English 1118-FA: Introduction to Film Studies Course Location: AT

ENGL 1118-FA: SYLLABUS 1 of 10
English 1118-FA: Introduction to Film Studies
Course Location: AT 1007
Class Times: Wed. 7pm–10pm
Prerequisites: n/a
Instructor Information
• Instructor: Daniel Hannah
• Office: RB 3039
• Telephone: 343 8663
• Email: [email protected]
• Office Hours: Wed. 11am–12pm
Course Description/Overview
This course provides an introduction to a range of approaches to viewing and
analyzing films from various genres, historical moments, and national
traditions. We will build a critical vocabulary with which to think, talk, and
write about the formal and stylistic features of film (such as narrative
structure, mise en scene, cinematography, editing and sound). We will study
the cinema as a social, historical, cultural, and ideological institution.
Course Objectives and/or Learner Outcomes
Students who have completed all the readings, watched all the films,
attended all the lectures, submitted all the assignments, and consistently
engaged with the course material should, by the end of the course, be able
Think independently and critically about film, film production, and the
study of film.
Analyze the formal, political, and social issues raised by films and film
studies as an institution.
Read films in a variety of genres critically, and assess their rhetorical,
ideological and aesthetic strategies.
Analyse specific cinematic devices and explain how such devices
contribute to the meaning of a film.
Explain how a film is produced by, and produces, its historical,
national, political, and/or cultural contexts.
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Explain the role of film in articulating and creating categories of
identity (including race, gender, sexuality, class, nation, etc.).
Analyse films from a variety of theoretical perspectives.
Identify and assess the social, political, environmental and ethical
themes presented in films.
Identify the formal and stylistic conventions of a variety of genres,
and identify ways in which individual films work within, or expand the
definitions of, particular genres.
Write well (grammatically correct, clear, effective prose).
Write about film using a critical vocabulary.
Communicate ideas effectively and coherently, in persuasive essays,
and a variety of other forms.
Use library resources to research a topic and use what is discovered
to illuminate a critical reading of a cinematic text.
Course Resources
Required Course Text
• David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson, Film Art, 10th edition with Connect
Access Card (if you do not buy this edition or purchase it secondhand,
you will need to purchase Connect access separately [about $70]).
Course Websites
• Desire2Learn
• Connect: http://connect.mheducation.com/class/ d-hannah-fall-2015
Course Schedule
In preparation for each class, students are expected to have completed
the assigned readings and viewed the assigned feature film before
coming to class. Assessments and their due dates are listed below and
are underlined.
Films that are available to stream through the library catalogue are
listed in the schedule. Streaming is provided by two separate databases:
COD (Criterion On Demand); Kanopy. All other films we be available on
restricted loan from the circulation desk in the Chancellor Paterson
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Historically, films were usually viewed in groups on large screens
and I would encourage you to replicate that experience whenever you
can. Please try to avoid watching the films on your mobile phones.
Sept. 16: Introduction to Class
Introductory discussion on film form and history
Sept. 23: Film as Art: Creativity, Technology, and Business
Assigned Film: Casablanca (Michael Curtiz, 1942, 102 min.) (Streaming,
Reading: Film Art – Part One: Film and Filmmaking; Chapter 1: “Film as Art:
Creativity, Technology, and Business”.
Extract on production process of Casablanca from America’s Favourite
Movies (D2L)
Sept. 30:
Film Form
Writing About Film (Taking Notes)
Assigned Film: La Jetée (Chris Marker, 1962, 28 min.) (Streaming,
Reading: Film Art – Part Two: Film Form; Chapter 2: “The Significance of
Film Form”
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Oct. 7:
Narrative Form
Writing about Film (Segmentation and Narrative Analysis)
Assigned Film: Citizen Kane (Streaming, COD)
Readings: Film Art – Part Two: Film Form; Chapter 3: “Narrative Form”
Connect Assignment: Ch. 4 Video Tutorials x5 with Quizzes (due Oct.
