Drama and Film

Professors: Jesse G. Kalin, Sarah R. Kozloff (Associate Chair, Film), James B. Steermanab; Associate Professors: Gabrielle H. Cody (Chair),Christopher Grabowski, Kenneth M. RobinsonbAssistantProfessors: Mia Mask, Philippe Roquesa, Denise WalenabVisiting Assistant Professor: David Birn; Lecturers: Holly Hummel, William Miller; Visiting Instructor: Deborah Paredez; Adjunct Instructors:Darrell James, Dennis Reid, Lori Steinberg, Shona Tucker, Kathy Wildberger.


Drama

Requirements for Concentration: 11 units. Drama 101, 102, 221–222, 390. 2 additional units in dramatic literature or theater history from the following courses: Drama 201, 231, 317, 324, 335, 336, 337, of which 1 must be 324, 335, 336 or 337. 2 units from the following theater arts courses: Drama 203, 205, 209, 213, 302, 304, 305, 307; 2 additional elective units at the 200–level or above in drama, film, or dance.

Senior Year Requirement: Drama 390.

Note: a student may enroll in only one theater arts course each semester. Such courses include Drama 102, 200, 203, 205, 209, 213, 302, 304, 305, 307, 391.


1. Introductory

101a or b. Introduction to Western Theater (1)

An introduction to the varied aspects of theater as practiced in the Western world, including an overview of its historical, theoretical, and practical dimensions. Special emphasis will be placed on the cultural energy which produced specific aesthetic movements as well as the physical forms of Western theater through the ages from its ritual beginnings to the advent of performance art and multimedia performance. Ms. Cody, Ms. Paredez, Mr. Grabowski.

One 75–minute lecture and one 75–minute discussion period.

May not be taken concurrently with Drama 102.

102a or b. Introduction to Stagecraft (1)

Basic fundamentals of stagecraft, including scenic design communication and the processes of flat and platform construction. Mr.  Miller, Mr. Birn.

Two 75–minute periods.

May not be taken concurrently with Drama 101.


II. Intermediate

200a or b. Production Laboratory (1/2)

Participation in the performance, design, or technical aspects of department productions. The department.

Prerequisites: Drama 101, 102, and permission of the department.

Unscheduled.

201b. Text and Performance (1)

The structural analysis of plays and its practical application in theatrical production. Ms Cody, Mr. Grabowski.

Prerequisites: Drama 101, 102, 221–222 or special permission of the instructors.

203a or b. The Actor's Craft (1)

The development of rehearsal techniques and strategies in preparation for acting on the stage. Theory and approaches will be drawn from the work of Stanislavsky, Meyerhold, Brecht, Suzuki, and Bogart, among others. Mr. James.

Prerequisites: Drama 101, 102, and permission of the department.

One 3–hour period plus production laboratory.

205a or b. The Actor's Voice (1)

Instruction, theory, and practice in the use of the voice for the stage. Ms. Tucker.

Prerequisites: Drama 101, 102 and permission of the department.

One 3–hour period plus production laboratory.

209a or b. Topics in Production (1)

Concentrated study in one design area. May be repeated in another area of design. Ms. Hummel, Mr. Miller.

Topics for 2001/02 include Scene Painting (Mr. Miller); Drafting and Draping (Ms. Hummel); Theater Graphics (Mr. Birn).

Prerequisites: Drama 102 and permission of the instructor.

Unscheduled, plus production laboratory.

213a. Visual Elements of Design (1)

A study of the visual elements of design as they apply to scenic, lighting, and costume design. Mr. Miller, Ms. Hummel, Mr. Birn.

Prerequisites: Drama 101, 102.

Two 75–minute periods plus production laboratory.

221a–222b. Sources of World Drama (2)

A cross–cultural survey of important plays and nonliterary performance traditions from the Greeks to the present, encompassing Europe, Asia, and Africa. In addition to a historically based exploration of world dramatic literatures, the course explores why theater emerges in a given culture and examine the implications of past and present intercultural theatrical practice. Ms. Paredez.

