代写ENGL1011 Introduction to Film Studies
代写ENGL1011 Introduction to Film Studies
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
School: School of Literature, Art and Media
Program: Film Studies
Unit of Study: ENGL1011: Introduction to Film Studies
Session: Semester 2, 2016
Unit of Study Outline
Arrival of a Train at a Station (The Lumière Brothers, 1895) [Image: thefilmstage.com]
Hugo (Martin Scorsese, 2011)
Unit coordinators are listed on undergraduate and postgraduate coursework semester timetables, and
can be consulted for help with any difficulties you may have.
Unit coordinators (as well as the Faculty) should also be informed of any illness or other misadventure
that leads students to miss classes and tutorials or be late with assignments.
Unit Coordinator: Dr Sarah Gleeson-White
ry student has taken the time to
familiarise themselves with these key policies and procedures.
ENGL1011 INTRODUCTION TO FILM STUDIES
How do form and style structure our experience of film? This unit provides a critical
introduction to elements of film production and viewing, moving through an exploration of
formal components of film to consider film aesthetics in relation to the history of film
scholarship. We will consider films in a variety of cultural and historical contexts, from early
cinema to digital technologies, and introduce a series of case studies to explore historical,
cultural and material contexts of film production and consumption.
There are no mandatory or recommended prerequisites.
Students will be able to:
• Analyse film shots and sequences utilising the language of film analysis
• Introduce and explore basic concepts in film analysis and interpretation
• Articulate key concepts in film studies scholarship, such as auteurism, genre theory, and
• Articulate the historical, cultural, and material contexts that underpin concepts such as
genre, auteur, spectator, and audience
• Relate film analysis and interpretation to wider historical, cultural and material processes
• Analyse new cinema forms within a field of changing technologies and media structures
• Lecture: 1 x 2hrs per week
Tuesdays 11am-1pm, Wallace Lecture Theatre
* All lectures will be recorded and made available through the Blackboard site.
• Tutorial: 1 x 1hr per week
You will have been assigned a tutorial time during enrolment. It is imperative that you
attend this tutorial throughout semester.
• Screening: 1 x 3hrs per week
Thursdays 11am-2pm, Old Geology Lecture Theatre
The unit will screen one feature film each week. If you cannot attend the screening, it is
imperative that you view the film in your own time prior to the tutorial. It is expected that
you will be familiar with the film during tutorial discussions.
All films screened in this unit are available for viewing on DVD through Fisher Library and
Schaeffer Library. While DVDs are not for loan, each library has excellent viewing facilities
for individuals and small groups. To locate a DVD, search the library catalogue by title.
Semester Two 2016
代写ENGL1011 Introduction to Film Studiesca (Curtiz, 1942)
4 15 August Storytelling: Film Narrative (BI) Form and Style:
Screening: Citizen Kane (Welles,
5 22 August Case Study: Orson Welles, Hollywood
Story, Plot, Narrative
Screening: The Artist (Hazanavicius,
6 29 August Sound and Vision: Listening to Film
10 03 October* Auteurs and Auteur Theory (SP) Film and/as Ideology
Screening: High Noon (Zinnemann,
11 10 October Film Genre (SP) Auteur Theory
Screening: Unfriended (Gabriadze,
12 17 October The Digital Turn, or, “Where are we
13 24 October Film Studies: Histories,
The Digital Turn
STUVAC 31 October STUVAC
EXAMS 07 November EXAM PERIOD commences
* NB: Public holiday on Monday 3 October.
Two important notes on the unit of study schedule:
• The film screened each week relates to the lecture topic of the following week. Thus, from
the schedule, Hugo screens in week 1, but is discussed in the lecture on “Film Form” in
week 2; similarly, Marie Antoinette is screened in week 8, but is discussed in the lecture
on “Film and/as Ideology” in week 9.
• Tutorial topics lag one week behind lecture topics. Thus, the lecture on “The Evolution of
Film Style” in week 3 is discussed in the tutorial in week 4, and so on. This gives you time
to reflect on the materials in preparation for the tutorial discussion.
