Oscar Nominees 2018

Images: Wim Wenders's Alice in the Cities (1974) and 2018 Oscar Nominees collage

“I'm still fighting a struggle, which is to make cinema alive and not just make another film.” –Agnes Varda

“I am often asked at what point in my love affair with films I began to want to be a director or a critic. Truthfully, I don't know. All I know is that I wanted to get closer and closer to films.” ― François Truffaut

English 222.01  History of Film 1945-Present                         

Spring 2018 [some relatively minor adjustments to film selections may occur as we go along!]                             
Dr. Stephan Flores (sflores@uidaho.edu)                                                   
2:00 pm-3:15pm Tues.-Thurs. (TR)   TLC 044                                                               
http://www.webpages.uidaho.edu/~sflores/                                                  English Department: 885-6156
Office hours: W 2:30pm-4:00 p.m. & by appt.                                            Office: Brink Hall Rm. 125

Course description:

As stated in the UI Catalog, Engl 222 is an "Introduction to modern film history; a comprehensive survey of the major film movements from the mid 20th Century to the contemporary cinematic scene." Satisfies Gen Ed: Humanities, International; elective course for English majors. Gen Ed: Humanities, International; Recommended preparation: Engl 102 or equivalent. Note: Engl 221 History of World Cinema I or Engl 230 Introduction to Film Studies, are NOT required prerequisites for Engl 222. Though our ‘focus’ is film history, we’ll engage in some introduction to and exploration of film studies over the course of the semester, as we explore diverse films from different cultures and perspectives from the late 1940s to recent cinema, across a range of genres and tones (serious to comic, thriller, social realism, etc.).

In this class we will explore the fascinations of studying films as they develop from different cultures and perspectives, in different genres and tones (serious and comic and other 'attitudes' and interests), and as films and via those who write and talk about films 'converse' with one another. So our studies in film history include cultural and historical contexts, some attention to formal compositions and components of film (such as mise-en-scène, cinematography, editing, film sound), the narrative and organizational structures of film--from stories to genres--and critical perspectives on film theories and methods--all this entails weekly reading and writing about film and attentive viewing of films in class and via online streaming, discussion in class and via Bblearn threads, and critical analysis of film through sequenced, 'scaffolded' writing assignments.

Note that the topics/subjects/settings/action/relationships in some of these films include compelling, challenging, provocative materials that portray and examine in expressive, explicit, and critical ways different cultural and ideological perspectives, hierarchies of power, violence, sexuality, and ethnicity. Our work over the semester is to enable you to develop strengths in understanding film history (films selected/noted for their artistic and cultural/historical significance and influence) from the mid-1940s to the present, and I expect for many of us, to foster a lifelong deep enjoyment and keen sense of the pleasures and power and significance of movies in our lives and to 'view' an open future and in a sense, an open past of wondrous discoveries yet to come.

Written work includes weekly Inquiry-Starters (250 words each) to the weekly assigned reading and film viewing posted to a Bblearn discussion thread, a Shot Sequence "Plus" Analysis Essay (five pages), a Critical Analysis Essay (six pages), and a midterm exam.

Required primary text:

Cook, David A. A History of Narrative Film, Fifth Edition. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 2016. ISBN: 978-0-393-92009-3 the bookstore typically has a limited number of new copies and may have used copies of this text--we'll proceed through the second half of Cook's text, chapters 10-22]

OR digital version of A History of Narrative Film, Fifth Edition is available as E-book probably/possibly through the UI VandalStore--contact the VandalStore prior to start of the semester to explore this E-book option: ISBN: 978-0-393-28871-1 [License Term (days): 180]

Other assigned and optional reading and resources, including scholarly articles/essays/additional video weblinks/clips on many of our films, are available in folders and also weblinks via the course Bblearn site.

If during the course of the semester you wish to have additional ready access to a wide variety of critically acclaimed films including a pricing option for hundreds of films in the Criterion collection as well as other films, check out the student subscription rate (under 40.00 for six months--a very good rate) at the streaming service FILMSTRUCK. See for example, in addition to the FilmStruck weblinks (such as Browsing all their TCM & Criterion Collection films) to the Criterion Collection, their spotlight on/of Essential Art House films. You may also already? subscribe to Netflix, and that too can be convenient to have at times during the semester.

FYI, I have taught Engl 230 Introduction to Film Studies --follow the highlighted weblink to the Engl 230 course site. I love films and studying and talking about films. If you love films or want to explore a wider variety of significant films to enlarge/begin your 'film education' and to develop your love of films/cinephile self, this may very well be a course that you find engaging and with which you can engage. That is, in future you might be interested to take Engl 230, Introduction to Film Studies: that class is one of the several "foundations" courses required in the Literature emphasis in the English major, and it serves as a good basis for taking additional courses in film studies, such as Engl 221 History of World Cinema I, Engl 420 Literature and Film, Engl 432 Film Theory and Criticism, Engl 477 Documentary Film, and other special topic film courses. Moreover, you may be interested in the new Film & Television Studies interdisciplinary major (B.A. or B.S. degree).

Here is one aspect of a guiding premise/claim for this course and its outcomes: Film and literature provide us with a way of understanding how our social life works. Human social life consists of narratives for living, with ‘narratives’ being understood here as an actual life experience spread over time and guided by cultural stories that justify it to participants. Both the cultural and real-world narrative can change; both use frames to exclude norm-dissonant perspectives and values and to ensure that the meanings that support the continuity and homogeneity of the lived process are stable, predictable, and enforced. Who tells the stories in the culture thus largely shapes how that cultural world will be organized. Stories are what people believe and how they believe, and how people believe determines how they act and how they live. Stories can change how people think, perceive, believe, and act. The analysis of the work they perform is thus an important endeavor. And that is what criticism is all about. (An Introduction to Criticism: Literature/Film/Culture--Wiley-Blackwell, 2012).

See the following weblink to my expanding list of compelling films as well as others' lists of highly regarded films and see this weblink to the Sight & Sound 2012 poll (of 846 film critics and others in the film industry) for their lists of the best films of all-time

Note: always refer to the online version of the course description/syllabus because some aspects may be updated over the course of the semester.

As mentioned, find articles/essays/additional video clips on many of our films in folders/course Bblearn site.

Login to Bblearn by using your UIDAHO NetID. You can update your password at http://help.uidaho.edu/. If you haven't already, setup your NetID at www.vandalsetup.uidaho.edu. If you continue to experience problems accessing BbLearn after changing your password, please contact the ITS Help Desk by email helpdesk@uidaho.edu, or phone (208)885-HELP.
Student Help using BbLearn

Broader contexts for desired course outcomes are situated within the department's goals for the English major and the university's learning outcomes. In addition, as mentioned see further below for learning outcomes specific to this course and to 200-level literature and film courses.

Course Requirements:

1. Thirteen Bblearn Inquiry Starters (see due dates on syllabus/schedule below and also on Bblearn): a combination of citation (summary-review) with some degree of thesis/problem-driven response (at minimum 250 words each), in which you demonstrate that you completed that week's reading and viewing assignments (including writing about both the assigned chapter/text and the film): find a couple of points of interest that enable you to take a stance/make a claim, state a point of view/thesis, to include--if possible--connecting a specific passage/concept/perspective from our readings that week with your weekly viewing of a film or film clip, to enable you to make sense of our studies/readings through illustration and analysis of an aspect (scene/motif) in a particular film. That is, your Inquiry-Starter should be informed by some aspect of A History of Narrative Film text and as stated above, also serve to demonstrate--in a sense--that you are keeping up with and engaging with our weekly texts/films in significant ways, particularly as inquiries that may promote further conversation and study.

Inquiry Starters present a means for you and the class to share enthusiasms and questions as you delve into the significance, methods, and effects of our film studies, and to learn from others' comments (a version of Graff's "They Say, I Say" exchange, see Bblearn). If the IS is due on a Thursday, avoid merely repeating aspects of our discussion--seek instead to use the reading/viewing/discussion as a point of departure for further inquiry. No late entries—Inquiry Starters are expected on Bblearn no later than 1:00 p.m. the day of class. Entries posted any later than 1 pm will lose four points; keep in mind that you must cite/address specific aspects of both the reading and the film: insufficient posts that either do not cite/address both the film and the reading, or posts that are too brief, are subject to point penalties/deductions (typically - 2pts or - 3pts). Come to class prepared to talk about your ISs/ideas. Again: missing or late inquiry-starter entries will be counted against your semester grade (minus 4 points each, see below). Note: you may make up for a prior missing Inquiry Starter by posting an Inquiry Starter on a film from Bblearn folders that we have not discussed in class, in the discussion thread for April 24.

