SCHEDULE SP22

The following class schedule should be interpreted as a general timetable governing the subjects to be covered in this course. Class discussion and pace often dictate additions, deviations, and omissions.

Screenings:  The basic premise of this class is that one best learns film history, technique, and influence through the analytical viewing of films. These facets of film communication can be documented by the viewing of the films that mark milestones in cinematic development. One or more films are scheduled for each class meeting, and students in the class are strongly encouraged to view as many films outside of class as possible.

Readings:  In addition to lectures, screenings and discussions during class, assigned readings will aid you in learning the material covered in this course. Assignments will be made from the online version of Louis Gianetti's Understanding Movies, available to students through "content" tab of D2L.  Readings should be completed prior to the class date for which they are assigned.

Assignments and their due dates are specified in D2L.

W 19 Jan Beginnings of Film Communication
M Jan 24Lumière, Méliès, and Edison
Reading: Giannetti, Ch. 1, Photography, p. 1
Le Voyage Dans La Lune (Méliès, 02,:14)
The Great Train Robbery (Porter, 03, :12).
W Jan 26D.W. Griffith
Birth of a Nation (Griffith, 15, 2:59).
M Jan 31The Silent Comics
Reading: Giannetti, Ch. 6, Acting, p. 232
W Feb 02The Silent Comics II
Reading: Giannetti, Ch. 8, Story: The Classical Paradigm, p. 337
The Rink (Chaplin, 16, :25)
The Immigrant (Chaplin, 17, :30)
The General (Keaton, 27, 1:14)
M Feb 07German Expressionism
Reading: Giannetti, Ch. 7, Dramatization, p. 284
Das Kabinett des Doktor Caligari (Weine, 19, 1:09)
Metropolis (Lang, 26, 2:00)
W Feb 09Soviet Montage
Reading: Giannetti, Ch. 4, Editing: Soviet Montage..., p. 162
Bronenosets Potemkin (Eisenstein, 25, 1:05)
M Feb 14Documentary
Reading: Giannetti, Ch. 8, Story: Nonfictional Narratives, p. 348
Nanook of the North (Flaherty, 22, 1:05)
Berlin, Synfonie einer Großstadt (Ruttman, 27, 1:19).
Chelovek s kinoapparatom (Vertov, 29, 1:08)
W Feb 16Documentary II
Triumph des Willens (Riefenstahl, 34, 1:19)
Nuit et brouillard (Resnais, 55, :30)
M Feb 21Sound and Animation
Reading: Giannetti, Ch. 5, Sound, p. 193
Reading: Giannetti, Ch. 3, Movement: Mechanical Distortions..., p. 124
W Feb 23Sound and Animation II
M Feb 28The Golden Age & Screwball Comedy
The Philadelphia Story (Cukor, 40, 1:52)
W Mar 02John Ford & The Western
Reading: Giannetti, Ch. 8, Story, p. 327
Stagecoach (Ford, 39, 1:39)
M Mar 07Spring Break
W Mar 09Spring Break
M Mar 14Italian Neo-Realism
Reading: Giannetti, Ch. 11, Critique: Theories of Realism, p. 456
Ladri di biciclette (DeSica, 48, 1:30)
W Mar 16Orson Welles
Reading: Giannetti, Ch. 2, Mise en Scène, p. 46
Reading: Giannetti, Ch. 12, Synthesis - Citizen Kane, p. 495
Citizen Kane (Welles, 41, 1:59)
M Mar 21Film Noir
Double Indemnity (Wilder, 44, 1:46)
W Mar 23Post War Japan
Rashomon (Kurosawa, 50, 1:28)
M Mar 28The American Musical
Reading: Giannetti, Ch. 1, Photography: Color, p. 23
Reading: Giannetti, Ch. 5, Sound: Musicals, p. 215
Singin' in the Rain (Kelly & Donen, 52, 1:42)
W Mar 30Fear & Gimmicks of the 1950s
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (Siegel, 56, 1:20)
M Apr 04The French New Wave
Reading: Giannetti, Ch. 4, Editing: André Bazin..., p. 172
À bout de souffle (Godard, 59, 1:29)
W Apr 06European Art-Cinema
Det Sjunde inseglet (Bergman, 57, 1:36)
M Apr 11Alfred Hitchcock
Reading: Giannetti, Ch. 4, Editing: An "edited sequence" from Rear Window (Figure 4-22a, b, c & d)
Rear Window (Hitchcock, 54, 1:52)
W Apr 13The British Emigrés
Reading: Giannetti, Ch. 9, Writing, p. 368
Lawrence of Arabia (Lean, 62, 3:42)
M Apr 18Independent & Non-Theatrical Cinema
Meshes of the Afternoon (Deren, 43, :18)
Easy Rider (Hopper, 69, 1:34)
W Apr 20"Chop Socky," Wuxia, and Beyond
Meng long guojiang (Lee, 72, 1:31)
Yīngxióng (Yimou, 2002, 1:39)
M Apr 25"Bollywood"
Three Idiots (Hirani, 2009, 2:59)
W Apr 27Film School Brats & Blockbusters
Reading: Giannetti, Ch. 3, Movement, p. 95
The Godfather (Coppola, 72, 2:15)
M May 02Trends in Cinema Diversity
Reading: Giannetti, Ch. 10, Ideology, p. 406
Do The Right Thing (Lee, 89, 2:00)
W May 04Final Exam 0245-0445p