Please see the Appendix for a detailed schedule of Tutorial Readings
According to Faculty Board Resolutions, students in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
are expected to attend 80% of their classes. If you attend less than 50% of classes,
regardless of the reasons, you may be referred to the Examiner’s Board. The Examiner’s
Board will decide whether you should pass or fail the unit of study if your attendance falls
below this threshold.
If a unit of study has a participation mark, your attendance may influence this mark.
For more information on attendance, see
There are two major sources of readings for this unit:
• Unit of Study textbook:
David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson, Film Art: An Introduction (10th Edition).
The textbook is available for purchase in hard copy through the University Co-op
bookshop located on the ground floor of the Sports and Aquatic Centre (G09). It is also
available in Fisher Library and Schaeffer Library (in the RC Mills building). There are
copies in the 2hr collection in Fisher.
The textbook is also available in electronic form at a reduced cost through the McGraw-Hill
As the textbook is foundational reading for the entire unit, you will need to use it in
preparation for lectures, tutorials and assessment tasks.
• Further Electronic Readings:
Are available through the Blackboard site. Click on the icon, “eReserve Readings,” and
click on the ‘author’ tab to alphabetize the list of readings by author surname. Then simply
click on the hyperlink and download the reading as a pdf.
In the Detailed Tutorial/Reading Schedule at the end of this outline, all electronically
held readings are marked [ER].
This unit requires regular use of the University’s Learning Management System (LMS), also
known as Blackboard. You will need reliable access to a computer and the internet to use the
LMS. The University uses learning analytics to understand student participation on the LMS
and improve the student learning experience.
The easiest way to access the LMS is through MyUni (click on the ‘MyUni’ link on the
university home page, http://sydney.edu.au or link directly to the service at
https://myuni.sydney.edu.au/. There is a ‘Blackboard LMS’ icon in the top row of the
QuickLaunch window on the left hand side of the screen.
If you have any difficulties logging in or using the system, visit the Student Help area of the
Individual N/A 10% Weekly Weekly
1. Film Sequence Analysis (1,000 wds). Weighting 25%
Due Wednesday Sep 7, 11:59pm
Select a sequence from one film discussed in Modules 1 and 2 of the unit (see Detailed
Tutorial Schedule below) and offer an analysis of the function of ‘film form’ within the
sequence. While a film sequence is relatively open as a descriptive category, I encourage you
to limit the sequence to a manageable duration.
In your analysis, you may wish to consider the following formal film elements:
• The Shot as film unit (Bordwell and Thompson, Chapters 4 and 5).
A film sequence is a collection of shots strategically set in relation to each other. Prior to
embarking on your written analysis, you should view your sequence as a breakdown of
individual shots. Consider how these shots impact on the sequence as a whole.
Within the shot, you may choose to consider mise en scène (‘in the frame’) and
cinematography (including lighting, position and movement of the camera, and duration).
• Montage (Bordwell and Thompson, Chapter 6).
In Bordwell and Thompson, the concept of montage (shots in relation to each other) is
covered under “The Relation of Shot to Shot”. What is the ‘montage strategy’ employed in
the sequence you have chosen? Is the sequence founded upon a series of shots building
‘continuity’, ‘discontinuity’ or a combination of the two? And what is the effect of this series
of cuts within your chosen sequence? To take an example, what is the effect/function of
the ‘jump cut’ in an early sequence in Godard’s À Bout de Souffle [Breathless], examined
in week 9?
• Sound (Bordwell and Thompson, Chapter 7)
Consider the effect of diegetic and non-diegetic sound in your sequence. In what way does
sound work with (or even against) the visual field? What is the overall effect of sound on
your engagement with the sequence as a whole? Can sound enhance the function of
visual formal elements? Can sound work autonomously – that is, can its function ever be
separated from the visual image of film?
• Narrative (Bordwell and Thompson, Chapter 3).
Mainstream film has evolved primarily as a narrative form. However, narrative is more than
simply ‘story and character’. In your analysis, consider the how of storytelling. How does
your sequence reveal a ‘narrational strategy’ above and beyond story, character and
theme? How is this story being told to us? And what is the purpose of this mode of
In this assessment, you may build on your sequence analysis by strategically drawing on
topics discussed in Module 2: the screenplay as film form, film genre, auteur cinema, film and
ideology, new digital cinema, etc. However, your sequence analysis should draw on and
identify formal elements outlined above: ‘the shot’, ‘montage’, ‘sound’, and ‘narrative’,
exploring their function as formal strategies in production, and their effect on on the spectator.