I attend to the ISs as part of my evaluation of your performance in the course--strive each week for a full and thoughtful/analytical entry--avoid posting too brief and/or mainly descriptive entries. Additional note: from time to time I may take opportunities to highlight different ISs, so come prepared to talk about your post with a peer group and with the class as a whole. For examples of solid-to-strong IS posts, see Bblearn film clips ... folder (PDFs). See the Bblearn Grade Center by the third week in February for running updates on any point deductions that may be accumulating. For those who are repeatedly missing points I will likely send an email to you earlier than mid-February, as a note of advice and caution.

2. Midterm Exam (Thursday March 8, 50 points possible).

This exam directs in the ‘Part 1 ‘minor section,’ that you write two concise ‘answers’ (label these 1.A and 1.B) each answer about a subsection of Chapter 15 (European Renaissance: West) from our main textbook, Cook’s A History of Narrative Film. Next, the ‘main’ Part 2 of the exam directs you to write about two films by different directors of your choice (at least one selection must be a ‘foreign’ film/director) from a list of films, in which you (2.A) write one shorter essay that you may complete in advance, before the in-class midterm exam (325-475 words, bring printed essay to the midterm) about one film and (2.B) one longer essay in class (550-650 words) about a different film. You are to use blue or green exam booklets, or provide your own blank sheets of ruled notebook paper for the in-class exam, and provide descriptive titles for each of the Part 2 essays. You are not to have access to your film history text, the internet, or notes in any form during the in-class 75-minute exam: you risk failing the exam if you consult notes.

Part 1 (approximately 10 points): The first part of this exam is similar to what you have already done each week in your concise Inquiry Starters (ISs—those weekly IS entries serve as examples of what you are directed to do in-class in Part 1 of this midterm). In the exam you will be directed to provide some take-away nuggets of information and reflective comments/analysis from two subsections of chapter 15. The purpose of Part 1 is to demonstrate both your recollection of specific aspects of your reading and your understanding (intellectual grasp) of the significance or importance of what you have read, perhaps informed as well by your viewing of one or more films related to the sub-sections that you write about. To prepare review the whole of Chapter 15, and study at least two subsections closely so that you are prepared to encapsulate something significant (recall/convey/write concisely about) about two of the subsections: Chapter 15 (European Renaissance: West) in the A History of Narrative Film text: : European Renaissance: West—The Second Italian Film Renaissance—Federico Fellini; Michelangelo Antonioni; Ermanno Olmi, Pier Paolo Pasolini, and Bernardo Bertolucci; Other Italian Auteurs—Popular Cinema in Italy—Contemporary Widescreen Technologies and Styles—Scandinavian or Nordic Cinema—Ingmar Bergman and Others; Sweden; Finland; Denmark and Dogme; Norway and Iceland—Spain—Luis Buñuel; New Spanish Cinema—Germany: Das neue Kino--Postwar Origins; Young German Cinema; The New German Cinema—International Stature: Fassbinder, Herzog, Wenders, and Others—Rainer Werner Fassbinder; Werner Herzog; Wim Wenders; Hans-Jürgen Syberberg and Others; jean-Marie Straub and Marxist Aesthetics

Part 2 (40 points—approximately 25 points for the longer essay (550-650 words) on one film and 15 points on the shorter essay (325-475 words) on another film (you may write this shorter essay in advance of the midterm—bring your printed essay to class). This exam is evaluated holistically so that I will evaluate the two essays of Part 2 along with the two short answers in Part 1 of the exam as a whole, and then assign a point total out of the 50 points possible for the whole exam, rather than indicate points for each subsection/part.

For this part of the exam, you are to write about two different films by different directors (at least one film must be a foreign film/director), selected from the list below.

In each essay, seek to create an argument and present analysis that may include close attention to a particular scene/sequence from the film but that also moves beyond close analysis to address/understand each film’s overall narrative arc and its modes of representing and working through problems/questions—this analysis may address both cinematic issues of form or technique (how the film works) as well as cultural/social problems and questions prompted by the film’s ‘story/narrative’ (what it means or achieves, what questions it seems to address/raise), and to consider to what degree the film seems to answer or resolve such questions and aims.

In other words, what (in your view/analysis) does each film accomplish or perhaps aim to accomplish and how does it do so? What makes each film significant and of import and interest? Is there a particular angle of interest or issue that you want to analyze—do so!

Study two of the following films closely (by different directors) as part of your preparation for the exam—the selection of the two films is your choice but at least one of the film must be 'foreign' (if you are in doubt about whether the director is American or 'foreign' just ask me ahead of the exam):Strangers on a Train, Vertigo, Notorious, Rear Window, Shadow of a Doubt, Bicycle Thieves, Umberto D., Journey to Italy, Rome, Open City, The Searchers, Black Narcissus, The Red Shoes, I Know Where I’m Going!, The 400 Blows, Breathless, Cléo from 5 to 7, Contempt (Le Mépris), Pierrot le fou, Blow-Up, Kes, My Beautiful Laundrette, Mon oncle Antoine, the sweet hereafter, 8½, La dolce vita, L’avventura, Nights of Cabiria, Alice in the Cities, Wings of Desire, Ali Fear Eats the Soul, The Spirit of the Beehive, Closely Watched Trains, Vagabond, If, Le Samouraï, Wild Strawberries, Persona, The Seventh Seal, The Conformist, Performance, Wings, Daisies, Aguirre, the Wrath of God, Fitzcarraldo, The Naked City, Kiss Me Deadly, The Last Seduction, Red Rock West, Taxi Driver, Some Like It Hot, In the Heat of the Night, Wait Until Dark, Hoosiers, The Vanishing, Close-Up, Rachel Getting Married, Two Days, One Night ,Winter's Bone, Before Sunrise, Annie Hall, Manhattan, Memento, Breaking Away, Fresh, Stranger than Paradise, Frozen River, Jackie Brown, Adaptation, Tsotsi, Do the Right Thing, Memento, Ghost World, or An Education.

3. Sequence Analysis 'Plus' essay (titled, minimum five pages, double-spaced, 12 pt font Times New Roman, one-inch margins, due by 12:00pm/noon Wednesday March 28(send by email), and no later (with -3 points penalty) than 2pm Thursday March 29 (start of class):, also bring printed copy to class the next day as well as electronic copy sent to me by email by the Wednesday noon deadline, with your last name as the first word in the name of the attached file (such as, Smith_SequenceAnalysis.docx). potential 80 points)--see highlighted weblink for the assignment (and examples of Sequence Analyses in Bblearn folder) as well as cautions about 'plagiarism/academic dishonesty' further below.

4. Critical Analysis Essay (hard copy due at start of class Tuesday May 1, also send copy to me by email in MS Word or RTF doc/format, to sflores@uidaho.edu--late essays accepted no later than the start of class Thursday May 3--100 points possible): Your assignment is to write at minimum a six page (double-spaced, 12 point Times New Roman font, with one-inch margins) essay that presents an argument to explain how cinematic techniques work together to create meaning in a film—a post World War II film (1945-present) that you select from a list that I shall provide of acclaimed films that vary by time period, culture, and genre; you may also choose a film that is listed on our course schedule on the main website. I expect that your essay will be strengthened by some consulation/research, for example, by taking advantage of essays and other materials included not only in our main film history text but also in folders in Bblearn, and as explained on the assignment, you must cite the sources of the information that you incorporate into your essay from your research, and include citations within the text as well as a bibliography of Works Cited. See this highlighted weblink for the full assignment and see cautions about 'plagiarism/academic dishonesty further below and as noted in the assignment (as a faculty member I [am obligated ] to report all such instances to the Dean of Students Office). Note also that if you wrote on an American film (directed by John Ford or a film set in the United States) for the Sequence Analysis Plus Essay, then you must write on a foreign film (non-U.S. setting) for this assignment. See this list of films for options for this assignment.