CONTACT THE PROFESSOR

The classroom setting is such that not all needs can be met within it.  I encourage you, therefore, to visit my office often.  It is my pleasure to discuss grades, attendance, notes, lectures, or anything else which will make you a better student.   Your grades can only benefit from regular communication with your professors.  I will gladly work with you to arrange meeting times convenient to us both. Feel free to contact me:

I will respond to most messages within 12-24 business hours.

DESCRIPTION & OBJECTIVES

3 sem. hrs.  Analytical viewing of exemplar works contextualizes major genres, artistic movements, theories, and national cinemas, in a broader history of the moving image.  Highlighting the work of significant creative contributors fosters appreciation for the medium as an art form. Prerequisite: ENGL101.  This course is approved for General Education – Distribution 1.

In lecture, screenings, and discussion, the professor will

  • provide students with a lexicon of terminology appropriate to the critical consumption and creative production of the moving image.
  • provide students with a knowledge of the history of cinema as an art form.
  • expose students to exemplars of historical eras, major genres, artistic movements, and national cinemas.
  • provide students with a diverse base of knowledge of cinema theory and technique.

In classroom discussion and examination, students will

  • critically analyze the form and content of moving image exemplars.
  • correctly employ terminology appropriate to filmmaking process and principles.
  • classify films by historical era, genre, artistic movement, and national cinema.
  • articulate tenets of major schools of film critique and theory.
GRADES, PENALTIES & APPEALS

The assignments for this class are divided into five categories:

  • Quizzes I (before midterm).  Students must take at least one, but may take more from this category. If you miss the window of availability for a quiz, your remaining quizzes will be given greater weight to compensate.
  • Quizzes II (after midterm).  Students must take at least one, but may take more from this category. If you miss the window of availability for a quiz, your remaining quizzes will be given greater weight to compensate.
  • Screening Reports I (before midterm).  Students must submit at least one from this category. If you miss the window of availability for a screening report, your remaining reports will be given greater weight to compensate.
  • Screening Reports II (after midterm).  Students must submit at least one from this category. If you miss the window of availability for a screening report, your remaining reports will be given greater weight to compensate.
  • Final Exam.  All students must take the final exam.

All work counts an equal percentage toward your final average.  Thus, the more assignments a student submits, the less each one of them counts toward the final average.