For an example of a formal examination of a sequence, see my analysis of a scene in
Hitchcock’s Vertigo, in the ‘Film Clips Archive’ in Blackboard.
2. Reflective Journal: ‘The Film Viewing Experience’ (1,500 wds). Weighting: 30%
Due Friday October 7, 11:59pm.
Maxim Gorky’s account of a film viewing experience in July, 1896:
“I was at Aumont’s and saw Lumière’s cinematograph – moving
photography. The extraordinary impression it creates is so unique
and complex that I doubt my ability to describe it with all its
nuances… As you gaze at it, you see carriages, buildings and
people in various poses, all frozen into immobility… But suddenly a
strange flicker passes through the screen and the picture stirs to
life. Carriages coming from somewhere in the perspective of the
picture are moving straight at you, into the darkness in which you
sit; somewhere from afar people appear and loom larger as they
come closer to you… All this moves, teems with life and, upon
approaching the edge of the screen, vanishes somewhere beyond
In Walter Murch, “Black and White and in Color,”
McSweeney’s, Oct 3, 2007.
This assessment requires you to keep a reflective journal of your experience of film viewing in
this unit of study. In your journal, you are required to comment on at least 4 films screened
during semester, paying attention not only to your response to the film (i.e. “what I thought of
the film”), but the conditions of viewing – was it a unit of study screening, was it viewed in
isolation on a laptop, or with friends at a public screening? What is the unique affect of a
viewing experience, rather than simply ‘a film’?
In the journal, I want you to consider:
• Your evaluation: what did you think of the film, or films, or the films in comparison? But
evaluation is a critical process; it is not purely a matter of personal taste. For two excellent
pieces on approaches to film analysis and criticism, see:
Bordwell and Thompson, “Evaluation: Good, Bad, or Indifferent,” pp. 60-62; and David
Bordwell, “Studying Cinema,” David Bordwell’s Website on Cinema, 2000, accessed May
20, 2014, http://www.davidbordwell.net/essays/studying.php
• A personal assessment of your experience – how were you ‘affected’ by the film/s
As a reader of your journal, I’m looking for subtle, exploratory, adventurous readings of
how you ‘experience’ cinema. How have these films impacted on you as spectator – or as
the member of an audience? How does the film experience enter into the wider context of
your life experience? How have these films come to mean something to you?
• Your engagement with the film within the context of the unit as a whole.
How has your viewing experience been enriched through the various film studies
discourses we’ve opened up in the course? How has the material in lectures, tutorial
discussions, and your readings enriched your viewing of the films each week? How has
the material enriched your capacity to reflect on this body of cinema?
While I encourage you to attend all screenings, I understand that this will not be possible for
all. Thus, I ask you to be sensitive to the unique form of your viewing experience. In your
selection of films, reflect upon your relationship to the series of films you’ve chosen as a
whole. In this assessment, you thus become a curator of a program, providing a reflective
rationale for your selection of films.
While this is a personal reflection of a viewing experience, it is not a diary. You should
reference any material cited, and situate your written reflections within a scholarly discourse. I
encourage you to reflect on your subjective response to the films, but this response should
nonetheless be contextualized within the broader field of study in the unit.
Last (and I can’t stress this enough): your journal should be a work informed through
development and reflection. It should be maintained, added to, revised, raised as a topic for
discussion in tutorials, and so on, as you progress through the unit. It should not be cobbled
together on the morning of submission! I would anticipate anywhere from three to ten
separate entries in your journal.
3. Research Essay (2,000 wds). Weighting 35%
Due Thursday November 3, 11:59pm.
A series of topics for the research essay will be provided in week 7, and discussed in detail in
tutorials. Your essay must examine at least two films on the course not examined in
assessment 1 (Film Sequence Analysis). However, you are free to use any films discussed
in your Reflective Journal as the basis for your Research Essay.