Prerequisite: Drama 101.

Two 75–minute periods.

231a. History of Fashion for the Stage (1)

History of dress from the Egyptians through the nineteenth century as seen in sculpture, painting, and illuminated manuscripts. Cultural background investigated through the manners, customs, and styles of movement in Western Europe. Ms. Hummel.

Permission of the instructor required.

[241b. Introduction to Black Drama in America] (1)

(Same as Africana Studies 241)

Not offered in 2001/02.

280a. Movement for Actors (1)

Training in stage movement for actors. Students learn to understand neutral posture alignment and explore the dynamic and expressive qualities of movement, as well as the methods of developing a rich physicalization of character. Concepts from the Alexander Technique, Laban Movement Analysis, experimental theatre, and post–modern dance are used. Ms. Wildberger.

Prerequisites: Drama 101, 102, and permission of the instructor.

One 3 hour period.

281 History and Theory of Video (1)

We analyze the impact of video on contemporary cultural production, while looking at video in a larger context of changes in American Society. The course focuses on four areas: the development of video as a medium in the 1960s; the rise of video collectives and activism in the 1970s through the present; the institutionalization of video as a recognized art form; and the influence of video on our everyday lives, such as home video equipment and surveillance technologies. Topics include: the legacy of avant-garde film;guerilla TV; ethnographic video; and video, the body and gender politics. In addition, we examine innovations in digital media production and the incorporation of video into other art forms, such as performance. The main objectives of the course are to analyze the features of video technology that has made it such as prevalent medium in contemporary culture and to explore its impact on contemporary art and culture. Artists, producers and collectives studied may include: Nam June Paik, Paper Tiger Television, Dara Birnbaum, Bill Viola, Martha Rosler, Shirley Clarke, Top Value Television, Vidoefreex, Lynn Hershmann, Vito Acconci, and Adrian Piper. Ms. Fleetwood

Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor.

Two 75–minute periods.

290a or b. Field Work (1/2 or 1)

To be elected in consultation with the adviser and the Office of Field Work.

298a or b. Independent Work (1/2 or 1)

To be elected in consultation with the adviser.


III. Advanced

302a or b. Problems in Design (1)

Advanced study and portfolio development in the area of set, costume, or lighting design. May be repeated in another area of design. Mr Birn, Ms. Hummel, Mr. Miller.

Prerequisites: Drama 213 and permission of the instructor.

One 3–hour period plus production laboratory.

304a or b. The Art of Acting (1)

Advanced scene study in which students will examine the challenges of creating an entire acting role. Mr. Reid.

Prerequisites: Drama 203, 205, 1 unit in dance or movement analysis, and permission of the instructor.

One 3–hour period plus production laboratory.

305a. The Director's Art (1)

An exploration of the history of the stage director as well as an intensive theoretical and practical examination of the visual and aesthetic elements of directorial composition for the stage. Mr. Grabowski.

Prerequisites: Drama 201 or 203, or 213, and permission of the instructor.

One 3–hour period plus production laboratory.

307b. The Directorial Production Process (1)

An examination of the directorial aspects of realizing the theatrical event, including preproduction research, structures and traditions of collaboration, rehearsal strategy and techniques, and articulation of directorial concept. Mr. Grabowski.

Prerequisites: Drama 201 or 203 or 213 and permission of the instructor.

One 3–hour period plus production laboratory.

317a or b. Dramatic Writing (1)

(Same as Film 317) Studies of dramatic construction, analysis of, and practice in writing stage plays a semester, screenplays b semester. Instructor to be announced.

Prerequisites: Drama 101 or Film 210 and permission of the instructor.

Open only to juniors and seniors.

One 3–hour period.

324b. European and American Drama (1)

Historical and critical study of European and American dramatic literature, theory and criticism, playwrights, and/or aesthetic movements.

Topic for 2001/02: The Death of Character: Twentieth–Century Avant–garde Theater. Ms. Cody.