For this assignment, please review and keep in view the following: in your prior sequence analysis 'plud' essay, your essay aimed to understand how a sequence makes sense—how a sequence of shots has and creates meaning—including (and because of) its relation to other significant prior or subsequent parts of the film, as the film’s narrative story and plot unfold and arguably either cohere or work in contradiction to enact meaning. In other words, a sequence functions in its fullest significance and range of meaning(s) as it is understood to exist and as it is situated within the overall film and its contexts. In that prior essay you were assigned to create an argument and conduct analysis that begins with a specific shot sequence but which also moves beyond close analysis to understand the film’s overall narrative arc and its primary modes of representing and working through problems/questions—both cinematic as well as cultural/social/historical problems and questions, and to consider to what degree the film seems to answer or resolve such questions.

In this Critical Analysis Essay, you are to create an argument and conduct analysis that may include a focus on one or more shot sequences but that also moves beyond close analysis to understand the film’s overall narrative arc and its primary modes of representing and working through problems/questions—both cinematic as well as cultural/social problems and questions, and to consider to what degree the film seems to answer or resolve such questions.

5. Participation: Please take advantage of opportunities to share your insights and to listen and reply to others' ideas. I hope that questions and discussions will enable you to move the class in directions you find most helpful, give you opportunities to develop critical skills through collaboration, and provide for a productive, interesting exchange of perspectives among the class. You may meet periodically in small groups in class primarily for sharing Inquiry-Starters and to prompt our class discussions. I expect you to contribute productively to class discussion, and I will make an effort to call on you directly, especially if you tend not (!) to pitch in to share your views and questions. In addition, try to remember to bring a piece of paper to each class meeting--occasionally I will prompt you to do some in-class writing--an ungraded pop quiz of sorts--to understand your interests and responses to the chapter/reading from the primary text and to the assigned viewing of films. In sum, aim to come to class prepared, to contribute readily to conversation in thoughtful ways that advance the discussion, to attend to others' views in ways that promote productive dialogue and exchange, and to participate actively whether in class or online (Bblearn Inquiry Starters).

6. All required work is due at the begin ning of class on the due date—work turned in late will be graded accordingly. Required graded written work will be downgraded one notch (for example, B+ to B, converted to points for each assignment) for each weekday late (not just days classes meet but counting just one day for a weekend).Work submitted more than a week late will not be accepted. I will grant short extensions for medical and family emergencies—but talk with me as soon as possible to request an extension. Always keep copies of your work.

7. Attendance: always attend class (unless you are sick). One or two absences--excused or not--will not affect your semester grade; a third absence will lower your semester total by three points only if you reach four absences, with a three-point reduction for each additional absence (four absences=minus 6 points, five absences = minus 9 points); six or more absences is sufficient cause for you to receive a failing grade for the course, regardless of your semester point total. All absences will be counted—excused or not—if something extraordinary occurs, talk to me. It may be helpful near the end of the semester for you to remind me which absences were due to illness, preferably with a doctor's note. Once your absences reach four or higher, I will start to note the point deductions in the Bblearn Grade Center.

Another category of absence has to due with conflicting university commitments that are academic (such as theater majors' trip to regional conference) or perhaps directly related to next steps in your professional life/career (such as a job interview) or if you are a UI athlete, absences that are due to a team trip, or for documented and timely notice of illness that creates an occasional absence. To make up for such university academic, sports absences, or occasional absences due to illness--on an absence-by-absence basis--please select/find a film review or review-essay/chapter on one of the films under discussion for the day/week during which you have an absence (again, usually due to a university academic or sports commitment/conflict such as a class field trip, with supporting note from instructor, or an athletic trip/competition, with supporting note/letter from the athletic dept.), and write a concise summary of some main aspect of the review-essay, and also include some very brief response to its main ideas/argument--post your entry as an extra Inquiry Starter for that week (to be posted no later than a week following the missed class), and send an email to me with the content of that post (sflores@uidaho.edu). I include such review-essays for nearly all films in the respective folder in Bblearn. Here are guidelines for your Summary-Response:
The summary-response (limited to 250-300 words or so) should present a selective account of what you consider to be the review-essay's primary, most important or engaging ideas and points of argument and interpretation. Determine to what extent and how the reading has influenced your views and understanding—that is, try to specify the most important ideas you "take away" from the reading, and reflect on what you might "say back" to the author in sharing your perspective on the essay and on the film and its meanings and form/technique. Be sure to be explicit about what review-essay you are addressing, and if you find a source outside the Bblearn folder, include a copy of that source.

8. Grades: Midterm Exam (50 pts); Sequence Analysis Essay (80 pts); Critical Analysis Essay (100 pts). These required assignments add up to a maximum of 230 points. Thus 207-230 points equals an A, 184-206 equals a B, 161-183 equals a C, 138-160 equals a D, and anything below 138 merits an F. I shall reserve up to a potential six bonus points based on my perceptions of the strength of your participation and efforts over the semester; incomplete or missing inquiry-starter entries will be counted against your semester grade, with the loss of four points for each missing or incomplete entry, to a maximum loss of 48 points. NOTE, therefore, that missing even one Inquiry-Response combined for example with three absences, could very well affect your overall semester grade by lowering your total points by 7 points. You might earn grades in the A(-) range, for instance, on the Sequence Analysis Plus Essay and on the Critical Analysis Essay, yet receive a B for the semester if you incur such penalty points because of missing IRs and absences. By February 24 (and typically on nearly a weekly basis prior to late February) you may check the Bblearn Grade Center to check on any point deductions for insufficient, missing, or late Inquiry Starters, and for four or more absences. It is best, of course, to keep track of your own absences (all absences are counted, with provisions for some 'make up' opportunities as specified above in #7) as well as to keep track of whether your weekly Inquiry Starters were posted on time, whether you addressed both the assigned reading and the assigned viewing in your IS, and whether your IS is sufficiently developed (minimum of 250 words). I advise that each week you also read others' ISs (as well as my occasional 'reply' comments) to get a sense of the perspective and strengths or differences of your understanding and arguments/interpretation, relative to others' points of view. This is one of the best ways to build cumulative, sequenced competencies and understanding prior to the midterm and throughout the semester. If you are falling short of basic, competent work prior to the midterm, you will know that both through the Grade Center and in some cases of great concern, by individual emails from me. If you want my sense of how you are doing, just ask.

9. Office hours. I encourage you to confer with me—especially before assignments are due—to talk about your interests, intentions, and writing strategies. If you cannot make my regular hours (in Brink 125), we’ll arrange another time. I also welcome communicating with you by E-mail (sflores@uidaho.edu).

10. Use of laptops and cell phones during class is prohibited; occasional use of laptops—typically for group work and to access the online components of the class—may be permitted with my approval.

11. Do not submit work for this class that you have submitted or intend to submit for a grade in another course; as always, be careful to cite anyone else's work that you draw upon. See highlighted link on the class website to a useful guide to avoiding plagiarism, and a link to information on the university's policies regarding plagiarism and academic dishonesty, in relation to the UI Code of Student Conduct. University of Idaho Guidelines on Academic Dishonesty , including plagiarism:

Plagiarism includes the using of ideas, data, or language of another as one’s own without specific or proper acknowledgement or citation, lack of knowledge of proper citation is not valid excuse for plagiarism as it is the responsibility of the author writing the material to know the proper methods for appropriate citation and/or seek guidance/help when using another’s work.

Plagiarism can be committed in any type of assignment and includes, but is not limited to, the following behavior that also does not include the full, clear and proper acknowledgement of the original source: 

12. Classroom Learning and Civility: To support learning and discovery in this course—as in any university course—it is essential that each member of the class feel as free and as safe as possible in his or her participation. To this end, we must collectively expect that everyone (students, professors, and guests) seek to be respectful and civil to one another in discussion, in action, in teaching, and in learning. Because knowledge and learning are constructed and construed through social inquiry and exchange, it is vital that course dialogue and debate encourage and expect a substantial range of reasoned, expressive, and impassioned articulation of diverse views in order to build a stronger understanding of the materials and of one another's ways of knowing. These practices strengthen our capacities for understanding and the production of (new) knowledge. As with the critical writing assignments for this class, our primary aims include engaging with texts and their varied critical interpretations by identifying problems, developing claims and arguments with supporting lines of evidence and explanation, and enriching our literary understanding, interests, and commitments.

