UC Berkeley Department of Film and Media

Department of Film & Media UC Berkeley

Courses / Undergraduate

Fall 2018

20 | CCN: 21532

Film/Media Cultures

Mary Ann Doane,

4 Units

T/Th 11:00am-12:30pm; T 6:00-9:00pm, Dwinelle 142

This course introduces students to theories and methods in the scholarly study of audiovisual media, including photography, television, film, video, and digital media. Throughout the semester, we will focus on questions of medium “specificity,” asking: what are the technological/material, formal, and aesthetic features that define different media and their various modes of address and representation? We will consider how different media work with time and space, and how they construct their audiences or spectators, producing different kinds of “publics.” We will analyze the ways media texts produce ideological effects, focusing on questions of racial and sexual difference, national identity, capitalism and power. The course is organized around the close reading of major works of 20th century media and cultural theory by writers including Roland Barthes, Walter Benjamin, André Bazin, Stuart Hall, and Laura Mulvey. One of the aims of the course is to learn how to appreciate, rather than being intimidated by, the challenge of reading complex theoretical material. A weekly film screening will help us flesh out the ideas covered in the course using concrete examples.  


This course will cover a variety of 16mm filmmaking techniques, including hand-painted film, cinematography, and digital transfer with an emphasis on the avant-garde. Through readings, hands-on workshops, and individual projects, students will learn about exposure, the photochemical process, various film stocks, and digital editing. This course is intended to provide an historical perspective of film technology before the invention of video, a foundational understanding of cinematography as it is still used in video today, and an introduction to motion picture film as a professional medium of choice for contemporary filmmakers. Students will shoot and edit traditional 16mm film as well as digital transfers of film to video. This is a studio-based film production course that will utilize a range of equipment including: 16mm film cameras, video cameras and software, and audio and lighting instruments. The work created in class will culminate in a final screening/performance of individual and group assignments.