Prerequisites: Drama 221–222 or permission of the instructor.

335a. Seminar in Western Theater and Drama (1)

Selected topics in Western theater design, dramatic literature, and dramatic criticism: Paradise Now? American Theater and Revolution, post 1968. Ms. Cody.

Prerequisites: Drama 221–222 and permission of the instructor.

One 2–hour period.

[336b. Seminar in Performance Studies] (1)

Selected topics in Western and non–Western performance traditions and literatures. Ms. Cody.

Prerequisites: Drama 221–222 and permission of the instructor.

One 2–hour period.

Not offered in 2001/02.

[337b. Seminar in Para–theater] (1)

Selected topics in "para–theatrical" genres from around the world, such as fairs, festivals, street theater, vaudeville, cabaret, circus arts, performance art, ordeal art, etc. Ms. Walen.

Prerequisites: Drama 221–222 and permission of the instructor.

One 2–hour period.

Not offered in 2000/01.

382b. Acting for the Camera (1)

Techniques of acting and writing for the camera. Special emphasis placed on collective class project. Mr. Wheeler.

Prerequisites: permission of the instructor.

One 3–hour period.

390a or b. Senior Project in Drama (1)

Each student undertakes a project in one of the following areas: acting, directing, design, playwriting, research in dramatic literature/theater history. Nature of project to be determined in consultation with the department. The department.

Enrollment limited to senior drama majors.

Prerequisites: senior standing, and permission of the department. In the case of directing projects, students must also have completed Drama 213. May not be taken concurrently with any other theatre arts course.

Unscheduled.

391a or b. Senior Production Laboratory (1)

Participation in the performance, design, or technical aspects of department productions. The department.

Prerequisites: senior standing, 1 unit at the 300–level in a theater arts course, and permission of the department.

May not be taken concurrently with Drama 390.

Unscheduled.

399a or b. Senior Independent Work      (1/2 or 1)

To be elected in consultation with the adviser.

Film


Requirements for Concentration in Film:

I. 11 units required.
II. Film 210/211, Film 392 required.
III.  Six (6) additional courses in Film at the 200 or 300 level, with the restrictions below:
  A.  No more than 4 units in film, video, or digital production may be counted toward the concentration (Film 245, 320/321, 323, 330, 326/327, 328/329, 345/346, 383).
  B. Two of the above 6 units must be our courses in film history/theory. These 2 units must be completed prior to enrollment in Film 392, which must be taken in the senior year.
  C. Two units earned in the BAFA/Vassar London JYA Program may be used but the restrictions above under "A" and "B" still apply.
  D. Only 1 thesis option may be elected (300 or 301).
IV.  Two additional elective units at the 200 or 300 level selected from the following categories:
  A. Courses offered by the Department of Film, including fieldwork and independent study.
  B. Courses offered by the Department of Drama
  C. Courses offered by the BAFA/Vassar London JYA Program
  D. Specifically film–related courses offered by other Vassar departments appearing on the Film Department's Approved Elective List, or, with pre–approval, similar courses taken on JYA or Exchange Programs.
V. Senior Year Requirement: Film 392.

I. Introductory

175b. The Art of Film (1)

An introductory exploration of central features of film and film study, including the relation of film and literature, film genre, silent film, formal and stylistic elements (color, lighting, widescreen, etc.), abstract and nonnarrative film, and film theory. Subjects are treated topically rather than historically. Enrollment limited to freshmen and sophomores who have not previously taken film courses at Vassar. Mr. Kalin.


II. Intermediate

210a. World Cinema to 1945 (1)

An international history of film from its invention through the silent era and the coming of sound to mid–century. The course focuses on major directors, technological change, industrial organization, and the contributions of various national movements. In addition to the historical survey, this course teaches the terminology and concepts of film aesthetics, and introduces students to the major issues of classical film theory. Ms. Kozloff, Ms. Mask, and instructor to be announced.