4. Tutorial Participation Mark. Weighting 10%
Tutorials are a space in which to present ideas in an open, interactive forum. Tutorials in the
unit of study should be thought of as collaborative and organic. You will find your tutorial a
friendly, welcoming space, as you work between small and large group discussions. It is
expected that you will complete required reading prior to you tutorial each week.
LIBR1000: Library and Research Skills – Non-Assessable Online Quiz
In addition to the assessment tasks of the unit, you are required to complete an online quiz on
Library and Research Skills. This quiz is not assessable, though completion of the quiz is
required to pass the unit. The quiz must be completed by 5pm, October 5.
In Blackboard, click on the ‘LIBR1000 Quiz’ icon and follow the instructions to work your way
through the library tutorials. When you have completed the library tutorials, you are ready to
attempt the LIBR1000 Quiz! If you have previously completed the LIBR1000 Quiz, there is no
need to attempt it again.
ALL ASSESSMENT TASKS MUST BE COMPLETED TO PASS THIS UNIT OF
This unit uses standards-based assessment for award of assessment marks. Your
assessments will be evaluated solely on the basis of your individual performance.
SUBMISSION OF ASSESSMENTS
All students are required to submit an authorised statement of compliance with all work
submitted to the University for assessment, presentation or publication. A statement of
compliance certifies that no part of the work constitutes a breach of the Academic Honesty in
Coursework Policy 2016.
The format of the compliance statement will be in the form of:
a. a University assignment cover sheet; or
b. a University electronic form.
Submission of assessment tasks will be required by the due date. Written assessments must
be submitted online through the LMS. Other assessments, for example visual or oral
assessments, must be submitted according to the assessment instructions.
Work not submitted on or before the due date are subject to a penalty of 2% per day late.
Refer to http://sydney.edu.au/arts/current_students/late_work.shtml for the Policy on
ACADEMIC DISHONESTY AND PLAGIARISM
Academic honesty is a core value of the University, so all students are required to act
honestly, ethically and with integrity. This means that the University is opposed to and will not
tolerate academic dishonesty or plagiarism, and will treat all allegations of academic
dishonesty and plagiarism seriously. The consequences of engaging in plagiarism and
academic dishonesty, along with the process by which they are determined and applied, are
set out in the Academic Honesty in Coursework Policy 2016. You can find these documents
University Policy Register at http://sydney.edu.au/policies (enter “Academic Honesty” in the
According to the Policy, plagiarism means representing another person’s work (i.e., ideas,
findings or words) as one’s own work by presenting, copying or reproducing it without
appropriate acknowledgement of the source. Academic dishonesty means seeking to
obtain or obtaining academic advantage for oneself or others (including in the assessment or
publication of work) by dishonest or unfair means. Academic dishonesty includes, but is not
• Resubmission (or recycling) of work that is the same, or substantially the same as
work previously submitted for assessment in the same or in a different unit of study.
Every unit of study expects each student to produce new material based upon
research conducted in that unit;
• Dishonest plagiarism;
• Engaging another person to complete or contribute to an assessment in your place;
• Various forms of misconduct in examinations (including copying from another student
and taking prohibited materials into an examination venue).
Use of Similarity Detection Software
Students should be aware that all written assignments submitted in this unit of study will be
submitted to similarity detecting software known as Turnitin. Turnitin searches for matches
between text in your written assessment task and text sourced from the Internet, published
works, and assignments that have previously been submitted to Turnitin for analysis.
There will always be some degree of text-matching when using Turnitin. Text-matching may
occur in use of direct quotations, technical terms and phrases, or the listing of bibliographic
material. This does not mean you will automatically be accused of academic dishonesty or
plagiarism, although Turnitin reports may be used as evidence in academic dishonesty and
plagiarism decision-making processes. Further information about Turnitin is available at
Students can apply for Special Consideration for serious illness or misadventure. An
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Further information on applying for special consideration is available at
OTHER POLICIES AND PROCEDURES RELEVANT TO THIS UNIT OF
The Faculty’s Student Administration Manual is available for reference here
http://sydney.edu.au/arts/current_students/student_admin_manual.shtml. Most day-today
issues you encounter in the course of completing this Unit of Study can be addressed
with the information provided in the Manual. It contains detailed instructions on processes,
links to forms and guidance on where to get further assistance.