Assignment grades will be based on the following scale:

93-100A73-76C
90-92A-70-72C-
87-89B+67-69D+
83-86B63-66D
80-82B-60-62D-
77-79C+< 60F

The extreme flexibility of assignments is meant (1) to anticipate the likelihood of pandemic-related absences and (2) to accommodate students who might forego certain screenings for reasons of conscience or mental health. Consequently, no late or rescheduled work will be accepted. If you miss the window of availability for an assignment, your remaining work will be given greater weight to compensate.

Appeals should be made in a timely fashion, within four class periods of grade posting.  Appeals should be offered with rhetorical and presentational clarity, preferably face-to-face or via video conference.

ATTENDANCE & ETIQUETTE

This is the part of the syllabus where I usually refer to the University's Attendance Policy.  These are the paragraphs in which I discuss excused and unexcused absences, about how many classes you can miss before your grade suffers. But the pandemic, though. Eighty people in a room together five hours a week. Some of you are going to get sick. Maybe I will. Maybe the CDC will change its recommendations or the University will send us all home. Or maybe you’ll slip out of a screening as an act of self-preservation (more about that elsewhere). So instead of issuing an inflexible edict, let me share with you my hope:

Students and their professor are expected to attend each class meeting in its entirety. If and when that’s not practical, let us communicate with each other – preferably ahead of time via email.

Can students watch these movies at home? Sure. But many are obscure or hard-to-find. Often excluded from streaming subscriptions, students themselves shoulder the cost of purchasing or renting these obscure titles. The cheap alternative? Come to class. The cost of viewing high-rez prints of the semester’s films is included in tuition.

Can the professor screen-share the movies via Zoom? Alas, no. If even copyright law didn’t prohibit such transmission (though it most assuredly does), limited bandwidth almost always compromises playback quality.

Classes will not be held on holidays officially recognized by the university. All other days of the term are fair game for lectures, quizzes and assignments. Those students who plan to leave early for or return late from holiday breaks may not reschedule exams or other work.

Because this is a classroom, you’re encouraged to use smart phones, tablets, and laptops in disciplined ways which accomplish the work of the course. But because this is also a movie theater, you should be mindful of the ways in which sounds and screens distract other students. Again, I could lay down an inflexible law, or I could encourage you to help me navigate the tension between class goals.

CRUELTY & KINDNESS

Conflict is the central element of drama.  If everyone acts nobly, no one struggles or improves or wins.  No sin, no story.  In this semester of stories, you may expect the best and the worst of humanity:  salvation and victory; blackface and Hitler; G-rated rainbows and R-rated profanity.  The list below (though far from exhaustive) specifies some of the sensitive topics ahead.

When I use old words to describe today's problems, you could ridicule me on TikTok and Instagram.  But I really hope you won't.  I hope, instead, that you'll coach me to consider newer, less harmful terms and concepts.  I know it's a scary thing to correct or even contradict somebody older and more educated, someone who can give you a bad grade.  I'll try to make you feel as safe as I can – because I think it's smarter for you to win me as an ally than to tag me as an adversary.

Don't want to come to class?  Don't come.  Get the notes from a classmate.  Triggered by film content?  Excuse yourself during the screening or skip it entirely.  Don't want to take a quiz?  Your other quizzes will be given more weight to compensate.  I will not nail you to the chair.  I will not force you to watch movies or to talk about topics which wound you.  It is not my intent to penalize you for knowing your limits, for protecting yourselves with active self-care.

However, there's little point in college if you leave thinking the same thoughts you had in high school.  You must weigh the value of tuition if you're not exposed to concepts which stretch you.  Need help balancing self-care with intellectual challenge?  Please talk with me, your advisor, or a counselor.

Engage in respectful discussion, sensitive to viewpoints other than your own.  Please handle your classmates with care, even when you disagree.  Understand that the movies we watch will not affect everyone the same way.