Should you feel our classroom interactions do not reflect an environment of civility and respect, you are encouraged to meet with me during office hours to discuss your concern. Additional resources for expression of concern and avenues of support include the chair of the Department of English, Dr. Scott Slovic, the Dean of Students office and staff (5-6757), the UI Counseling & Testing Center’s confidential services (5-6716), or the UI Office of Human Rights, Access, & Inclusion (5-4285).

13. Disability Support Services: Reasonable accommodations are available for students who have documented temporary or permanent disabilities. All accommodations must be approved through Disability Support Services (885-6307; dss@uidaho.edu; www.uidaho.edu/dss) located in the Idaho Commons Building, Room 306 in order to notify your instructor(s) as soon as possible regarding accommodation(s) needed for the course.

Additional reference sources for further study/research: Do not rely upon or incorporate research from non-refereed, non-“scholarly” sources or publications. As noted above, plan to seek secondary research sources from the bibliographies in our texts, and the main secondary sources for you to consider are in folders in the course Bblearn site.

To guide your lifelong cinephile viewing, here is a lengthy list of acclaimed films--see this weblink for my compilation of 501 Top-Ranked/Selected/Preferred Films, including many from Sight & Sound 2012 poll of all-time films, as well as top ranked lists from Criterion Collection, National Society of Film Critics' 100 Essential Films, and other 'favorites.'

English 222.01 Semester Schedule Spring 2018[some adjustments to film selections may occur as we move through the semester]--unless another source is specified (such as a PDF on Bblearn site), all specified/assigned readings/contents are in our main text or in PDFs in Bblearn, and are to be read before the class meeting on the date/day as listed below; video clips are via weblinks in Bblearn folder(s) with password as specified under notes for those weblinks.

Selective list/example—among a larger range of choices available to you—of a ‘primary’ list of films that you would/could watch fully this semester (we shall see clips of all of these and more, as you can see from the detailed schedule of reading and viewing options on the syllabus/schedule a bit further below)—'a primary list':
Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train, or Notorious, or Vertigo
Ford’s The Searchers
De Sica’s Bicycle Thieves
Powell and Pressburger’s Black Narcissus or The Red Shoes
Truffaut’s The 400 Blows and/or Varda’s Cléo from 5 to 7
Antonioni’s Blow-Up and/or Loach’s Kes
Fellini’s 8½ or Nights of Cabiria
Wenders’ Alice in the Cities or Fassbender’s Ali Fear Eats the Soul
Shepitko’s Wings or Coppola’s Rachel Getting Married, or Hunt’s Frozen River
Ozu’s Late Spring or Toyko Story
Hood’s Tsotsi or Meirelles’s City of God or Amirpour’s A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
Jarmusch’s Stranger than Paradise or Tarantino's Jackie Brown
Dardenne brothers’ Two Days, One Night or Jenkin’s Moonlight
Ade’s Toni Erdmann or Zhangke’s Still Life
Chazelle’s Whiplash or Jonze’s Her

Many of the films studied and available include prominent female characters, as well as films with emphases on race, gender-inflections, class, and of course different global intercultural perspectives; for a particular focus on women directors/screenwriters?, see, for example:

Agnès Varda (Cléo from 5 to 7, Vagabond, The Beaches of Agnes, and other films)
Gurinder Chadha (Bend It Like Beckham)
Věra Chytilová (Daisies)
Larisa Shepitko (Wings)
Courtney Hunt (Frozen River)
Debra Granik (Winter’s Bone)
Mira Nair (Monsoon Wedding)
Ana Lily Amirpour (A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night)
Maren Ade (Toni Erdmann)
Jenny Lumet’s screenplay for Rachel Getting Married, dir. Jonathan Demme
Diablo Cody’s screenplay for Juno, dir. by Jason Reitman
Also seek out these female directors (films):
Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird
Sofia Coppola, dir. and writer (Lost in Translation)
Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker)
Lisa Cholodenko (The Kids Are All Right)
Kelly Reichardt (Wendy and Lucy)
Clio Barnard (The Arbor)
Andrea Arnold (American Honey)
Sarah Polley (Stories We Tell)
Jennifer Kent (The Babadook)
Niki Caro (Whale Rider)
Mary Harron (American Psycho)
Lynne Ramsay (We Need to Talk About Kevin)
Céline Sciamma (Tomboy)
Claire Denis (White Material; 35 Shots of Rum)
Kirsten Johnson (Cameraperson)
Patty Jenkins (Monster)
Dee Rees (Pariah)
Melanie Laurent (Breathe)
Chantal Akerman (No Home Movie, and others)
Nicole Holofcener (Lovely and Amazing)
Margarethe von Trotta (The Second Awakening of Christina Klages)

and see this weblink piece The Best Female Directors Working Today

1/11 (Thursday)   Read (at least skim through!) Bordwell and Thompson's introductory essay "Doing Film History" online (weblink highlighted in title of essay). If this is your first film studies course, I suggest that you see the PDF on Introduction to film studies, with analysis of scenes from films Juno and Harry Potter--the PDF is in the folder in Bblearn labeled Excerpts from texts on film studies; in the film clips folder also view clip analyses for Juno and for Harry Potter; we'll start watching Alfred Hitchcock's Strangers on a Train and perhaps see the beginning of Vertigo as well--finish watching either film, or both if you wish! (see weblink to clips via Bblearn folders on Hitchcock), before class next Tuesday (you could also choose to watch a different Hitchcock film, such as Notorious or Rear Window or Shadow of a Doubt--note that Vertigo displaced Citizen Kane as the #1 all time best film (by 846 critics, programmers, academics and distributors) in the 2012 Sight & Sound Poll)); also see these optional/recommended snippet/summaries of chapters on Film Studies from the book The Film Experience, interspersed over the semester, as in the following weblink: The Film Experience, Part One: Cultural Contexts: Watching, Studying, and Making Movies; for next Tuesday, and every week thereafter, be sure to look ahead on this course schedule so that you can plan to complete the assigned reading (and/or viewing) and Inquiry-Starter writing on Bblearn, ahead of each class meeting--that is, the material listed for each Tuesday or Thursday should be 'completed' before class meets for each day, and remember to comment specifically in each Inquiry Starter on some aspect of both the assigned reading and the assigned viewing (in part to avoid penalty points!).  
1/16-18

View (via weblinks embedded in Bblearn folders) much of both Strangers on a Train and Vertigo or Notorious or Rear Window or Shadow of a Doubt before class, including viewing at least one film in its entirety; Cook, David A. A History of Narrative Film, Fifth Edition: read section on Hitchcock (205-217--also version from Cook's fourth edition is available as PDF in Bblearn folder on Hitchcock if you have not yet purchased the fifth edition of Cook's textbook); we'll discuss Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train (1951) in class today and perhaps some of Vertigo--what did you find most interesting about the film's form/cinematography? What did you find most interesting (and why) about the film's characters, relationships, and narrative story and outcome? any film is more than 'entertainment'--or rather, if entertaining it also is compelling, addressing our desires, meeting certain kinds of satisfactions or perhaps frustrating such interests--how can we begin to think about the meanings/value, signficance of Hitchcock's film?

The Film Experience: Chapter Two: Mise-en-Scène: Exploring a Material World

Bblearn Inquiry Starter due by 1 pm on some aspect of readings/films on syllabus for this week (be sure to write a bit both on Cook's section on Hitchcock as well as on one or more of Hitchcock's films);

optional: Bblearn video clip on Narrators, Narration, and Narrative; also optional/ highly recommended: see via Bblearn weblink John Ford's classic, provocative film The Searchers (1956--this film ranked #7 all time best film (by 846 critics, programmers, academics and distributors) in the 2012 Sight & Sound Poll), with option to watch with astute audio commentary by Peter Bogdanovich

for next week (this weekend?) watch Vittorio De Sica’s Bicycle Thieves (1948) or Umberto D.(1950) and/or Roberto Rossellini’s Journey to Italy (1954) so that you have watched at least part of two films and all of one of these films, before class next Tuesday--see Bblearn folder on Italian Neorealism

 
1/23-25

A History of Narrative Film, read Chapter 11: Wartime and Postwar Cinema: Italy and the United States, 1940–1951 (275); The Effects of War (275)—Italy (276)—The Italian Cinema before Neorealism; The Foundations of Neorealism; Neorealism: Major Figures and Films; The Decline of Neorealism—The United States (285—Hollywood at War; The Postwar Boom—Postwar Genres in the United States (290)—“Social Consciousness” Films and Semi-Documentary Melodramas; Film Noir; The Witch Hunt and the Blacklist; The Arrival of Television;

Reminder: before today's class watch the affecting Vittorio De Sica’s Bicycle Thieves (1948) or Umberto D. (1950) and/or Roberto Rossellini’s Journey to Italy (1954, ranked #41 all time best film by critics in Sight & Sound 2012 poll) or Rome, Open City (1945) so that you have watched at least part of two films and all of one of these films, before class today--be prepared to talk or write about the plot and a scene from one of those films--we may watch some of Mark Shiel's "Life as It Is" on Italian neorealism but more likely I will lecture on this highly important movement while showing silently a neorealist film, so that I suggest that you watch Shiel's piece via weblink in Bblearn folder on Italian neorealism--note that Bicycle Thieves (1948), was ranked #33 all time greatest film in 2012 Sight & Sound poll; it ranked #10 all time best film in that poll by 358 directors). The Bblearn folder on Italian neorealism includes weblinks to brief essays on these films.