YOUR FEEDBACK IS IMPORTANT
The Unit of Study Survey
The University conducts an online survey for units of study every semester. You will be
notified by email when the survey opens. You are encouraged to complete the survey to
provide important feedback on the unit just before the end of semester. You can complete
the survey at http://www.itl.usyd.edu.au/surveys/complete
How Student Feedback has been used to develop this Unit of Study
Student feedback has informed the ongoing development of this course.
STAYING ON TOP OF YOUR STUDY
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DETAILED SCHEDULE OF TUTORIAL READINGS AND QUESTIONS
Week 1: 25 Jul –
There are no tutorials this week.
UNDERSTANDING FILM FORM AND ITS FUNCTION
Week 2: 1 Aug –
− Bordwell and Thompson, “The Significance of Film Form,” pp. 50-60.
− Tom Gunning, “The Cinema of Attractions: Early Film, Its Spectator and the Avant-
Garde,” in Early Cinema: Space, Frame, Narrative, ed. Thomas Elsaesser (London:
BFI, 1990), pp. 56-62. [ER]
Why study film?
Week 3: 8 Aug –
Film Form: Hugo; Arrival of a Train at the Station; A Trip to the Moon
Note: there is a bit of textbook reading this week to flesh out key background concepts in your
engagement with film form. But rest assured, this material underpins all of our discussions of
film form in Module 1.
− Bordwell and Thompson, “The Shot: Mise en Scène,” pp. 112-133.
− Bordwell and Thompson, “Putting It All Together: Mise en Scène in Space and Time,”
− Sergei Eisenstein, “Beyond the Shot [The Cinematographic Principle and the
Ideogram],” Film Theory and Criticism: Introductory Readings, ed. Leo Braudy and
Marshall Cohen (New York: Oxford University Press, 2009), pp. 27-34. [ER]
Note: this is a challenging but very important reading in the history of film theory.
What does Eisenstein mean when he suggests that montage (and all of cinema, for
that matter) is more than a “succession of shots”?
− Man With a Movie Camera (Dziga Vertov, 1929)
− Kristin Thompson, “Hugo: Scorsese’s birthday present to Georges Méliès,” David
Bordwell’s Website on Cinema (blog), 7 Dec. 2011,
Consider the Lumière Brothers’ Arrival of a Train at a Station (1896), Méliès’ Trip to the Moon
(1902), and Scorsese’s Hugo (2011). In what sense do these films reveal a rich history of film
form? You may wish to consider technology (film and digital production), formal image
elements such as mise en scène (the contents of the frame), cinematography (particularly
light and movement) and editing, and the use of narrative (or non-narrative) conventions.
Discuss the famous opening sequence of Hugo as a ‘sequence shot’. What makes this shot
such a striking example of how cinema has evolved from the time of the Lumière Brothers to
today? Consider early and recent films as forms of what Tom Gunning calls “a cinema of
Week 4: 15 Aug –
Form and Style: German Expressionism. The Cabinet of Dr Caligari
− Paul Cooke, “From Caligari to Edward Scissorhands: The Continuing Meta-Cinematic
Journey of German Expressionism,” World Cinema’s ‘Dialogues’ With Hollywood, ed.
Paul Cooke (London: Palgrave, 2007), pp. 17-34. [This book is held electronically –
search the library catalogue by title and link to the full text.]
− Bordwell and Thompson, “German Expressionism,” pp. 469-472.
− Bordwell and Thompson, “Framing,” pp. 178-182.
− Bordwell and Thompson, “The Shot: Cinematography,” pp. 160-215. This chapter is
extremely detailed in its examination of various aspects of cinematography. However,
it is critical foundational material for Module 1 and Assessment 1.
− Un Chien Andalou [The Andalusian Dog] (Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí, 1929)
− Nosferatu (F. W. Murnau, 1922)
− The Third Man (Carol Reed, 1949)
How do the formal qualities of The Cabinet of Dr Caligari (and the style of German
Expressionism) provide an experience of anxiety and fear? Consider specifically mise en
scène in Caligari. In what sense does the film display a world out of kilter? How is
‘expressionist style’ realized through the devices of framing, contrast, and set design? Time
permitting, you may wish to consider the effect of transposing Caligari’s German
Expressionist style to contemporary Hollywood in Scorsese’s loose remake, Shutter Island
(2010). Is Scorsese’s ‘image’ of madness as convincing as Wiene’s?
