Tuesday, April 3, 2012

EXAM questions (This exam will be due by midnight 5/1):

1. Explain Jean Epstein's concept of photogénie.

2. Site three ways in which a French Impressionist Film(s) (viewed during class) expressed a character's subjective experience. Be descriptive in your answer and make sure you are describing filmic devices specific to French Impressionist Film. Make sure to include the film's (or films') title, date, and director.

3. Site three ways in which a French Surrealist Film(s) (viewed during class) used expectations built upon classical narrative film language to create shock through challenging these expectations. Make sure to include the film's (or films') title, date, and director. To do this, use at least two the following terms, define them, and describe how a surrealist film confounded your expectations based on these definitions. Explain what sort of reaction this created in you as a viewer:
establishing shot
screen direction
match on action
eyeline match
shot/reverse shot

4. What did Alexandre Astruc mean to gain for cinema by his use of the metaphor la caméra stylo?
Cléo from 5 to 7, Agnés Varda, 1962

Jules and Jim, François Truffault, 1962

recommended reading:

François Truffaut: The Anarchist Imagination, by Judith Shatnoff

(available on JSTOR)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Yet Another REVISION to LOGISTICS! (from the old softy)

There will be one electronic (take home on your laptop) exam. This exam will be emailed to you next week. This exam will be due 5/1

Research paper will be due 4/24
choice between two possible plans of attack:

1. 2400 words, minimum 6 images: a research paper on any artist or director whose films we have watched in class
with specific attention to the film or films from class
2. 2000 words, minimum 6 images: a close reading of any film from class from before 1950 in comparison to another film in class from before or after 1950

La Passion de Jeanne d'Arc
Carl Theodor Dreyer, 1928

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Thursday, March 1, 2012


All of the blog posts you need to do are listed on this, the class blog; we have done five blogs so far. If it is not listed on the website, you do not have to do a blog for it, about it, on it, or around it. We do not blog every week, just when there is an assigned blog on the website. We will begin to blog less on group topics as we move forward in the term and choose research paper topics. Again, if it is not listed on the class blog, you DO NOT have to do a blog for it.

As a reminder:
You do need to take notes on each film you see, in a notebook, as described in the syllabus. These notes should be loose, informal, and descriptive. These notes do not need to document the entire film. Screen notes should help you remember moments of interest or key moments in the films you see. Screen notes are for your reference when writing your papers.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Screening on Tuesday, February 21st

Man With A Movie Camera
Dziga Vertov

Blog Post V for next Saturday:

Please discuss something you saw in early French Surrealist Cinema that you feel influenced Mulholland Drive. Again, be sure to include images as closely as they can relate.

Please read:
The Film Theory of Antonin Artaud

Also, in preparation for later discussions about future screenings:
Please define the following in a way that might be useful for a discussion of cinema:

Screening on Tuesday, February 14th:

French Surrealist Cinema:

Written by Antonin Artaud, and directed by Germaine Dulac

directed by Man Ray

Written by Robert Desnos and directed by Man Ray

Written by Salvador Dalí and Luis Buñuel, and directed by Luis Buñuel
L'AGE D'OR (1930)
Written by Salvador Dalí and Luis Buñuel, and directed by Luis Buñuel

American Surrealist Cinema:

Maya Deren
AT LAND (1944)
Maya Deren


Screening on Tuesday, February 7th:

Mulholland Drive, 2001, written and directed by David Lynch

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Blog Post IV for Saturday, 2/4/12

Please choose one of the first the French Impressionist films from class to write about:
(Ménilmontant , Mme. Bedeut, or ...Trois Faces)
Describe three specific instances of stylistic devices used by the filmmaker to represent the subjectivity/the emotional state/the point of view of the subject. (remember to include images of the film)

Screenings on Tuesday, January 31st, 2012:

The Narrative Avant Garde in France:
French Impressionism:

Germaine Dulac: La souriante Madame Beudet [The Smiling Madame Beudet] (1922)
Dimitri Kirsanoff: Ménilmontant (1926)
Jean Epstein : La Glace a Trois Faces [The mirror has three faces](1928)
Jean Epstein : Le Tempestaire (1947)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

BLOG POST III for Saturday, January 28th

There is no new reading assigned for this week, instead please intensify your focus on chapter 2 by defining the following:

Types of Meaning:
1. Referential Meaning
2. Explicit Meaning
3. Implicit Meaning
4. Symptomatic Meaning

Evaluation Criteria:
1. Coherence
2. Intensity of Effect
3. Complexity
4. Originality

Principles of Film Form:
1. Function
2. Similarity and Repetition
3. Difference and Variation
4. Development
5. Unity and Disunity

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

BLOG POST II for Saturday, January 21st

Please describe ways in which realistic representation has been distorted to suggest a mood or an emotional state in The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. Please find production stills or images from the film to accent your description.

Please read chapter 2 of Film Art: The Significance of Film Form for Tuesday, January 24th
Please also read the following definitions in your glossary (p.490):
establishing shot
screen direction
match on action

eyeline match
shot/reverse shot

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

BLOG POST I: Due Tuesday, January 17th

Your first post should be a minimum of 200 words discussing ways in which Chien Andalou differs from classical narrative film form.

Also you will need to read Chapter 1 in Film Art: An Introduction By David Bordwell and Kristen Thompson.