Also note that there is a Bblearn folder on Film Noir, with two classic films that bridge some of that 'genre' development: Kiss Me Deadly, and The Last Seduction, as well as Jules Dassin's The Naked City.

The Film Experience Chapter Three: Cinematography: Framing What We See

Bblearn Inquiry Starter due by 1 pm on some aspect of readings/films on syllabus for this week  
1/30-2/1

A History of Narrative Film, read Chapter 12: Hollywood, 1952–1965 (303): The Conversion to Color; Widescreen and 3-D—Multiple Camera/Projector Widescreen: Cinerama; Depth: Stereoscopic 3-D; The Anamorphic Widescreen Processes; The Non-Anamorphic, or Wide-Film, Widescreen Processes; Adjusting to Widescreen; The Widescreen “Blockbuster”; American Directors in the Early Widescreen Age—1950s Genres—The Musical; Comedy; The Western; The Gangster Film and the Anticommunist Film; Science Fiction; The “Small Film”: American Kammerspielfilm—Independent Production and the Decline of the Studio System; The Scrapping of the Production Code

Before class watch some of both of these films, and one film fully: Black Narcissus or The Red Shoes (ranked 9th in BFI's top 100) dir. by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger (or if you prefer you could watch Powell and Pressburger's I Know Where I’m Going!)

The Film Experience: Chapter Four(133-173): Editing: Relating Images

Bblearn Inquiry Starter due by 1 pm on some aspect of readings/films on syllabus for this week (that is chapter 12 of A History of Narrative Film, and on Powell & Pressburger, or you may choose instead to watch/write about John Ford's classic, provocative film The Searchers (1956--this film ranked #7 all time best film by 846 critics, programmers, academics and distributors in the 2012 Sight & Sound Poll)  
2/6-8

A History of Narrative Film, read Chapter 13: The French New Wave, or Nouvelle Vague, and Its Native Context (339)—The Occupation and Postwar Cinema—Robert Bresson and Jacques Tati; Max Ophüls; Influence of the Fifties Documentary Movement and Independent Production—Theory: Astruc, Bazin, Auteurism, and Cahiers du cinema; The New Wave (Nouvelle Vague): First Films; The New Wave: Origins of Style; Major New Wave Figures—François Truffaut; Jean-Luc Godard; Alain Resnais; Claude Chabrol; Louis Malle; Eric Rohmer and Jacques Rivette; Agnès Varda, Jacques Demy, and Others—After the Wave; French Cinema in the 1980s and the 1990s; The Significance of the New Wave

Before today (and this week) watch some of two films and one film fully, selected from one of my favorites, The 400 Blows, dir. by François Truffaut (#39 all time best film in Sight & Sound poll), or Breathless, dir. by Jean-Luc Godard (#13 all time best film) or another favorite, Cléo from 5 to 7, dir. by Agnès Varda, or Pierrot le fou, dir. by Jean-Luc Godard or Contempt (Le Mépris), dir. by Jean-Luc Godard (#21 all time best film),

Bblearn Inquiry Starter due by 1 pm on some aspects of readings and films on syllabus for this week  
2/13-15

A History of Narrative Film, read Chapter 14: New Cinemas in Britain and the English-Speaking Commonwealth (385)—Great Britain—Postwar British Cinema and Its Context; The Free Cinema Movement; British “New Cinema,” or Social Realism; The End of Social Realism and Beyond—Australia and New Zealand—Australia; New Zealand—Canada

Before today (and this week) watch some of at least two of the following acclaimed films: Blow-Up (1966), Kes (1970, named one of the ten best British films of the 20th century by the British Film Institute), the 'delightfully transgressive' My Beautiful Laundrette (1985), Mon oncle Antoine (1971, often cited as the greatest Canadian film of all time), the sweet hereafter (1997), or Bend It Like Beckham (2002), or the highly provocative Performance (1970, initially given an X-rating for its sex, drugs, violence--ranked #35 in The Telegraph's 2017 list of the 75 best British films ever made) or also provocative An Education (2009), or the lower-key Bhaji on the Beach (1994) and watch all of at least one of these films

Bblearn Inquiry Starter due by 1 pm on some aspects of readings and films on syllabus for this week; CLASS DOES NOT MEET TODAY (I am traveling to present a paper at an academic conference)

 
2/20-22

A History of Narrative Film, read Chapter 15: European Renaissance: West—The Second Italian Film Renaissance—Federico Fellini; Michelangelo Antonioni; Ermanno Olmi, Pier Paolo Pasolini, and Bernardo Bertolucci; Other Italian Auteurs—Popular Cinema in Italy—Contemporary Widescreen Technologies and Styles—Scandinavian or Nordic Cinema—Ingmar Bergman and Others; Sweden; Finland; Denmark and Dogme; Norway and Iceland—Spain—Luis Buñuel; New Spanish Cinema—Germany: Das neue Kino--Postwar Origins; Young German Cinema; The New German Cinema—International Stature: Fassbinder, Herzog, Wenders, and Others—Rainer Werner Fassbinder; Werner Herzog; Wim Wenders; Hans-Jürgen Syberberg and Others; jean-Marie Straub and Marxist Aesthetics

Before today (and this week) watch some of two films and one film fully, selected from 8½ (1963, voted #10 all time best film in 2012 Sight & Sound poll; ranked #4 all time best film in that poll by 358 directors), dir. by Federico Fellini, La dolce vita (1960, voted #39 all time best film in 2012 Sight & Sound poll, dir. by Federico Fellini, L’avventura (1960, #21 all time best film in 2012 Sight & Sound poll), dir. by Michelangelo Antonioni, Nights of Cabiria (1957, Giulietta Masina won Best Actress at Cannes as the title character of one of Fellini’s most haunting films. Oscar winner for Best Foreign Language Film) dir. Fellini--if you prefer, one of the films could be Ingmar Bergman's Wild Strawberries (1957, ranked 63rd all time greatest film in 2012 Sight and Sound critics' poll) or The Seventh Seal (1957, ranked 93rd all time greatest film in 2012 Sight and Sound critics' poll), or Persona (1966, ranked 17th all time greatest film in 2012 Sight & Sound critics' pollor Herzog's Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972), or his Fitzcarraldo (1982), or see one of Herzog's shorter documentaries

The Film Experience: Chapter Six(213-251): Narrative Films: Telling Stories

Bblearn Inquiry Starter due by 1 pm on some aspects of readings/films on syllabus for this week

Optional: Bblearn PDF on Analyzing Cinematography;

Optional: see Bblearn video clip on Lighting and Familar Image: The Night of the Hunter; see video clip on Composing the Frame; see PDF on black and white film, and on color film

 
2/27-3/1

A History of Narrative Film, read Chapter 16: European Renaissance: East (481)—Poland—The Polish School; The Second Generation; The Third Polish Cinema; Solidarity and Polish Cinema—Former Czechoslovakia—The Postwar Period; The Czech New Wave; “Banned Forever”—Hungary—Three Revolutions; András Kovács; Miklós Jancsó; Gaál, Szabó, and Mészáros; Other Hungarian Directors—Former Yugoslavia—Partisan Cinema and Nationalist Realism; Novi Film; The “Prague Group”—Bulgaria; Romania; Other Balkan Cinemas; The Importance of Eastern European Cinema