Week 5: 22 Aug –
Story, Plot, Narrative. Casablanca
− Bordwell and Thompson, “Narrative Form,” pp. 72-97.
− Bordwell and Thompson, “The Classical Hollywood Cinema,” pp. 97-99;
− Peter Wollen, “Godard and Counter Cinema: Vent D’Est,” Movies and Methods,
Volume 2, ed. Bill Nichols (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press,
1985), pp. 501-508. [ER]
− Bordwell and Thompson, “Continuity Editing,” pp. 233-238.
− Warren Buckland, “Introduction: Puzzle Plots,” Puzzle Films: Complex Storytelling in
Contemporary Cinema (London: Blackwell, 2009), pp. 1-13.
− Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Michel Gondry, 2004)
− Lola Rennt [Run Lola Run] (Tom Tykwer, 1998)
Casablanca utilizes what Bordwell and Thompson call ‘classical’ narrative form. How do they
define classical narrative within the Hollywood production mode? Consider the sequence in
which Rick is first introduced to the spectator. In what way is his revelation a strategic
narrative device, that is, a way of situating his character (and Bogart as screen persona)
within the broader narrative frame of the film? View the final glorious sequence in which Rick
and Ilsa take leave (sadly!) of each other. Would you describe this as a distinctly classical
narrational outcome? In what way does this famous ending depict a classical narrational
logic? Wollen argues aggressively for a “counter-cinema,” deploying radically different forms
of narrative structure. Can you think of any films that challenge the classical narrational logic
displayed in Casablanca? To start you off, what on earth is going on in that final shot in
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind?
Week 6: 29 Aug –
Welles and Hollywood: Citizen Kane
− Bordwell and Thompson, “Narrative Form in Citizen Kane,” pp. 99-109.
− Bordwell and Thompson, “Frame Mobility: Functions,” pp. 200-204.
− Bordwell and Thompson, “Duration of the Image,” pp. 210-216.
− Bordwell and Thompson, “The Lens: Depth of Field and Focus,” pp. 174-175
− André Bazin, "The Evolution of the Language of Cinema," in What Is Cinema?
Volume 1, trans. Hugh Gray (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California
Press, 1967), pp. 23-40. [ER]
− Bordwell and Thompson, “Spatial and Temporal Discontinuity,” pp. 257-264.
− The Lady From Shanghai (Orson Welles, 1947)
− Touch of Evil (Orson Welles, 1958)
In terms of film form, Citizen Kane is the true curiosity of the Hollywood studio cinema: it is
classical in style, and yet deeply experimental. In your tutorial discussion, you might consider
aspects of mise en scène, cinematography, editing and narrative form, all now very famous
elements of Citizen Kane, all underpinning the emergence of Welles as Hollywood’s most
visible ‘auteur’. Discuss the use of the ‘long take’ and ‘deep focus’ in a sequence in Citizen
Kane, or in the opening to Welles’s Touch of Evil (1958). What is the purpose of these highly
expressive formal film elements? What is the function of ‘Rosebud’ within the narrational logic
of the film?
FORM, INTERPRETATION, THEORY
Week 7: 5 Sep –
Film Sound: The Artist
− Bordwell and Thompson, “Sound in the Cinema,” pp. 266-298.
− Michel Chion, “Projections of Sound on Image,” Audio-Vision: Sound on Screen,
trans. Claudia Gorbman (New York: Columbia University Press, 1994), pp. 3-24. [ER]
− Roger Ebert, “The Artist” (Review). December 21, 2011. Accessed 19 June, 2014,
− Sarah Kozloff, “Integration,” Overhearing Film Dialogue (Berkeley: University of
California Press, 2000), pp. 90-139. [This book is held electronically – search the
library catalogue by title and link to the full text.]