In general, I'm reluctant to admit visitors to class.  They won't have the same opportunity for context and discussion available to enrolled students.

Objectification of women • Comically inaccurate scienceLe Voyage Dans La Lune
(Méliès, 1902, :14)
Murder • Robbery • AssaultThe Great Train Robbery
(Porter, 1903, :12)
Slavery • War • Murder • Lynching • Assassination • Insurrection • White actors in blackface • Disparagement & stereotypes (gender, ethnicity) • Heroic portrayal of the Ku Klux Klan • Attempted & suggested sexual assaultBirth of a Nation
(Griffith, 1915, 2:59)
Theft • Fraud • Comic assault (of men, women, law enforcement) • Comic references to poverty • Disparagement & stereotypes (gender, ethnicity)The Immigrant
(Chaplin, 1917, :30)
Exploitation of natural resources • Comic references to poverty & hunger • Animal abuse • Substance abuse • Casual gunplayThe Gold Rush
(Chaplin, 1925, 1:12)
Buildering • Peril • Fraud • Theft • Disparagement & stereotypes (gender, ethnicity) • Comic assault (men, women, law enforcement)Safety Last
(Newmeyer & Taylor, 1923, 1:13)
Comic assault (men, women, law enforcement) • Theft • Fraud
Body part humor • Exploitation of disabled persons • Comic references to poverty
City Lights
(Chaplin, 1931, 1:27)
War • Fraud • Theft • Vandalism • Insurrection • Disparagement & stereotypes (gender)
Confederate Victory
The General
(Keaton, 1927, 1:14)
Murder • Witchcraft • Disparagement & stereotypes (religion, mental illness)Das Kabinett des Doktor Caligari
(Weine, 1919, 1:09)
Murder • Witchcraft • Disparagement & stereotypes (religion)Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens
(Murnau, 1922, 1:36)
Murder • Witchcraft • Disparagement & stereotypes (religion)Der Golem, wie er in die Welt kam
(Boese, 1920, 1:25)
Class warfare • Insurrection • Children in peril • Disparagement & stereotypes (religion, mental illness)Metropolis
(Lang, 1926, 2:00)
Murder of non-combatant women, children • Insurrection • Military hazingBronenosets Potemkin
(Eisenstein, 1925, 1:05)
Peril • Polyamory • Disparagement & stereotypes (ethnicity, gender)Nanook of the North
(Flaherty, 1922, 1:05)
Explicit images of human birthChelovek s kinoapparatom
(Vertov, 1929, 1:08)
Hitler’s address to the Nuremberg Rally • Nazi pageantryTriumph des Willens
(Riefenstahl, 1934, 1:19)
Poverty • Exploitation of natural resourcesThe River
(Lorentz, 1937, 30)
Disparagement & stereotypes (ethnicity, religion, nationality) • Murder • Slavery • Internment • Involuntary medical experimentationNuit et brouillard
(Resnais, 1955, :30)
Jewish Identity, Influence, and WorshipSynchronous Audio & Theater Palaces
Animal abuse • Body part humor • Tobacco use • Disparagement & stereotypes (gender)Steamboat Willie
(Disney, 1928, :07)
Animal abuse • Assault • Body shaming • Disparagement & stereotypes (gender)Popeye the Sailor Meets Sindbad the Sailor
(Fleischer, 1936, :16)
Assault • Animal abuse • Casual gunplay • Body shaming • Cross-dressing • Disparagement & stereotypes (gender)The Rabbit of Seville
(Warner Bros, 1950, :07)
Bullying • Child homelessness • Disparagement & stereotypes (ability difference)Gerald McBoing Boing
(Cannon/Hubley, 1951, :08)
War • Bullying • Children with guns • Disparagement & stereotypes (religion, authority, mental illness)Munro
(Deitch, 1960)
Nuclear warThe Hole
(Hubley, 1962)
Psychedelic (drug) cultureYellow Submarine
(Dunning, 1968, :90)
Disparagement & stereotypes (gender)Ersatz
