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CMS 2100: Introduction to Film

Instructor: Dr. Virginia Bonner
Messages:

vbonner@clayton.edu :-)
678-466-4713 :-(    
678-466-4769 fax

Web Address:

http://www.virginiabonner.com

Office hours: Scheduled via AdvisorConnect, met by email, phone, & by appt. in Music 105 or via Skype: virginia.bonner (use direct-dial Skype button from my homepage link above)
Semester:
Credit:
Prerequisites:
Fall 2017
3-0-3 credit hours
None
Lectures:

Section 01 CRN 81115 TR 3:35-4:50pm
Section 02 CRN 81179 TR 11:15am-12:30pm
Section 90 CRN 81116 Online

Film Screenings:

On your own Streaming or on Library DVD Reserve

 

Course Objectives and Learning Outcomes

Film is an art form with a language and an aesthetic all its own. Indeed, in CMS 2100 we will approach film as the public literature and graphic art of our time. Through lectures, readings, film screenings, and discussions, you will learn how to analyze the formal and stylistic, aesthetic and ethical elements of cinema. We will study a range of great movies from international film history; you may not love every film we study, but you will definitely become a more informed, sophisticated film viewer. You'll never watch movies the same way again!

Course Format

We will spend approximately the first half of the course studying the formal techniques and terminology of film art. During the second half, we will explore how various filmmakers have employed these cinematic techniques to achieve different historical effects. Note that our reading load will be heaviest during the first half of the course, becoming considerably lighter during the second half.

You MUST check your CSU email account regularly for important notices and updates; this is especially important if you are enrolled in an online version of the course, since we do not regularly meet in person. "I didn't check my email for a few days so I only just got your message" and "I never check that account" are not a valid excuses for missing important course updates, and your grade may suffer as a result.

Always arrive five minutes early to on-campus class lectures, not only because we will start promptly but also because late arrivals are extremely disruptive. If you must arrive late, always use the back door to enter the room quietly and then sit quietly on the aisle; do not step over people to get to a favorite seat, since this blocks the view of the screen for others. Do not text, eat loud foods, sleep, answer cell phones, operate computers, check email, work on other projects, talk with classmates or talk back to the screen loudly, or leave the room for food or other non-emergencies during class lectures; these are a time for serious study of our film texts so you should be taking copious notes during each film to prepare for your quizzes, class discussions, and exams. You may wish to bring a penlight to classes to help you take notes in the dark. Anyone behaving disruptively during a screening or class will be asked to leave.

Film Screenings

Please note that the weekly film screenings are mandatory, and this material will be on exams. If you do not plan to view the films on DVD or streaming or in the library on your own outside of class, you should drop this course.

You do not need to purchase these films. Most of our assigned films are available for free via streaming hyperlinks posted on GeorgiaView/D2L (be sure to activate the Widevine Media Optimizer plugin when prompted), and most are also on DVD reserve in the CSU library. Most of our films are also available streaming or on DVD rental via Netflix or Amazon Instant Video for very reasonable rates. (You can rent films individually or with the $25 Amazon Gift Card available in the bookstore.) Do NOT watch our films via YouTube segments; the poor video and audio quality makes this is a terrible way to study movies!

We will view additional excerpts from selected films during class lectures, and this material will be on exams as well. Print out the In-Class Screening List for the full list of film clips that we'll be seeing in class.

Required Textbooks (Available at the campus bookstore or via online retailers)

1. Bordwell, David and Kristin Thompson, Film Art: An Introduction, 11th Edition. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2017 ISBN 978-0073535104.
Amazon link with free 2-day shipping for college students.

--Or purchase the cheaper earlier editions e-book version via Amazon or at https://create.mcgraw-hill.com/shop/
--Older editions of the textbook purchased used are just fine. Note that assigned page numbers differ in these older editions.
--You do NOT need to purchase the online textbook "Connect" materials; they are expensive!

2. Selected supplemental readings (hyperlinks to PDF readings posted on D2L)

3. Required weekly films (free streaming hyperlinks via GeorgiaView/D2L or available free on DVD reserve in library, plus a few Amazon Instant Video rentals that you can rent individually or with the $25 Amazon Gift Card available in the bookstore.)

We will cover all chapters of these course materials in their entirety. Course textbooks & most of our films are on free reserve in the CSU library.

Computer Requirement

Each CSU student is required to have ready access throughout the semester to a notebook computer that meets faculty-approved hardware and software requirements for the student's academic program. Students will sign a statement attesting to such access. For further information on CSU's Official Notebook Computer Policy, please go to http://www.clayton.edu/hub/itpchoice/notebookcomputerpolicy.

Especially for online students, I recommend ear buds or headphones and a webcam with microphone if your computer does not include them.

In-class Use of Student Notebook Computers

Student notebook computers will not be used in the classroom in this course, except for one or two dates that will be posted on our syllabus in advance. Computers will be required to access course materials and to communicate with your instructor outside of class. Online assessments will take place in GeorgiaView/D2L, the virtual classroom for the course. 

Computer Skill Prerequisites

Able to use the Windows operating system
Able to use Microsoft Word word processing
Able to send and receive e-mail using Outlook or Outlook Express
Able to attach and retrieve attached files via email
Able to use a Web browser
Able to use GeorgiaView

Disability Services

Individuals with disabilities who need to request accommodations should contact the Disability Services Coordinator, Student Center 255, (678) 466-5445, disabilityservices@clayton.edu.

Note: If you have added this course during the schedule change period and/or were not present for the syllabus review/orientation the first day of class, you are required to meet with me or the TA immediately after class or during my office hours to review course requirements and policies.