Because we couldn't get to everything in last week's chapter, before class today watch some of two of the following films, and all of one film: one of my favorites, Wenders' Alice in the Cities (1974) or Wings of Desire (1987), Erice's The Spirit of the Beehive (1973, voted #81 all time best film in the 2012 Sight & Sound poll), Fassbinder's Ali Fear Eats the Soul (1974, voted #93 all time best film in 2012 Sight & Sound poll), , Bergman's Persona (I encourage you to watch at least the first seven minutes of Persona but be wqrned there are several graphic images/scenes), Wild Strawberries (or The Seventh Seal), Menzel's Closely Watched Trains (1966), or Chytilová’s Daisies (1966) or Margarethe von Trotta's The Second Awakening of Christina Klages (1977)

Bblearn Inquiry Starter due by 1 pm on some aspect of readings/films on syllabus for this week; read through some of the advice on writing about film in the Bblearn folder "Examples of Student Sequence Analysis essays from Engl 230, plus two Critical Analysis essays, and other advice on writing about film" --you might start with this full treatment "Film Analysis: Approaches and Strategies (from Film Analysis: A Norton Reader)"

Also see Corrigan and White PDF in Bblearn folder for Chapter Twelve (429-461): Writing a Film Essay: Observations, Arguments, Research, and Analysis
Writing an Analytical Film Essay

 
3/6-8

A History of Narrative Film, read Chapter 17: The Former Soviet Union, 1945–Present (533)—Cinema during the Khrushchev Thaw; Sergei Parajanov and Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors; Cinema under Brezhnev; Cinema of the Non-Russian Republics; Baltic Cinema; Lithuania; Latvia; Estonia—Moldavia (Moldova)—Transcaucasian Cinema—Georgia; Armenia; Azerbaijan—Central Asian Cinema—Uzbekistan; Kazakhstan; Kirghizia (Kyrgyzstan); Tadjikistan; Turkmenistan—Soviet Russian Cinema—Glasnost, Perestroika, and the Collapse of the Soviet Union;

Bblearn Inquiry Starter due by 1 pm today (Tuesday) on some aspect of readings/films on syllabus for this week

I might show some from such films as Fresh, Do the Right Thing, and Moonlight, and/or some clips from video essays on film technique and form, from the Bblearn folder on Film clips with analysis ...

for viewing this week, you can choose anything you haven't yet watched from our Bblearn folders; I suggest that in terms of the chapter reading, you watch some or all of Shepitko's Wings (1966), or the excerpt from Klimov's Come & See, and I suggst that you range back in time or ahead in time to watch a full film completely (if you do not watch Wings completely), such as Do the Right Thing, Pariah, Fresh, Get Out, Rachel Getting Married, Two Days, One Night ,Winter's Bone, Before Sunrise, Annie Hall, Manhattan, Memento, Breaking Away, Stranger than Paradise, Frozen River, or Jackie Brown, Adaptation, Tsotsi, Memento, Ghost World, Medium Cool, Ida, and so on ....

See PDF in Bblearn from Corrigan and White's Chapter Eleven (397-427): Reading About Film: Critical Theories and Methods

And the Bblearn PDF, excerpt from Gocsik, Barsam, Monahan on Writing About Movies; or you might read 'ahead': Recommended: Read Lehman and Luhr's chapter on Race (Bblearn folder on excerpts from film studies texts)

Chapter Nine(311-349): Movie Genres: Conventions, Formulas, and Audience Expectations

Midterm exam (see above under Requirements #2 for full description and directions): This exam directs in the ‘Part 1 ‘minor section,’ that you write two concise ‘answers’ (label these 1.A and 1.B) each answer to encapsulate something significant that you recall about a subsection of Chapter 15 (European Renaissance: West) from our main textbook, Cook’s A History of Narrative Film. Next, the ‘main’ Part 2 of the exam directs you to write about two films by different directors of your choice (at least one selection must be a ‘foreign’ film/director) from a list of films, in which you (2.A) write one shorter essay that you may complete in advance, before the in-class midterm exam (325-475 words, bring printed essay to the midterm) about one film and (2.B) one longer essay in class (550-650 words, in class) about a different film. You are to use blue or green exam booklets, or provide your own blank sheets of ruled notebook paper for the in-class exam, and provide descriptive titles for each of the Part 2 essays. You are not to have access to your film history text, the internet, or any notes during the in-class 75-minute exam.

 
3/20-22

A History of Narrative Film, read Chapter 18: Wind from the East: Japan, India, and China (565)—Japan—The Early Years; Sound; War; Occupation; Rashomon, Kurosawa, and the Postwar Renaissance; Kenji Mizoguchi;Yasujiro Ozu; Offscreen Space; The Second Postwar Generation; The Japanese New Wave; Japanese Filmmaking after the New Wave; Decline of the Studios—India—Satyajit Ray; Parallel Cinema; Regional Cinemas—China—The People’s Republic of China; Hong Kong; Taiwan (Republic of China)

Watch some of both Ozu's Late Spring (1949, this film ranked #15 all time best film by 846 critics, programmers, academics and distributors in the 2012 Sight & Sound Poll) and Toyko Story (1953--ranked #3 all time best film in Sight & Sound 2012 poll--ranked #1 all time best film in the poll by 358 directors), and all of one of these films; and also see in Bblearn folder on Postwar Japanese cinema additional brief review essays on Ozu, including weblinks to Michael Atkinson's "Late Spring: Home with Ozu" and also the video essay on "The Signature Style of Yasujiro Ozu" as well as Donald Richie's "Ozu and Setsuko Hara";recommended: weblink clip to Talking to Ozu

Bblearn Inquiry Starter due by 1 pm on some aspect of readings/films on syllabus for this week; also be sure to read at least two of the student examples of Sequence Analysis essays

Recommended: Read Lehman and Luhr's chapter on Gender and Sexuality (Bblearn folder on excerpts from film studies texts)

Chapter 10 (353-395): History and Historiography: Hollywood and Beyond

 
3/27-29

Note: Class does not meet today.

Reading: A History of Narrative Film, read Chapter 19: Third World Cinema (623)—Latin America—Mexico; Brazil; Argentina; Bolivia, Peru, and Chile; Venezuela, Colombia, and Central America—Cuba and the New Latin American Cinema—Africa—North Africa; Sub-Saharan Africa—The Middle East—Iran; Israel—The Pacific Rim

Sequence Analysis 'Plus' essay (titled, minimum five pages, double-spaced, 12 pt font Times New Roman, one-inch margins, due Wednesday noon March 28 (and no later than 2pm Thursday March 29, with -3pts deducted), printed copy in class the next day as well as electronic copy sent to me by email by the Wednesday noon deadline, with your last name as the first word in the name of the attached file (such as, Smith_SequenceAnalysis.docx). potential 80 points)--see highlighted weblink for the assignment as well as cautions about 'plagiarism/academic dishonesty' further below. If you have not yet done so, see the Bblearn folder labeled “Examples of Student Sequence Analysis essays, plus several Critical Analysis essays, and other Advice on Writing about Film”--by now, you should have read several of the PDFs on writing abou film (e.g., Introduction to Film Analysis (from Film Analysis: A Norton Reader, Second Edition.; Film Analysis: Approaches and Strategies (from Film Analysis: A Norton Reader)--full helpful guide/chapter; Corrigan and White chapter on Writing a Film Essay: Observations, Arguments, Research, and Analysis; Corrigan and White chapter on Reading about Film: Critical Theories and Methods) and read several of the student example Sequence and Shot Analysis essays.

Viewing: Watch some of both Tsotsi (2005, won an Oscar as Best Foreign Language Film) and City of God (2002, Ranked #38 greatest film since year 2000, by 177 film critics in BBC 2016 poll--Note: contains scenes of brutal violence.), and watch all of one of these films--note if you prefer, you can select a film with a different tone/culture/subject, such as Makhmalbaf's The Silence (1998), Kiarostamis Close-Up (1990, ranked #42 all time best film in 2012 Sight & Sound poll), Rocha's Barravento (The Turning Wind, 1962), Sembene's Moolaadé (2004), or Campanella's El Secreto de Sus Ojos (The Secret in Their Eyes, 2009), or A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014), Police, Adjective (2009) or the recent 'masterpiece' Ida (2013), but given our chapter reading, I encourage you to watch Tsotsi and/or City of God.