(Vukotic, 1961)
Political oppression • Murder • Disparagement & stereotypes (authority)Ruka/The Hand
(Trnka, 1965, :18)
Animal Abuse • Fraud • TheftThe Wrong Trousers
(Park, 1993, :30)
Animal Abuse • Cross-dressing • Disparagement & stereotypes (sexuality, gender)Bringing Up Baby
(Hawks, 1938, 1:42)
Disparagement & stereotypes (gender) • Substance abuse • Marital infidelity • DivorceThe Philadelphia Story
(Cukor, 1940, 1:52)
Disparagement & stereotypes (gender) • Obstruction of justice • Fraud • Organized crime • Assault • Attempted murderBall of Fire
(Hawks, 1941, 1:51)
Disparagement & stereotypes (gender, ethnicity, class, profession) • Theft • Murder • “Slut-shaming”Stagecoach
(Ford, 1939, 1:39)
Disparagement & stereotypes (gender, ethnicity, religion, authority) • Theft • Body shamingIl Buono, il brutto, il cattivo
(Leone, 1967, 2:41)
Disparagement & stereotypes (gender, ethnicity) • Slow-motion gore • Fraud • ProfanityThe Wild Bunch
(Peckinpah, 1969, 2:14)
Disparagement & stereotypes (religion) • Poverty • Occultism • TheftLadri di biciclette
(DeSica, 1948, 1:30)
Disparagement & stereotypes (religion, authority) • Insurrection • Murder • TortureRoma città aperta
(Rossellini, 1945, 1:45)
Infidelity • Domestic violence • Substance abuse • Wealth inequity • Yellow journalism/fake newsCitizen Kane
(Welles, 41, 1:59)
Disparagement & stereotypes (gender, sexuality, body type) • Murder • Assault • Theft • Fraud • Substance abuseThe Maltese Falcon
(Huston, 41, 1:40)
Disparagement & stereotypes (gender, ethnicity) • Murder • Assault • Theft • Fraud • ConspiracyDouble Indemnity
(Wilder, 44, 1:46)
Disparagement & stereotypes (gender, mental illness) • Occultism Rashomon
(Kurosawa, 50, 1:28)
Disparagement & stereotypes (gender, nationality) • Marital infidelityTop Hat
(Sandrich, 35, 1:39)
Children in peril • Witchcraft • Animal abuse • ConcussionThe Wizard of Oz
(Fleming, 39, 1:41)
Disparagement & stereotypes (gender, ability difference, profession)Singin' in the Rain
(Kelly & Donen, 52, 1:42)
Parental and family dysfunction • Nazi authorityThe Sound of Music
(Wise, 65, 2:54)
Disparagement & stereotypes (mental illness) • Nightmarish perilInvasion of the Body Snatchers
(Siegel, 56, 1:20)
Disparagement & stereotypes (authority figures) • Murder of policeÀ bout de souffle
(Godard, 59, 1:29)
Parental and family dysfunction • Truancy • TheftLes Quatre Cents Coups
(Truffaut, 59, 1:39)
Theft • Plague • Disparagement & stereotypes (religion, mental illness) • Religious violence & persecutionDet Sjunde inseglet (Bergman, 57, 1:36)
Murder • Stalking • Animal Abuse • Voyeurism • Breaking & Entering • Theft • Dismemberment • SuicideRear Window
(Hitchcock, 54, 1:52)
Disparagement & stereotypes (nationality, ethnicity, authority figures) • War • ColonialismLawrence of Arabia
(Lean, 62, 3:42)
Disparagement, harassment, & stereotypes (nationality, ethnicity, gender, sexuality) • Colonialism • Nuclear peril • Organized Crime • Murder • Electrocution • International TerrorismGoldfinger
(Hamilton, 64, 1:51)
Disparagement, harassment, & stereotypes (nationality) • WarHenry V
(Branagh, 89, 2:17)
Meshes of the Afternoon
(Deren, 43, :18)
Drug use • Assault • Murder • ProstitutionEasy Rider
(Hopper, 69, 1:34)
Disparagement, harassment, & stereotypes (nationality, ethnicity, gender, sexuality) • Gang violenceMeng long guojiang
(Lee, 1972, 1:31)
Plagiarism • SuicideThree Idiots
(Hirani, 2009, 2:51)

