysis.
  • Embrace the evolving nature of cinema by interacting with a variety of new technologies, understanding that the influence of digital media, web-based venues, social networking, and consumer technologies transform the discipline on a continual basis.
  • Apply critical and interpretive skills to cinema and media outside the classroom, participating in a variety of intellectual and creative forums, and understanding media literacies as essential to student growth and development.
  • Prepare students to engage with motion picture technologies in their future career endeavors, and also establish an intellectual and creative foundation for student′s future graduate work in film and media theory, criticism and moving image production.

Courses

FILM STUDIES  101  INTRODUCTION TO FILM STUDY:  HOW TO READ A FILM  An introduction to the concepts and methodology of film study as an academic discipline, to the development of film language and narrative conventions, connections between ideology and style, and categories of film form.  Examples will be chosen from aesthetically and historically significant films.  Required screening sessions.

               Enrollment limited to 30 students.  This course satisfies General Education Area 4 and is a designated Writing course.  N. Martin

FILM STUDIES  202  STUDIES IN FILM CULTURE  Critical studies of the cultures of moving picture production and reception.  Topics include celebrity and star studies, subculture and fan studies, the political economy of moving image production, theories of spectatorship, and the cultural consequences of various moving image technologies.  Required screening sessions.

               Open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors; and to freshmen with permission of the instructor.  Enrollment limited to 30 students.  This course satisfies General Education Area 4.  N. Martin

FILM STUDIES  205  REPRESENTATIONS OF VIOLENCE IN CLASSICAL LITERATURE AND MODERN FILM  This is the same course as Classics 205.  Refer to the Classics listing for a course description.

FILM STUDIES  209  INTERSECTIONAL IDENTITIES IN AMERICAN FILM AND MEDIA  An examination of American film and moving image culture, tracing the representational politics and ideological issues that arise around notions of identity.  Particular emphasis on how race, class, and ethnicity intersect in a diverse range of film and media forms.

               Prerequisite:  Course 101 or a freshman seminar in film studies.  Open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors; and to freshmen with permission of the instructor.  Enrollment limited to 30 students.  This course satisfies General Education Area 4 and is a designated Writing course.  Staff

FILM STUDIES  210  FUNDAMENTALS OF MOTION PICTURE PRODUCTION  A hands-on introduction to expression in the language of moving pictures.  By designing and executing a series of short, creative production projects, students will explore how moving image techniques are used to structure meaning.  Emphasis on narrative form.  Topics include composition, videography, sound, continuity editing, montage, and dramatic structure.

               Prerequisite:  Permission of the instructor and Course 101.  Students may not receive credit for this course and Film Studies 222.  Students seeking to enroll in this class should notify the instructor of their interest prior to pre-registration.  Enrollment limited to 14 students.  This course satisfies General Education Area 5.  Staff

FILM STUDIES  211  JAPANESE PHILOSOPHY IN FILM, LITERATURE, AND SCHOLARLY TEXT  This is the same course as Philosophy 211.  Refer to the Philosophy listing for a course description.

FILM STUDIES  217  AFTERLIVES AND APOCALYPSES:  POST-WAR JAPANESE CINEMA  This is the same course as East Asian Studies/Japanese 217.  Refer to the Japanese listing for a course description.

FILM STUDIES  220  DOCUMENTARY THEORY AND PRODUCTION  How moving pictures can be used to explore, discuss, and creatively represent reality - and the issues of "truth," ethics, and social power that arise from these practices - from the standpoint of both producers and critical viewers.  Documentary production techniques, reading, and discussion of scholarly literature in documentary history, theory, and criticism.  Short film projects and analytical papers and presentations are required.  Required screening sessions.

               Prerequisite:  Permission of the instructor and Course 101.  Students may not receive credit for this course and Film Studies 321.  Students seeking to enroll in this class should notify the instructor of their interest prior to pre-registration.  Enrollment limited to 14 students.  This course satisfies General Education Area 5.  Staff

FILM STUDIES  235  ″CHUTNEY-POPCORN″:  BOLLYWOOD, GLOBALIZATION, AND IDENTITY  This is the same course as Anthropology/Gender and Women's Studies 235.  Refer to the Gender and Women's Studies listing for a course description.

