Film Studies - FILM: Spring 2018

The courses listed on this page are for the Fall 2017 semester only.

For a complete list of courses offered for the Bachelor of Arts - English; Film Studies Option, please refer to the Course Catalog.

Search Spring 2018 offered courses

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FILM 103L | Introduction to Film | TBA

Offered every term. The history and development of the film medium. Emphasis on critical analysis of selected classic or significant films

CRN 35784  |  Tuesday & Thursday 8:00 - 10:20AM

FILM 320 | Shakespeare and Film | Robert Browning

As Marjorie Garber has observed, “Shakespeare is in a way always two playwrights, not one: the playwright of his time, the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries in England, and the playwright of our time, whatever time that is. The playwright of now.” This trans-historical phenomenon is perhaps nowhere more apparent than in a sustained study of Shakespeare that takes equally seriously both the verbal texts of the plays and the films that adapt or interpret the plays or use the plays as significant points of departure. In this class we shall undertake such a study, which will lead us into consideration of: 1) the various ways creative artists (film-makers and Shakespeare, both) adopt, adapt, and otherwise use (or play with) source materials; 2) the different ways that verbal and filmic texts create meaning; and 3) theories about authorship and the cultural meanings of “Shakespeare” in our own time.


Tentative list of plays and films: The Taming of the Shrew (film directed by Zeffirelli, Junger’s 10 Things I Hate about You); The Merchant of Venice (film by Radford); Henry V (Olivier, Branagh); Hamlet (Olivier, Branagh, Almereyda’s Hamlet 2000); Macbeth (Polanski, Nunn, Goold, and Kurzel); Othello (Welles, Parker); Coriolanus (Fiennes); and The Tempest (Wilcox’s Forbidden Planet, Greenaway’s Prospero’s Books, Taymor). 

Graded work:  a series of short, informal papers; two formal projects.

CRN 37606  |  Tuesdays and Thursdays 2:00PM - 4:20PM

FILM 391 | Studio: Film and the Problems of Evil |Robert Browning

In this course we will study how films engage in the traditions of theological and philosophical efforts to understand the problem of evil. We’ll begin with a survey of major theories about why evil exists, which will require us to work through various definitions of “evil” as these are meaningful within the contexts of different theological and philosophical views regarding the nature of God or other divinity or the absence or unknowability of any such entity. Beyond these investigations, we’ll familiarize ourselves with debates about how human nature and social collectives can become capable of behavior that is understood to be evil. The selection of films we study will span from the 1930s to the 2010s, and will include several of the art’s most innovative directors, including Akira Kurosawa, Ingmar Bergman, Stanley Kubrick, Francis Ford Coppola, Béla Tarr, and Terrence Malick. We will examine closely how some filmmakers use the technical and aesthetic elements of film to construct arguments about the subject, while others seek to engage us in the problems of evil in quite different ways. 

Jekyll and HydeApocalypse NowThe Tree of Life

Tentative list of films: Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931); Throne of Blood (1957); Winter Light (1963); A Clockwork Orange (1971); Apocalypse Now (1979); Shadowlands (1993); Se7en (1995); In the Company of Men (1997); The Werkmeister Harmonies (2000); The Tree of Life (2011); The Witch (2016).

Readings may include texts by: Lucretius, Seneca, Augustine, Boethius, Thomas Aquinas, John Calvin, John Milton, David Hume, Arthur Schopenhauer, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Friedrich Nietzsche, Robert Lewis Stevenson, Joseph Conrad, C.S. Lewis, Hannah Arendt, Emmanuel Levinas, Simone Weil. Also: The Bible.

Graded work:  a series of short, informal papers; two formal projects.

CRN 38931  |  Tuesdays and Thursdays 10:00AM - 12:20PM

FILM 447 | Film Theory | Sean O'Brien

CRN 35489 | Mondays & Wednesdays  9:00-11:20AM