The Craft of Writing: Film Focus
R1B | CCN: 14263
T/W 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM, Evans 31; Screening Th 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM, Evans 31 ///
What new aesthetics have emerged from computer generated images? How have spectacular digital effects transformed cinema and television? What new distribution patterns have arisen? Have digital technologies destabilized the relationship between creators and consumers? This course will explore how digital technologies have transformed film and television – how they are made, what they look like, and how and where they are watched.
This course will introduce students to the process, pleasure, and discipline of academic writing through learning to write about film, television and digital media. Weekly screenings will take students from major innovations in special effects in the 1990s to iMax and VR today. In addition to relevant television episodes, videogames, VR apps, YouTube videos, and video art, we will screen key digital films such as: Terminator 2 (James Cameron, 1991), Toy Story (John Lasseter, 1995), The Blair Witch Project (1999), Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Ang Lee, 2000) Russian Ark (Alexander Sokurov, 2002), Avatar (James Cameron, 2009), Cave of Forgotten Dreams (Werner Herzog, 2010), Hugo (Martin Scorsese, 2011), Gravity (Alfonso Cuoron, 2013), Her (Spike Jonze, 2013), Inception (Christopher Nolan, 2010), and Guardians of the Galaxy (James Gunn 2014).
This course fulfills the second part of the Reading and Composition requirement, with an emphasis on research. Students will learn to generate research topics, locate and evaluate sources, and write analytical, original papers with arguments supported by those sources. Students will base their writings on close readings of media objects. In addition to encouraging critical and analytical engagement and thinking, this course aims to develop student fluency in composing longer and more complex papers than R1A, with specific attention to the development of research skills and the ability to incorporate source material effectively. Because learning to write cannot be done outside of a context of reading, the development of critical reading and re-reading skills is also a key objective and will be emphasized and encouraged throughout the semester.