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY

It is expected that all work submitted through this course is the student’s original work, generated for the express purpose of completing the requirements of this course. Students are to be aware that academic dishonesty is not tolerated in this course and should be familiar with the following definitions:

  • Cheating. Behaviors including, but not limited to, use of unauthorized notes or reference materials during examinations; copying answers from another student’s paper during an examination; the unauthorized possession of academic materials, including exams; the unauthorized exchange of course assessment materials, including exams; the unauthorized exchange of information or collaboration regarding tests, or other course assignments; aiding another to engage in cheating; and/or all other acts of academic dishonesty that any member of this academic community would reasonably understand to be a breach of this academic integrity statement will be considered cheating and an act of academic dishonesty.
  • Plagiarism. Plagiarism may be defined as the act of taking the ideas and/or expression of ideas of another person and representing them as one’s own. This includes, but is not limited to, using ideas or passages from a work without properly attributing the source, paraphrasing the work of another without giving proper credit, and/or the sale, purchase, or exchange of papers or research. It is the student’s responsibility to know what plagiarism is and to properly cite the work of others. If a student is in doubt, it is their responsibility to resolve any ambiguity prior to submitting the work. Plagiarism is nothing less than an act of theft, and, as such, is subject to University disciplinary action.
  • Copyright.  While plagiarism involves appropriating someone’s ideas without credit, copyright infringement is taking or altering someone’s original created work without paying.  Copyright enforcement is subject to a number of variables including the lifespan of the creator and his/her heirs as well as corporate ownership of works made for hire.  Fair warning:  burgeoning filmmakers often wrongly believe they must pay other creators for work used only if their film turns a profit.  Not true.

The standards of integrity and the penalties of dishonesty apply equally to

  • ideas, words, and speech
  • visual images, recordings, performances, and files
  • audio recordings, performances, and files
  • all electrochemical means of storage and communication
  • use of computing facilities and resources in violation of copyright laws

I will vigorously pursue prosecution of academic dishonesty to the very limit of sanctions allowed by the university, up to and including failure of the course and expulsion from the university.  I will work just as vigorously with students to prevent even unintended lapses of integrity.

Potential sanctions associated with academic dishonesty may be found in the University’s Student Code of Conduct.

ACCESS & TITLE IX

The University offers services to meet the accommodation needs of students with many types of disabilities. The Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD) provides services to students based upon documentation of a disability and a request for accommodations based on this disability. Please refer to Policy A008 (Reasonable Accommodations for Students with Disabilities).

Edinboro University and its faculty are committed to assuring a safe and productive educational environment for all students. In order to comply with the requirements of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and the University’s commitment to offering supportive measures in accordance with the new regulations issued under Title IX, the University requires faculty members to report incidents of sexual violence shared by students to the University’s Title IX Coordinator. The only exceptions to the faculty member’s reporting obligation are when incidents of sexual violence are communicated by a student during a classroom discussion, in a writing assignment for a class, or as part of a University-approved research project. Faculty members are obligated to report sexual violence or any other abuse of a student who was, or is, a child (a person under 18 years of age) when the abuse allegedly occurred to the person designated in the University protection of minors policy.

Information regarding the reporting of sexual violence and the resources that are available to victims of sexual violence is set forth online here or in-person at

Office of Social Equity
Reeder Hall, Third Floor, 219 Meadville Street
Edinboro, PA 16444 • 814-732-2167