14, 7pm)
Oct. 14: Mise-en-Scene
Assigned Film: L’Avventura (The Adventure) (Michaelangelo Antonioni,
1960, 145 min.) (Streaming, COD)
Readings: Film Art – Part Three: Film Style; Chapter 4: “The Shot: Mise-enScene”
Connect Assignment: Ch. 5 Video Tutorials x5 with Quizzes (due Oct.
21, 7pm)
Oct. 21: Cinematography
Assigned Film: Tokyo monogatari (Tokyo Story) (Yasujiro Ozu, 1953,
136 min.) (Streaming, Kanopy)
Readings: Film Art – Part Three: Film Style; Chapter 5: “The Shot:
Cinematography”; from Chapter 11: “Tokyo Story (Tokyo monogatari)“ (pages
Connect Assignment: Ch. 6 Video Tutorials x6 with Quizzes (due Oct.
21, 7pm)
Short Assignment: Mise-en-Scene Analaysis (due Oct. 21 7pm)
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Oct. 28: Editing
Assigned Film: Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock, 1958, 129 min.) (DVD,
available at circulation desk)
Readings: Film Art – Part Three: Film Style; Chapter 6: “The Relation of
Shot to Shot: Editing”
Richard Allen, “Camera Movement in Vertigo”
Connect Assignment: Ch. 7 Video Tutorials x3 with Quizzes (due Oct.
21, 7pm)
Nov. 4: Sound in Cinema
Assigned Film: The Piano (Jane Campion, 1993, 121 min.) (Streaming,
Readings: Film Art – Part Three: Film Style; Chapter 7: “Sound in the
Cinema”; Chapter 8: “Summary: Style as a Formal System”
Short Assignment: Shot to Shot Analysis (due Nov. 4, 7pm)
Nov. 11:
Film Genres: The Musical
Writing About Film (Critical Analysis and the Research Essay)
Assigned Film: Singin’ in the Rain (Gene Kelley and Stanley Donen, 1952,
103 min.) (Streaming, COD)
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Reading: Film Art – Part Four: Types of Films; Chapter 9: “Film Genres”;
Part Five – Appendix – “Writing a Critical Analysis of a Film” (450–456).
Nov. 18: Documentary, Experimental, and Animated Films
Assigned Film: Chelovek s kino- apparatom (Man with a Movie Camera)
(Dziga Vertov, 1929, 68 min.) (Streaming, Kanopy)
Ballet Mécanique (to be screened in class)
Reading: Film Art – Part Four: Types of Films; Chapter 10: “Documentary,
Experimental, and Animated Films”
Film Art – Part Five: Critical Analysis of Films; from Chapter 11:
“Documentary Form and Style: Chelovek s kino-apparatom (Man with a Movie
Camera)” (pages 429-33)
Nov. 25: Classical Narrative Cinema
Assigned Film: Do the Right Thing (Spike Lee, 1989, 120 min.) (DVD,
available at circulation desk)
Reading: Film Art – from Chapter 11: “Do the Right Thing” (pages 410-15)
*Research Essay (due Nov. 25, 7pm)
Dec. 2:
Narrative Alternatives to Classical Filmmaking
Writing an Essay for an English Exam
Exam Review
Assigned Film: Breathless (À bout de soufflé) (Jean-Luc Godard, 1960.
90 min.) (Streaming, Kanopy)
Film Art –from Chapter 11: “Narrative Alternatives to Classical Filmmaking:
Breathless” (pages 415-20)
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Assignments and Evaluation
4 Sets of Connect Video
Tutorial Quizzes
Due date
2 Short Assignments
October 21 and
November 4
25% 1–2 pages
Research Essay
November 18
30% 4–7 pages
Final Exam
35% 3 hours
(Mise en scene and Shot
10% Short
(700 points) answers
Assignment Policies
All assignments are individual assignments and cannot be completed
Written assignments are due by 7pm in class on the dates indicated. NO
If you require an extension, you must ask for one BEFORE the due date.
Extensions will only be granted for medical conditions with a doctor’s
note or for other extenuating circumstances.
The final exam must be written on the date scheduled, so do not make
travel plans for the exam period until the exam schedule is posted.
