Assignments- Winter 2002


Peer Group Work

You and your peer group have a series of tasks to complete in winter. The first involves the creation of a group artists’ statement or manifesto. This will be posted on Mediaspace and will form the splash page of your group’s web site on Mediaspace. You may use visuals as well as text if you wish. This is due on Monday, January 14. You will have time to work on this in groups on Thursday, Jan. 10.

Other central tasks:

1. Weekly peer seminar meeting (Mondays, 10:00-11:30). This is the place for you to discuss weekly readings and to prepare group synthesis papers that are due each week. These will also be posted on Mediaspace. You may decide to write these collaboratively or assign a different group member to be the scribe and reporter for each week. These synthesis essays should focus on the substance of your interaction with the weekly reading/screening materials. Use appropritate reference citations when addressing texts and films (MLA style).

2. Film Theory Presentations: each group will be responsible for a presentation of a section of the Film Theory: An Introduction book. These presentations begin in Week 2. These presentations should aid us in our understanding of the film theory concepts covered by Robert Stam and help the program prepare for the take-home Midterm Examination (more on this later).

Presentations should: 1. present the basic concepts in your reading section (not just a single concept but all or most of those covered), 2. may utilize visual materials, 3. may be interactive, 4. must actively involve every member of your group. You will have 30 minutes for your presentation. Note: the rest of us will be prepared too, having read the same section in Film Theory: An Introduction and are available to participate. The group presentations will occur during the Wrap in Com. 308.

3. Review for Midterm Exam: each individual should plan to spend some extra time reviewing readings, lecture notes, and screening notes in preparation for the take-home midterm in Week Seven. This exam will be comprised of a series of essay questions. We will hand out questions on Monday, Feb. 11th (these will include an opportunity for you to do some synthesis work with your personal theme and film theory and will make connections between weekly lectures and screenings and our reading about film theory.) You will have a four day weekend to complete the midterm exam (Fri thru Monday holiday). At minimum you should expect to spend twelve hours completing a minimum of six typed pages. We expect you to demonastrate your understanding of the central concepts presented by the texts, lectures, and films. Note: use appropriate citations for films (title, maker, date) and for print sources (usually author, year, page - see MLA style). You may do additional research, though it is not required.

The exam will be due on Tuesday, February 19th.


4. Peer evaluations: you will evaluate each member of your peer group in Week Ten. As you know, some of you are in the same home room, some are not. Your peer group should serve primarily as an intellectual and conceptual support group but also, you should take advantage of opportunities to collaborate on productions whenever possible.



FILM THEORY: AN INTRODUCTION - Readings/Peer Group Sections:


Section 1) pp. viii-37 Pref.; Intro; The Antecedents of Film Theory; Film and Film Theory: The Beginnings; Early Silent Film Theory; The Essence of Cinema

Section 2) pp. 37-83 The Soviet Montage-Theorists; Russian Formalism and the Bakhtin School; The Historical Avant-Gardes; The Debate After Sound; The Frankfurt School; The Phenomenology of Realism

Section 3) pp. 83-123 The Cult of the Auteur; The Americanization of Auteur Theory; Third World Film and Theory; The Advent of Structuralism; The Question of Film Language; Cinematic Specificity Revisited

Section 4) pp. 123-169 Interrogating Authorship and Genre; 1968 and the Leftist Turn; The Classic Realist Text; The Presence of Brecht; The Search for Alternative Aesthetics; From Linguistics to Psychoanalysis

Section 5) pp. 169-212 The Feminist Intervention; The Poststructuralist Mutation; Textual Analysis; Interpretation and its Discontents; From Text to Intertext

Section 6) pp. 212-256 The Amplification of Sound; The Rise of Cultural Studies; The Birth of the Spectator; Cognitive and Analytic Theory; Semiotics Revisited

Section 7) pp. 256-298 Just in Time: The Impact of Deleuze; The Coming Out of Queer Theory; Multiculturalism, Race, and Representation; Third Cinema Revisited; Film and the Postcolonial

Section 8) pp. 298-330 The Poetics and Politics of Postmodernism; The Social Valence of Mass-Culture; Post-Cinema: Digital Theory and the New Media; The Pluralization of Film Theory