Optional: see video clips on Point of View and on Zoom and Moving Camera Effects; see PDF shot analysis of City of God

Bblearn Inquiry Starter due by 1 pm on some aspect of readings/films on syllabus for this week

Recommended: Read Lehman and Luhr's chapter on Race (Bblearn folder on excerpts from film studies texts)

The Film Experience: Chapter Five (175-209): Film Sound: Listening to the Cinema

NOTE: last day to withdraw from a course is tomorrow, March 30:

Withdraw  March 30
VandalWeb; select Withdraw action and Submit Changes, $5 fee charged
 
4/3-5

A History of Narrative Film, read Chapter 20: Hollywood, 1965–1995 (669)—The New American Cinema—The Impact of Bonnie and Clyde; 2001: A Space Odyssey; The Wild Bunch: “Zapping the Cong”; End of a Dream—Hollywood in the Seventies and Eighties—Inflation and Conglomeration; New Filmmakers of the Seventies and the Eighties; The American Film Industry in the Age of “Kidpix”; Developments in Film Stock; The Effects of Video

Viewing: Watch Michael Haneke's Caché (2004, Ranked #23 greatest film since year 2000, by 177 film critics in BBC 2016 poll)[I will focus on Caché in class lecture/discussion this week--the note on the Bblearn folder indicates the two prominent moments of bloody violence in this film] or instead of Caché, watch Krzysztof Kieślowski’s Three Colors: Blue (1993), or if your prefer a non-European film,  see Wong Kar-Wai's In the Mood for Love (Ranked #2 greatest film since year 2000, by 177 film critics in a 2016 BBC poll; #24 all time best film in Sight & Sound 2012 poll), and/or his earlier film Chungking Express, or Juan José Campanella's EL Secreto de Sus Ojos (The Secret in Their Eyes, 2009), or on Abbas Kiarostami's 1990 film Close-up (ranked #42 all time best film in 2012 Sight & Sound poll), or you could try a film from the folder of films from India, or The Salesman, or Police, Adjective (2009) or the searing Four Months, Three Weeks, and Two Days, or the recent 'masterpiece' Ida (2013)

Bblearn Inquiry Starter due by 1 pm on some aspect of readings/films on syllabus for this week

Optional: see video clips on Evolution of Editing: Continuity and Classical Cutting, and also on Montage; see PDF on continuity editing, discontinuity, and the 180-degree rule; video clip: The 180-Degree Rule

 
4/10-12

A History of Narrative Film, read Chapter 21: The Digital Domain (701)—Digital Production—Origins of Computer Animation, 1962-1988—Industrial Light & Magic—From The Abyss to Death Becomes Her; The Impact of Jurassic Park, 1993-1996; Digital Domain and Titanic; Particle Animation, 1996-1997: Twister, Independence Day, and Starship Troopers—A New “New Hollywood,” 1997-1998—The Digital Manipulation of Color—Bread and Circuses—Millennial Visions—A New Aesthetic for a New Century—Digital 3-D—The Digital Future

Before class watch Courtney Hunt's Frozen River (2008, winner of the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance), or Jim Jarmusch's Stranger than Paradise (1984, 89 min, National Society of Film Critics voted Stranger Than Paradise the best film of the year; also won Camera d'Or prize [at Cannes] for best first film) or Quentin Tarantino's Jackie Brown (1997), or Yakin's Fresh (1994) or Linklater's Before Sunrise (1995); also options of last year's Lady Bird or Call Me By Your Name, or Her (2013)

The Film Experience: Chapter Eight (283-309): Experimental Film and New Media: Challenging Form

Bblearn Inquiry Starter due by 1 pm on some aspect of readings/films on syllabus for this week

Optional: see PDF on the Concepts of story versus plot; see video clips on Shot Types and Implied Proximity and on Camera Angles

 
4/17-19

A History of Narrative Film, read Chapter 22: A Global Cinema? (733)—Megapictures, or “Tent Poles”—Hollywood Abroad—Globalization’s Effects on Local Cinemas—Digital Distribution—“Independent” Film—A Glut of Indie Films?—Slow Cinema, Long Films—Long Movies on Television—DVD—“Binge-Watching”—Giants in the Earth—Some Contemporary Trends—The Rise and Fall of ‘Torture Porn”; The Hybridization of Comedy and Drama—Four Comic Talents—Other American Auteurs—Shape of the Future

Before class watch some of at least two different films, and all of one film, selected from the Dardenne brothers' Two Days, One Night (2014, Academy Award for Best Foreign Film), or Moonlight (2016, Oscar Best Picture winner) or Get Out (2017), or Her (2013, Ranked #84 greatest film since year 2000, by 177 film critics in BBC 2016 poll), or '71 (2014) or Ida (2013) , or Children of Men (2006/in recent BBC poll of critics ranked as 13th best film of the 21st century), Yeele (1987), or Mulholland Drive (2001, Ranked #1 greatest film since year 2000, by 177 critics in BBC 2016 poll, and # 28 all time greatest film in 2012 Sight & Sound poll) or Creed, or Stranger Than Fiction (2006)

Bblearn Inquiry Starter due by 1 pm on some aspect of readings and of films on syllabus for this week; in the Bblearn folder that contans examples of students' essays, read either (or both) of the essays on Two Days, One Night, or Her--these provide examples of the Critical Analysis Essay that is due on May 1. I also advise you to read at least one film review-essay on either film, available within the respective folder for the film that you choose.

Optional: see video clip on Lighting

 
4/24-26

before class, watch openings of both Wong Kar-wai's Chungking Express (1994, 102 min) and In the Mood for Love [ranked #24 all time best films in Sight & Sound 2102 poll (2000, 98 min), but then I suggest that you watch last year's Academy Award winner for Best Picture, Barry Jenkins' Moonlight or Get Out (The Atlantic terms this the definitive film of 2017), or Phantom Thread (2017), or try one of my 'new' favorites, Toni Erdmann (2016); if you have already watched one or more of these films, try something new from our Bblearn folder/weblinks, such as Jia Zhangke's Still Life (2006, winner of the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival) or Platform (2000) or Yeelen; if you want to sample films from India, including the broad category of "Bollywood," see Aditya Chopra's Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (The Big-Hearted Will Take Away the Bride, 1995), or Ram Gopal Varma's Satya (1998), or Mira Nair's Monsoon Wedding (2001), or Ram Gopal Varma's Company (2002), or Ashutosh Gowariker's Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India (Taxation/2001)

Note: you may make up for a prior missing Inquiry Starter by posting an Inquiry Starter in the discussion thread for today, April 24.

Bring a minimum one-page draft of your Critical Analysis Essay to class today, including at least a sentence or more that presents your provisional 'thesis' for the essay. After class, do any revision of your thesis/draft, and then send an email to me by Friday 5pm to let me know what you are planning to write about in your essay, including a minimum of one paragraph that specifies/presents your main idea/hypothesis.

The Film Experience: Chapter Seven: Documentary Films: Representing the Real

 
5/1-3

Critical Analysis Essay (hard copy due at start of class May 1, also send copy to me by email in MS Word or RTF doc/format, to sflores@uidaho.edu--late essays accepted (with point penalties) no later than start of class Thursday May 3.

Before class, watch Get Out, Birdman or Whiplash--if you have watched these films before, try a different film, such as '71 or or Arrival (2016)l, or if you want to try a highly provocative film see Under the Skin. For more romantic fare, watch Before Sunrise or possibly Phantom Thread or Call Me By Your Name. Note: attendance is required this week! or looking for something more lighthearted and comedic, try Some Like It Hot (1959) or Breaking Away (1979) or Annie Hall (1977) or Strictly Ballroom (1992) or Miranda July's Me, and You, and Everyone We Know (2005) or the distinctive 'rom-com' The Big Sick (2017)

Two distinctive vampire films: take a look at Let the Right One In (2008) and/or A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014); note: attendance is required this week!  
  Finals Week [no final exam in this class] Happy summer and film viewing!    