Guidelines for Written Work
Paper: Use 8.5 by 11 inch paper
Margins: Use 1 inch margins all around.
Spacing: Your essay should be double-spaced throughout, including
blocked quotations, notes, and the works cited page.
Title Page: Your paper does not need a title page. At the top of the first
page at the left-hand margin, type your name, your instructor’s name, the
course name and number, and the date – all on separate, double-spaced
lines. Then double-space again and center the title above your text.
Double-space again before beginning your text. The title should be
ENGL 1118-FA: SYLLABUS 8 of 10
neither underlined nor written in caps. Capitalize only the first, last, and
principal words of the title.
Page numbers: insert page numbers throughout the document.
All requirements for the formatting of quotations and references can be
found in the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers – available from
the reference section in the library. You can also consult the following online
source: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01/
Works Cited: every essay must include a works cited page, which will
include all texts cited in the essay (including primary texts). Refer to
the MLA Guide for proper works cited format.
Details of Assignments
Connect Video Tutorials and Quizzes
For each of these assignments there will be a set of 3–6 videos with an array
of questions based on the material in the videos. The videos and quizzes will
become available on the Connect website a week before they are due.
Complete the quiz online before you come to class—late assignments,
including assignments completed in class, will not be accepted.
Short Assignments
The details of these two short assignments on mise en scene and shot to
shot analysis will be distributed at a later date.
Research Essay
Questions for this assignment will be distributed at a future date. You will
be expected to analyze an assigned film, and consult and include in your
essay references and citations from a minimum of two scholarly secondary
sources (such as articles in academic journals or academic books) on the film
and/or topic you have selected. Film reviews and non-academic on-line
sources may be included if necessary, but only in addition to the two (or
more) scholarly secondary sources.
Final Exam
This three-hour exam will be made up of both multiple-choice questions on
key terms and essay questions.
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Marking Standards
All written assignments will be marked in accordance with the English
Department Marking Standards:
Collaboration/Plagiarism Rules
Plagiarism is the unacknowledged use of someone else's words and/or ideas.
Not acknowledging your debt to the ideas of a secondary source, failing to
use quotation marks when you are quoting directly, buying essays from essay
banks, copying another student's work, or working together on an individual
assignment, all constitute plagiarism. Resubmitting material you've submitted
to another course is also academic dishonesty. All plagiarized work (in whole
or in part) and other forms of academic dishonesty will be reported to the
Dean, who is responsible for judging academic misconduct and imposing
penalties. The minimum penalty for academic misconduct is a 0 on the
assignment in question. It might also be subject to more severe academic
penalties. See the Code of Student Behaviour.
Course Policies
1. Please keep in mind that proper class participation includes appropriate
interactions between students and appropriate behavior in the classroom.
Please refrain from speaking when others are speaking. Sexist,
homophobic, and/or racist comments or behavior will not be tolerated.
2. While I will distribute powerpoint presentations after classes through
WebCT, these will not substitute for your own notetaking – these
powerpoint displays will make little sense unless you have attended the
class. Taking detailed notes will serve you well during exam time.
3. Students are expected to complete ALL assigned readings prior to class.
4. All assignments must be handed in, in class, on the due date, and must
follow the “Guidelines for Written Work” appended to this syllabus. No
late assignments will be accepted. Emailed or faxed papers will not be
5. Keep a copy of all written work – accidents happen, and essays and
assignments can go missing. It is the student’s responsibility to have a
backup ready should this occur.
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University Policies
Students in this course are expected to conform to the Code of Student
Behaviour: https://www.lakeheadu.ca/faculty-and-staff/policies/studentrelated/code-of-student-behaviour-and-disciplinary-procedures
Lakehead University provides academic accommodations for students
with disabilities (https://www.lakeheadu.ca/faculty-andstaff/departments/services/sas) in accordance with the terms of the
Ontario Human Rights Code. This occurs through a collaborative process
that acknowledges a collective obligation to develop an accessible learning
environment that both meets the needs of students and preserves the
essential academic requirements of the course.
This course outline is available online through the English Department
homepage and/or the Desire2Learn site for the course.