FILM STUDIES  238  SCREENWRITING  This is the same course as Theater 238.  Refer to the Theater listing for a course description.

FILM STUDIES  247  GANGSTERS AND CRIMINALS:  OUTLAWS IN JAPANESE CULTURE  This is the same course as East Asian Studies 247.  Refer to the East Asian Studies listing for a course description.

FILM STUDIES  252  PHILOSOPHY AND FILM  This is the same course as Philosophy 252.  Refer to the Philosophy listing for a course description.

FILM STUDIES  254  THE HOLOCAUST IN FILM AND LITERATURE  This is the same course as German Studies 254.  Refer to the German Studies listing for a course description.

FILM STUDIES  255  DEATH AND DESIRE:  THE INVENTION OF HORROR IN EARLY GERMAN CINEMA  This is the same course as German Studies 255.  Refer to the German Studies listing for a course description.

FILM  STUDIES  256  GERMAN CULTURE THROUGH FILM  This is the same course as German Studies 256.  Refer to the German Studies listing for a course description.

FILM STUDIES  258  GERMANY IN TRANSIT:  TRANSNATIONAL WRITERS AND FILMMAKERS  This is the same course as German Studies 258.  Refer to the German Studies listing for a course description.

FILM STUDIES  288  THEORY OF FILM  This is the same course as Slavic Studies 288.  Refer to the Slavic Studies listing for a course description.

FILM STUDIES  297, 298  SPECIAL TOPICS IN FILM PRODUCTION  A study in topics selected from any area in film production.  Topics vary from year to year and may include screenwriting, documentary, experimental or fiction filmmaking, issues in autobiography, and exploration of new media techniques.  May be repeated for credit.
               Prerequisite:  Course 222 or 321, or permission of the instructor.  Enrollment limited to 12 students.  Staff

FILM STUDIES  307  HISTORY OF RUSSIAN AND SOVIET FILM  This is the same course as Slavic Studies 307.  Refer to the Slavic Studies listing for a course description.

FILM STUDIES  310  IDEOLOGICAL REPRESENTATION IN MOTION PICTURE PRODUCTION  An intermediate motion picture production course focusing on issues of ideological representation.  By designing and executing short, creative production projects, students will explore the social and political implications of visual media production.  Topics include advanced technique in editing, cinematography, directing, and screenwriting.

               Prerequisite:  Permission of the instructorand Course 210 (formerly Course 222).  Enrollment limited to 14 students.  R. Morin

FILM STUDIES  311  REPRESENTING GENDER  An examination of the construction of gender in mainstream narrative film in the light of contemporary film theory and criticism.  This course investigates representations of gender and the body by looking at what are commonly deemed "masculine genres" - horror and action films - and rethinking these films when violence and agency are enacted by female characters.  This is the same course as Gender and Women's Studies 313.

               Prerequisite:  Course 101 or permission of the instructor.  Enrollment limited to 16 students.  N. Martin

FILM STUDIES  317  HEROES AND HEROINES IN JAPANESE LITERATURE AND FILM  This is the same course as East Asian Studies/Japanese 317.  Refer to the Japanese listing for a course description.

FILM STUDIES  317f  HEROES AND HEROINES IN JAPANESE LITERATURE AND FILM  (In Japanese).  This is the same course as East Asian Studies/Japanese 317f.  Refer to the Japanese listing for a course description.

FILM STUDIES  320  EXPERIMENTAL FILM:  HISTORY AND PRACTICE  An introduction to the history of American experimental film, selected major figures and movements.  In addition to viewing, discussing and writing about these films, students will produce their own experimental pieces in a series of short projects using Super-8 and 16mm film for acquisition, and Final Cut Pro for editing.  As such, the course also serves as a brief introduction to photo-chemical filmmaking.  Special Fee $100.00.

               Prerequisite:  Permission of the instructor and Course 210 (formerly Course 222) or Course 220 (formerly Course 321).  Students may not receive credit for this course and Film Studies 362.  Enrollment limited to 14 students.  Staff

FILM STUDIES  335  BLACK WOMEN IN PRINT AND ON SCREEN  This is the same course as American Studies 335/Comparative Race and Ethnicity 336/English 355/Gender and Women's Studies 335.  Refer to the English listing for a course description.