Prerequisite: 4 units in the humanities or social sciences. Enrollment limited.

Two 75–minute periods plus film screenings.

211b. World Cinema After 1945 (1)

An international history of film from mid–century to the present day. The course focuses on major directors, technological changes, industrial organization, and the contributions of various national movements. In addition to the historical survey, this course explores the major schools of contemporary film theory, e.g., semiology, Marxist theory, feminism. Ms. Kozloff, Ms. Mask, and instructor to be announced.

Prerequisite: Film 210. Enrollment limited.

Two 75–minute periods plus film screenings.

[212. Genre: The Musical] (1)

Examines the development of American film musicals from The Jazz Singer to the present day. The course looks at the role of major stars such as Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, Gene Kelly, and Judy Garland, and the contributions of directors such as Vincente Minnelli and Bob Fosse. Students examine the interrelationships between Broadway and Hollywood, the influence of the rise and fall of the Production Code, the shaping hand of different studios, the tensions between narrative and spectacle, sincerity and camp. Reading assignments expose students to a wide range of literature about film, from production histories to feminist theory. Ms. Kozloff.

Two 75–minute classes a week, plus outside screening.

Prerequisite: Film 210 and permission of the instructor.

Offered 2003–2004.

214a. Genre: The War Film (1)

An examination of how American films have represented World War I, World War II, and the Vietnam War. Films chosen include both those made while the conflicts raged (Bataan, 1942), and those made many years later (Saving Private Ryan, 1998). This class focuses on such issues as: propaganda and patriotism, pacifism and sensationalism, the reliance on genre conventions and the role of changing film technologies. For comparison, we look also at documentaries, at films focusing on the sacrifices made on the "home front," and at war–time poetry, posters and music. Reading assignments cover topics such as the government's Office of War Information, the influence of John Wayne, and the racism of the Vietnam filMs. Ms. Kozloff.

Two 75–minute classes a week, plus outside screening.

Prerequisite: Film 210 and permission of the instructor.

215b. Genre: Science Fiction (1)

The course surveys the history of science fiction film from its beginnings in the silent period (culminating in Fritz Lang's Metropolis and The Woman in the Moon) to the advent of digital technologies. The "golden age" of the 50s, the emergence of a new kind of SF film at the end of the 60s (Kubrick's 2001, and the "resurgence/revival" of SF film in the late 70s–early 80s (Star Wars, Blade Runner, Alien, The Terminator) are given special attention. Topics include subgenres (end of the world, time travel, space exploration/the "new" frontier, technology/robots/atomic energy), the relation of SF films to their social context and their function in popular culture, the place of science in SF, film's relation to SF literature (and issues of adaptation), the role of women and feminist criticism, and remakes. In addition to film history and criticism, a small amount of science fiction literature is read. While passing mention will be made to television SF, the course focuses on science fiction film. Mr. Kalin.

Two 75–minute classes a week, plus outside screening.

Prerequisite: Film 210 and permission of the instructor.

[216. Genre: Romantic Comedy] (1)

This class studies the genre of romantic comedy in American film from the "screwball comedies" of the 1930s (It Happened One Night, Bringing Up Baby) to the resurgence of the genre in the 1990s (You've Got Mail). The course focuses on the work of major stars such as Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, and Meg Ryan, as well as the contribution of such directors as Ernst Lubitsch, George Cukor, Preston Sturges, Howard Hawks, Billy Wilder, or Nora Ephron. We place these films in the context of other representations of romance, such as Shakespeare's comedies, and in the context of the changes in American cultureparticularly in the role of women. Readings lead students to a deeper understanding of the history of American film, of genre, and of the star system. Ms. Kozloff.

Two 75–minute classes a week, plus outside screening.

Prerequisite: Film 210 and permission of the instructor.

Offered in 2002–2003.