Course Learning Outcomes: English 222
Students will study, explore, and seek to learn in the context of the following learning objectives and outcomes--the Engl 222 course
• Introduces and develops focused/limited secondary research skills
• Develops writing strategies, including the capacity for visual analysis, for a critical understanding of film as demonstrated in essays and other forms of writing
• Helps students investigate how these films shape and reflect their particular (global) contexts, including differences in treatment of socio-cultural, historical, and political issues across the time period covered
• Helps students engage with and develop investment in the films and related texts/criticism—using a range of assignments and resources, including online writing/discussions
• Helps students begin to engage in scholarly conversations about film, including learning some of the vocabulary of film studies and the application of that vocabulary—these conversations proceed with practice of focused, basic research skills and use of evidence to position themselves in dialogue with critical discussions
• To develop an initial understanding of the social and technological history of film, including a selective variety of films widely regarded as signficant in the historical development of film and claims for "excellence" in film since the 1950s
• Helps students become acquainted with some of the formal techniques by which films make meaning and to evaluate the formal aspects of cinema in relation to analytic arguments that make specific claims about how a film's formal aspects can be argued to effect/affect meaning(s)
• Requires, and directs students in ways to write concise, sustained analytical essays (with selected research) that evidence close reading of the films to include well-developed theses/argument, selective, limited engagement with critical sources, and ability to ask meaningful questions of the film and its construction and contexts. Evaluation of students' written work includes instructor's use of a rubric to identify specific areas assessed
• Introduces and supports introductory exploration of theoretical perspectives on film and cultural studies, enabling students to reflect upon, compose, and articulate the ways that they engage with critical theory and practice
•Helps students understand applications of film studies with references to contemporary events/situations that show similar problems depicted in the texts recurring in present day life and social relations
•Expects and monitors that students' writing exhibits correct usage of grammar and of MLA formats and citation conventions

• Fosters (one hopes!), a profound, complex enjoyment of films through critical understanding, reflection, and engaged study of a good range of films ranging from 1945 to the present, to support/anticipate a lifelong fascination and pleasure with cinema

Evaluation/Assessment Rubric for Instructor's Written Responses to Critical Essay and Term Essay, with check mark along a scale of Excellent to Weak, with specific comments to supplement comments/feedback on the texts of the essays themselves:

Rubric for Initial Criteria for Evaluating Critical Writing/Essays:   Excellent          Very Good-Good          Competent-Fair          Weak
Note: Ultimately the evaluation of your work is holistic,
and therefore also intends to register the different, nuanced,
unexpected and evocative effects of your analysis,
exploration, creative expression/affect, and engagement
with learning and discovery.

1. Strength and clarity of (hypo)thesis/focus/introduction

2. Intellectual/conceptual strength and persuasiveness of
main claim as well as ensuing argument/logic/premises/
critical analysis/theory/ideas         

3. Cohesive and coherent development, logical
 organization, including well-structured paragraphs with
clear points and compelling, specific support/evidence

4. Analysis of film’s/topic’s relevant cultural/historical
 contexts and if specified, of related scholarship/criticism;
analysis of film’s rhetorical/persuasive strategies, structure

5. Topic’s depth/complexity, including explanation of
problem to be addressed, recognition of film’s
conflicts/contradictions (ideological/rhetorical),
creativity and sense of discovery/affective engagement
conveyed—the articulated sense of “what’s at stake, why
 all of it matters”

6. Significance/ conclusion

7. Effective sentences, syntax, verbs, diction,
punctuation, complexity, and suitable style: academic,
critical, appropriate to your understanding of the
materials/subjects

8. MLA style—parenthetical citation of sources,
Works Cited; formatting; spelling ungraded but noted

University of Idaho Guidelines on Academic Dishonesty (including plagiarism)

Lessons on Style (general advice/quited dated handout but perhaps worth looking over) [pdf]

Quick Advice on Punctuation (also dated) [pdf]

Summary/Overview of Perspectives on Critical Theory

Online Writing Center Resources (from writing essays to grammar and usage advice):

http://wiki.english.ucsb.edu/index.php/The_Craft_of_a_Literature_Paper

Review Guide to Using MLA Style for Citing Sources [from OWL/Purdue, see esp. left side tab: formatting and style guide]

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Filmspotting Podcast: Top Ten Films of 2017, Parts 1 and 2:
https://www.filmspotting.net/episodes-archive/2017/12/22/661-top-10-films-of-2017-pt-1
https://www.filmspotting.net/episodes-archive/2017/12/28/662-top-10-films-of-2017-pt-2

NY Times video series Anatomy of a Scene (very short videos that look at a scene from a 'recent' film)

"100 Best Movies on Amazon Prime" (March 2018)

FYI, see this weblink to my favorite films/books/music

which includes these favorite films:

Films (most dates accurate):

’71 (2014)
8½ (1963)
12 Angry Men (1957, also 1997 remake, plus "12", a 2007 Russian version)
Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (1974)
Alice in the Cities (1974)

Alien (1979); Aliens (1986)
Arrival (2016)
Babette’s Feast (1987)
Before Sunrise (1995, first in director Linklater's romantic/sentimentally intelligent trilogy, followed by Before Sunset and Before Midnight, spanning 18 years, with Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke)
Before Midnight (2013)
Before Sunset (2004)
Bend It Like Beckham
(2002)
Best in Show (2000)
Bicycle Thieves (1948)
Birdman, or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance (2014)
Breaking Away (1979)
Bullitt (1968)
Caché
(2004)
Casablanca (1942)
Children of Men
(2006)
Chinatown (1974)
City of God
(2002)
Cléo from 5 to 7
Clueless (1995)
L'Eclisse (1962)
Fargo (1996)
Five Easy Pieces (1970)
Fresh (1994)
Frozen River (2008)
Get Out (2017)

Groundhog Day (1993)
Hannah and Her Sisters (1986)  
Her (2013) 
Holiday (1938)
Hoosiers
(1986)
In the Heat of the Night (1967)
I've Heard the Mermaids Singing (1987)
Journey to Italy (1954)
Kes
(1970)
Kill Bill: Vols. 1 and 2 (2003/2004)
Kings of the Road (1976)
Late Spring
(1949)
L'avventura (1961)
Manhattan (1979)
Man with a Movie Camera (1929)
The Millenium Trilogy
(Swedish): The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009); The Girl Who Played with Fire; The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest
Miss Congeniality (2001)
Mulholland Drive
(2001)
My Cousin Vinny (1992)
My Dinner With Andre (1981)
Nights of Cabiria
(1957)
North by Northwest (1959)
Notorious (1946)      
Now, Voyager (1942)
Paris, Texas (1984)
Persona (1967)           
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles (1987)
Police, adjective (2009, Romanian)

Pulp Fiction (1994) 
Rachel Getting Married (2008)
Rashomon (1950)    
Roman Holiday (1953)  
Shadow of a Doubt (1943)
Some Like It Hot (1959)
The Spirit of the Beehive
(1973)
Stop Making Sense (1984)
Stranger Than Paradise (1984)  
The 400 Blows (1959)
The Philadelphia Story (1940)
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (1968)
The Searchers (1956)
The Secret in Their Eyes (2009, El Secreto de Sus Ojos)
The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Stranger Than Paradise
(1984)
The Trip  (2010)
Three Colours: BLUE(1993), Three Colours: WHITE (1993), Three Colours: RED(1994)
To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
Toni Erdmann (2016)            

Top Hat (1935)
Toyko Story (1953)
Two Days, One Night (2014)--on Netflix
Under the Skin (2014)

Vertigo (1958)
Wait Until Dark (1967)
What’s Up Doc? (1972)
Whiplash
(2014)
Wild Strawberries (1959)
Winter’s Bone (2010)

Or see this list that combines my list of recommended films with some overlaps and additions from the National Society of Film Critics list of 100 Essential Films

Sight & Sound 2012 poll (of 846 film critics and others in the film industry) for their lists of the best films of all-time

See, seek out Mark Cousins's "contentious" Story of Film: An Odyssey (in fifteen one-hour episodes--some of these you can watch via weblinks in Bblearn in our course)--the weblink here to the Wikipedia page shows the range of films that he mentions for each episode

Want to compare with an avid cinephile closer to your own generation? Check out my son's list of 'great' films (he also keeps track of 'good' films and all films that he's seen)--this is current to 2013: Ben's List of Great Movies

It's interesting to browse through this list of animated movies,from a Time Out poll

And see the somewhat unevenly or less? rigorous Time Out poll/list of 100 Best Movies of All Time!

UK Critics' 2002? Top Ten Poll Results for Best Films of Past 25 Years (roughly 1977-2002)

New York Times Lists of Best Movies of 2017

The Atlantic Best Films of 2017

Roger Ebert website's Ten Best Films of 2017