FILM STUDIES  357  SCREENING EAST ASIA THROUGH MASTERPIECES OF TRANSNATIONAL CINEMA  This is the same course as East Asian Studies 357.  Refer to the East Asian Studies listing for a course description.

FILM STUDIES  360 RACE AND DOCUMENTARY FILM  This is the same course as English 360.  Refer to the English listing for a description.

FILM STUDIES  377  GRAPHIC STRIPS:  GENDER AND SEXUALITY IN COMICS, MANGA, AND ANIMATED FILM  This is the same course as East Asian Studies/Gender and Women′s Studies 377.  Refer to the East Asian Studies listing for a course description.

FILM STUDIES  395, 396  SPECIAL TOPICS IN FILM STUDIES  Enrollment limited to 14 students.

FILM STUDIES  395W, 396W FEMINISMS IN AMERICAN POPULAR CULTURE  Critical exploration of popular film and television texts through the shifting terrain of contemporary feminist thought and representations.  Academic feminist work will be combined with criticism in the popular press to uncover the interdependent relationships between the two in how they create feminisms' parameters and popular reception.  This is the same course as Gender and Women's Studies 356.

               Prerequisite:  Course 101 or permission of the instructor.  Enrollment limited to 16 students.  N. Martin

FILM STUDIES  395Z, 396Z  ANIMATION  A serious, analytic approach to "cartoons," exploring the historical trajectory of the medium, the evolution of aesthetic practices, and the range of technologies utilized in early and contemporary animation.  Topics will range from early studio animation and experimental work through contemporary computer animation and anime.

               Prerequisite:  Course 101 or permission of the instructor.  N. Martin

FILM STUDIES  403  CITIES ON THE SCREEN:  CONSTRUCTING URBAN SPACE IN THE CINEMA (In English)  This is the same course as French 403.  Refer to the French listing for a course description.

FILM STUDIES  407  ″MASALA-POPCORN″:  BOLLYWOOD, GLOBALIZATION, AND IDENTITY  This is the same course as Anthropology/Gender and Women's Studies 407.  Refer to the Gender and Women's Studies listing for a course description.

FILM STUDIES  409  HISTORY/STORY:  ON THE GRAND AND THE INTIMATE IN FRENCH CINEMA (IN ENGLISH)  This is the same course as French 409.  Refer to the French listing for a course description.

FILM STUDIES  410  ADVANCED PRODUCTION WORKSHOP  An advanced motion picture production seminar focusing on the creation of a single project per student or small student group.  Students will apply the techniques learned in previous production classes to write, produce, direct, and edit a short video production project.  Students may alternately choose to create a short form screenplay for their semester project.

               Prerequisite:  Course 310 and permission of the instructor.  Enrollment limited to 14 students.  R. Morin

FILM STUDIES  493, 494  ADVANCED STUDY SEMINAR IN FILM STUDIES

               Enrollment limited to 15 students.

FILM STUDIES  493C, 494C  STUDIES IN CULT AND CAMP  An exploration of the aesthetics and politics of "cult and camp" film and television, examining through fan practices and theoretical writings the intersection of high theory with low cultural products.  This course investigates "trash aesthetics," philosophical approaches to "camp," and the economic and institutional practices of low budget cult filmmaking.

               Prerequisite:  Course 101, 202, or permission of the instructor.  N. Martin

FILM STUDIES  493W, 494W  STUDIES IN AUTHORSHIP:  WOMEN DIRECTORS  An exploration of "film authorship" on theoretical and meta-critical levels, focusing specifically on the way gender does (or does not) impact the production (and consumption) of female-authored texts.  Combining close textual analysis of women-directed films with feminist criticism, the course examines a multiplicity of intersecting identities.  This is the same course as Gender and Women's Studies 419.

               Prerequisite:  Course 101, 202, or permission of the instructor.  N. Martin

FILM STUDIES  291, 292  INDIVIDUAL STUDY IN FILM STUDIES 

FILM STUDIES  391, 392  INDIVIDUAL STUDY IN FILM STUDIES

FILM STUDIES  393, 394  INDIVIDUAL STUDY IN MOTION PICTURE PRODUCTION

FILM STUDIES  491, 492  INDIVIDUAL STUDY

FILM STUDIES  497-498  HONORS STUDY