[218. Genre: The Western] (1)

A historical and cultural exploration of the Western film genre, with emphasis on the social, economic, and political conditions under which such films were produced and the relationship between the Western and the central myths of American experience. Specifically, the course examines Westerns directed by such filmmakers as D. W. Griffith, Tom Mix, William S. Hart, John Ford, William Wyler, Howard Hawks, George Stevens, William Wellman, Raoul Walsh, Fritz Lang, John Huston, Budd Boetticher, Anthony Mann, Fred Zinnemann, Sam Peckinpah, Sergio Leone, and Clint Eastwood. Mr. Steerman.

Two 75–minute periods, plus evening film screening.

Prerequisite: Film 210 and permission of the instructor.

Offered in 2002–2003.

230a. Women and Film (1)

(Same as Women's Studies 230) Despite the challenges posed by inadequate funding, distribution difficulties and obstacles to exhibition, women filmmakers have successfully directed, scripted and edited commercial, independent and avant–garde filMs. The course focus on a wide variety of international women filmmakers, including films by Chantel Akerman, Mira Nair, Jane Campion, Tracey Moffatt, Agnès Varda and Marleen Gorris. The class emphasizes the diversity (aesthetic, ideological, racial and cultural) among women filmmakers. Filmmaking is viewed as a collaborative process in which the editor, the screenwriter and the actor significantly influence content. Our major text is the anthology, Multiple Voices in Feminist Film Criticism, and class reading assignments delve into a broad range of theoretical perspectives. Ms. Mask.

Two 75 –minute periods, plus evening film screening.

Prerequisite: Film 210 or Women's Studies 130 and permission of the 
instructor.

[231. Minorities in the Media] (1)

This course studies visual and written texts in which the dynamics of race, gender and sexuality in American life are expressed. Throughout the semester, we analyze films, videos, advertisements, and newspaper articles, as well as other mediated discourse, to assess the way categories of minority identity have been constructed in mainstream society. The course also examines the representation of those who have defined themselves as "majority" Americans. In addition to scholarship by film theorists, black British cultural theorists, African American scholars, and critical race theorists, this course enlists scholarship from the emerging field of "whiteness studies." Films studied may include: Blackboard Jungle, Slaying the Dragon , Blood in the Face, Black Is, Black Ain't, Shake, Rattle and Rock, Whiteboyz. Ms. Mask.

Prerequisite: 210 and permission of the instructor.

Not offered in 2001/02.

[232a. African American Cinema] (1)

This course provides a survey of the history and theory of African American cinema. It begins with the silent films of Oscar Micheaux, and examines the early all black cast westerns and musicals of the twenties, thirties, and forties. The political debates circulating around stars like Sidney Poitier, Dorothy Dandridge, Eartha Kitt and Harry Belafonte are the focus for discussing the racial climate of the fifties. Special consideration is given to Blaxploitation cinema of the late sixties and seventies, in an attempt to understand the historical contexts for contemporary filmmaking. The new wave of late 80's and early 90's black romantic comedies, including The Wood, The Best Man andComing to America, are also addressed. Ms. Mask.

Prerequisite: Film 210 and permission of the instructor.

Offered in 2002–2003.

[233b. The McCarthy Era and Film] (1)

This class focuses both on the history of anti–communism, involvement with the American film industry, and on the reflection of this troubled era in post–war filMs. We trace the factors that led to HUAC's investigation of communist influence in Hollywood, the case of the Hollywood Ten, the operation of the blacklist and its final demise at the end of the 1950s. We look at films overtly taking sides in this ideological conflict, such as the anti–Communist I Was a Communist for the FBI and the pro–laborSalt of the Earth, as well as the indirect allegories in film noirs and science fiction. Reading assignments are drawn from a wide range of sources, including HUAC transcripts, government documents, production histories, and genre studies. The course concludes with a look at how later films such as The Front sought to frame our understanding of this era. Ms. Kozloff.

Two 75–minute classes a week, plus outside screening.

Prerequisite: Film 210 and permission of the instructor.

Offered in 2003–2004.

