UC Berkeley Department of Film and Media

Department of Film & Media UC Berkeley

Courses / Undergraduate

Fall 2018

160 | J185 | CCN: 25129

National Cinema: Introduction to Japanese Cinema

Miryam Sas,

4 Units

T/TH 12:30-2:00 PM, Dwinelle 188; T 2:00-5:00 PM Screening, Dwinelle 188

How does cinema convey meaning? How do the images and sounds and spaces of cinema shape the way we think about gender, about our place in the world, about who we are and where we came from, about what is possible for the future? When does cinema open up new imaginative possibilities, question long-held assumptions, and realize previously impossible dreams, and when—and how—can it push our emotional buttons to convince us to hold onto rigid and limited frameworks of thinking? Taking up the case study of Japanese cinema, this course considers how cinema is shaped by social and cultural history, and how it in turn influences and transforms culture. Viewing these questions from outside the Hollywood mainstream affords a new perspective on the languages and contexts of film. We will raise these questions as we embark on a voyage through the twentieth century from the era of silent cinema to wartime cinema, through the New Wave cinema of the sixties and seventies and up to the present day of anime and digital media. Students will emerge with a grasp of the major trends and directors of Japanese cinema as well as knowledge of current directions in research and tools for critical thinking about Japanese cinema.

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.