− Singin’ in the Rain (Stanley Donen, 1952)
− The Conversation (Francis Ford Coppola, 1974)
Michel Chion suggests that sound has conventionally been thought of as part of the visual
image, or even as emanating from the visual image. I would argue that this is our most
common spectatorial engagement with sound in film: often peripheral to our viewing
experience, almost an afterthought. Thus, Chion coins the term “added value” – sound merely
adds value to what is already there in the visual field. But can sound do more? Can sound be
a fundamental part of the meaning-making process of film? Can sound even work against our
expectations derived from visual form? In its most radical incarnation in cinema, can sound
work autonomously from the visual image? Consider the transition to sound cinema in the late
1920s. What must that experience of film sound have been like for the spectator attuned to a
silent cinema? What would you say to a filmmaker like F. W. Murnau, who argued that the
coming of sound would effectively destroy film as an art form?
Week 8: 12 Sep –
Film Music: Cat People; 2001: A Space Odyssey; Jaws
− James Wierzbicki, “Film Music in the Post-Classical Period (1958-2008),” Film Music:
A History (London: Routledge, 2010), pp. 187-236. [E-book]
− Bordwell and Thompson, “Sound in the Cinema,” pp. 266-298 (revise from last week).
Two of the most famous scenes in ‘Cat People’ are those involving the bus and the swimming
pool. How does ‘sound’ affect these scenes? Would the scenes benefit from underscore?
Speaking of films in general, when does film music rise to the foreground and when does it
remain, to use the phrase from Claudia Gorbman’s book and Keats’s poem, an ‘unheard
melody’? Is a musical accompaniment, or an underscore, really necessary in the modern
film? Can you think of any films that are almost devoid of music? Can you think of any films in
which there seems to be too much music? Or inappropriate music?
Week 9: 19 Sep –
The Screenplay: Fargo
− Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, Fargo (Screenplay), 1996,
− Kevin Boon, “Form and Function: The Evolution of the Screenplay,” Script Culture
and the American Screenplay (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2008), pp. 3-
− Herman J. Mankiewicz and Orson Welles, Citizen Kane (Screenplay), 1941,
− Steven Maras, Screenwriting: History, Theory and Practice, (Wallflower Press, 2009)
What essential functions does the screenplay perform in filmmaking? When considering
narrative in film, is it meaningful to regard the screenplay as separate from the film; simply a
document suggesting character, theme and subtext? Bordwell and Thompson consider the
screenplay as another of the elements of film form, possessing the same status as montage
or sound. Does this assessment, deny the screenwriter authorship in the film? Increasingly,
screenplays are being published and read on their own. Can a screenplay possess value as
a document without reference to the completed film that bears its name?
Week 10: 3 Oct –
Film and/as Ideology: Marie Antoinette
− Theodor Adorno, “Culture Industry Reconsidered,” The Audiences Studies Reader,
ed. Will Brooker and Deborah Jermyn (London: Routledge, 2003), pp. 55-60. [ER]
− Suzanne Ferriss and Mallory Young, “Marie Antoinette: Fashion, Third-Wave
Feminism, and Chick Culture,” Literature/Film Quarterly 38/2 (2010), pp. 98-116. [ER]
− Bordwell and Thompson, “Form, Style, and Ideology,” pp. 438-449.
− Man With a Movie Camera (Dziga Vertov, 1929)
All film is ideological. All film is depicted through a lens that offers a very particular vision of
the world. Do you agree? Is Coppola’s Marie Antoinette a ‘cinema of attractions’? How is
Versailles constructed as a virtual space and Dunst’s teenage Marie Antoinette a virtual
historical figure? In what sense is Coppola’s vision of the past (the late 18th century) in fact a
reflection of our present attitudes toward identity and history? In what sense is spectatorship
in Marie Antoinette a form of consumption? What is the function of music in the “I Love
Candy” montage – diegetic and non-diegetic? Offer a reading of Coppola’s film as teen genre
Week 11: 10 Oct –
Auteur: À Bout de Souffle [Breathless]
− Bordwell and Thompson, “The French New Wave (1959-1964),” pp. 485-488
− Bordwell and Thompson, “Breathless,” pp. 415-420.
− Bordwell and Thompson, “The New Hollywood and Independent Filmmaking, 1970s-
1980s,” pp. 488-494.
− Peter Wollen, “From Signs and Meaning in the Cinema: The Auteur Theory [Howard
代写ENGL1011 Introduction to Film Studies