234b. Film and "The Sixties" (1)

The era from Bonnie and Clyde (1967) to Chinatown (1974) can be thought of as a distinct period in the history of American film in terms of the demise of the studio system, the transformation of traditional genres, the influence of the French New Wave, the emergence of new auteurs, and the relaxation of censorship, leading to more explicit sex and violence. This course focuses on directors such as Cassavetes, Altman, Kubrick, Peckinpah, Penn, and Scorsese, as well as films, such as Easy Rider, Shaft, or Diary of a Mad Housewife, which reflect topical subjects. Emphasis is placed on the changes in filmmaking techniques (wide–screen, jump cuts, the zoom lens, improvisational acting), the role of film critics and theorists of the time, the changes in industry economics and demographics, the influence of television and popular music, and the ways in which social change is reflected by the cinema. Ms. Kozloff.

Two 75–minute classes a week, plus outside screening.

Prerequisite: Film 210 and permission of the instructor.

238. Music in Film (1)

(Same as Music 238) A study of music in the cinema from 1895 to the present. The course focuses on the expressive, formal, and semiotic functions that film music serves, either as sound experienced by the protagonists, or as another layer of commentary to be heard only by the viewer, or some mixture of the two. Composers studies range from Prokofiev, Copland and Waltonknown best for their non–film scoresto Tiomkin, Rozsa, Steiner and Herrmann, specialists in the field. Contemporary figures like John Williams and Danny Elfman are considered. Mr. Pisani.

Prerequisite: one course in music (not performance) or film.

Two 75–minute classes a week, plus outside screening.

260b. Documentary: History and Aesthetics (1)

This survey provides an introduction to the history and theory of international documentary filmmaking. The journey begins in 1920 with exploration film pioneers such as Robert Flaherty and Margaret Mead. We continue on to the British documentary movement (1930–1938) inspired by John Grierson. Our next destination is Paris, France (circa 1960) where we chronicle the radical cinéma vérité of Jean Rouch. Upon arrival in America, we witness the developing split between cinéma vérité and American direct cinema produced by filmmakers Richard Leacock, Robert Drew, D.A. Pennebaker, Frederick Wiseman and the Maysles Brothers. Our itinerary includes readings and paper assignments, which reflect the formal and theoretical distinctions between documentary practices. Ms. Mask.

Two 75–minute periods a week, plus external screenings.

Prerequisite: Film 210 and permission of the instructor.

290a. or b. Field Work (1/2 or 1)

To be elected in consultation with the adviser and the Office of Field Work.

298a. or b. Independent Work (1/2 or 1)

To be elected in consultation with the adviser.


III. Advanced

300a. or b. Film Research Thesis (1)

Research leading to a thesis in film history or theory. Open only to students electing the concentration in film. Senior status required. Ms. Kozloff, Ms. Mask, Mr. Kalin.

Prerequisites: Film 210/211 and permission of the instructor.

301a or b. Film Screenplay Thesis (1)

The creation of a feature–length original screenplay. Open only to students electing the concentration in film. Senior status required. Students wishing to write a screenplay instead of a research thesis must have produced work of distinction in Film 317 (Dramatic Writing). Instructor to be announced.

Prerequisites: Film 210/211, Film 317 or Drama 317, and permission of instructor.

317a or b. Dramatic Writing (1)

(Same as Drama 317a or b.)

320a/321b. Filmmaking (1)

A–semester: The course concentrates on a theoretical and practical examination of the art of visual communication in 16 mm film. Individual projects emphasize developing, visualizing and editing narratives from original ideas. B–semester: further exploration of a variety of narrative structures from original ideas. Includes working in a partnership with divided responsibilities to develop, visualize and execute filMs. Emphasis is placed on writing and production planning, as well as how lighting and sound contribute to the overall meaning of filMs. (Students must concurrently enroll in a 3–hour lab period each semester.) Mr. Robinson, Mr. Roques.

Fees: see section on fees.

Prerequisites: Film 210/211 and permission of the instructor.

One 3–hour period, plus lab.

325a. Writing the Short Narrative Film (1)

Students learn the process of developing original, ten to twelve minute narrative screenplays. Scripts produced in Film 327 are selected from those created in Film 325. Must be taken concurrently with Film 326. Mr. Robinson.

Prerequisites: Film 320–321 and permission of the instructor.

One 3–hour period.

326a/327b. Documentary Workshop/Narrative Workshop (1)

A semester: This is a one–semester class in which student crews make 8–minute documentary videos about a person, place, event, or an issue. Students learn advanced video and sound–recording techniques, using professional grade digital cameras, field lights, microphones and tripods. Post production is done on digital non–linear editing systeMs. This course addresses the aesthetic, ethical and theoretical issues specific to the documentary genre as students explore a variety of documentary styles. B semester: Student crews create short form 16mm sync/sound narrative films from original student scripts. Individual members of the crew are responsible for the major areas of production and post–production: directorial, camera, editorial, and sound. The goal is a composite release print for each project. Mr. Robinson, Mr. Roques.

Open only to senior film majors who have produced work of distinction in Film 320/321.

Prerequisites: Film 320/321 and the permission of the instructor.

One 3 hour period, plus lab.

[328a/329b. Interactive Multimedia Production] (1)

The theory and production of interactive multimedia. The final project of this class is the production of an interactive multi–media environment which exists on both a website and as a CD–ROM or DVD–ROM.

A semester: Students develop essays concerning their personal experience of a topic chosen by the professor. Over the course of the semester each student designs five interactive mini–projects related to the essay's theme. Projects are incremental in complexity and introduce students to various aspects of interactive multimedia. The final project consists of putting the pieces together into a larger multimedia interactive environment.

B semester: Students develop their own topics and production schedules. Teaching is customized to the particular needs of the student through one–on–one meetings with the professor. Students are expected to be more self–sufficient and their projects to be of professional caliber in their design, navigability, and intellectual depth. Mr. Roques.

Open only to juniors and seniors. Enrollment limited.

Prerequisites: 2 units at the 200–level in film and permission of instructor.

One 3–hour period plus lab.

Not offered in 2001/02.

383b. Exploring Multimedia (1)

This intensive workshop focuses on the art, theory and technologies of creative authoring. Inspired by a personal anecdote or experience related to a topic chosen by the professor, students will write a personal essay and design an interactive multimedia CD–ROM out of text, sound, photographs and moving images. A sequence of eight projects leads students through developing original ideas and technical skills. A portion of class time will be devoted to learning software applications to manipulate sounds, animate digital imagery, edit video, and program interactive environments. Mr. Roques.

Open only to juniors and seniors. Enrollment limited.

Prerequisites: 2 units at the 200–level in film and permission of instruction.

One 3–hour period plus lab.

387 Contemporary U.S. Independent Feature Films (1)

We cover the evolution of independent feature filmmaking from the late 1980Õs to the present. Films covered include: Sex, Lies and Videotape; Slacker; SheÕs Gotta Have It; El Mariachi: Clerks; The Brothers McMullen; and The Blair Witch Project. We combine analytical study of these films along with hands-on projects that touch on the process of creating independent feature films, to give a comprehensive understanding of how films like these come to exist. The path from script to screen is followed in depth with the study of the film, Sweet Thing, photographed and co-produced by Mr. Wiskemann. Readings are drawn from the texts: Spikes: Miles; Slackers and Dykes; Rebel Without a Crew; Cinema of Outsiders; and My First Movie:Twenty Celebrated Directors Talk About Their First Film. Mr. Wiskemann

Prerequisites: Film 212 and 211 and permission of the instructor.

One 3–hour period

392. Research Seminar in Film History and Theory (1)

This course is designed as an in–depth exploration of either a given author or a major theoretical topic. Students contribute to the class through research projects and oral presentations. Their work culminates in lengthy research papers. Because the topic rotates, this course may be taken more than once.

Topic for 2001/02a: Dancers in the DarkThe Transrealist Cinemas of Dennis Potter and Lars von Trier. Dennis Potter and Lars von Trier have argued that their respective television and film cultures were "dead," "stifled" by a standardized procedure and a kind of literal realism that hides a deeper, darker reality. They each have attempted to go beyond this realism and, in the process, have outraged both audiences and critics. We look at their major film and television works, sources and backgrounds, the critical and public reception of their work, artistic philosophies and, most centrally, conceptions of the darkness pervading existence–of evil, good, and redemption–that form the heart of their filMs. (Also considered are works by Michael Powell, Neil Jordan, Mike Leigh, Mike Figgis, Carl Dreyer, and the Dogma Group.) Mr. Kalin.

Topic for 2001/02b: Empire and Sexuality in the Cinema. A senior seminar focusing on cinema and sexuality, this course examines metaphors and allegories of empire as they have been linked to displays of sexuality and structures of desire in narrative cinema. The course includes both heterosexual and homoerotic displays of desire. Films such as David Lean's Lawrence of Arabia (1962), John Huston's The Man who Would be King (1975), Bemardo Bertolucci's The Last Emperor(1987), and Stephen Frears' My Beautiful Laundrette (1987) reveal themselves as cinematic narratives linking power, pleasure and the social constraints regulating bodies in colonial contexts. In addition to film theory, and queer film theory, these films will be interpreted through the critical prism of colonial and postcolonial literature on primitivism, sexuality, surveillance, and structures of power. Scholarship by Frantz Fanon, Michael Foucault, Edward Said, and Ann Laura Stoler, among others, is included. Ms. Mask.

Prerequisites: Film 212 or 230 and permission of the instructor.

One 3–hour period plus film screenings.

Topic for 2000/01a: Woody Allen and Ingmar Berkman. Mr. Kalin.

Topic for 2000/01b: John Ford's Vision of the American West.Mr. Steerman.

399a, b. Senior Independent Work (1/2 or 1)

To be elected in consultation with the adviser.

Summer Study

[245–246. Workshop in Screenwriting and 16mm Film Production] (2)

The summer workshop offers an integrated study of both the conceptual (screenwriting) and practical aspects of 16mm film production. The program concentrates on the techniques needed to create effective narrative filMs. Students develop their original ideas into screenplay form and produce these scripts in 16mm film and/or video. Mr. Steerman, Mr. Robinson.

Special application required.

Five 3–hour meetings per week plus film screenings.

Tuition/room/board–$3,100. Tuition/room only–$2,500

Tuition only–$2,200.

Not offered in 2001/02.

[345–346 Advanced Workshop] (1)

An advanced workshop concentrating on the writing and production of short synchronous sound films or videos. See Film 245–246 for general summer workshop detail. Mr. Steerman, Mr. Robinson.

Special application required.

Offered only in case of sufficient demand.

Not offered in 2001/02.

British American Film Academy/Vassar Program in London.

For complete course descriptions and program information, consult BAFA/Vassar brochure, available in the Film Department Office or the Office for Study Away. Please note that only courses taken in the Advanced BAFA/Vassar Program may be used to meet requirements for the Concentration in Film.

Introductory Program (A–semester): 
213a.     European Film History and Criticism (1) 
217a.     Screenwriting (1) 
220a.     Directing for Film and Television (1) 
223a.     Acting for Film and Television (1) 
224a.     Acting Shakespeare on Film (1/2) 
225a.     Film Adaptations (1/2) 
226a.     Filmmaking Laboratory (0) 
Required of all students in program.

Advanced Program (B–semester): 
303b.     Advanced Acting for Film and Television (11/2) 
312b.     Advanced Film History and Criticism (1) 
315b.     Documentary Filmmaking (1/2) 
318b.     Advanced Screenwriting (11/2) 
323b.     Advanced Filmmaking (11/2) 
330b.     Advanced Film Directing (11/2)