This class is centered on the premise that critical reading, writing, and speaking are essential tools in becoming an active and effective participant in the intellectual life of our culture. The theme for this class is the rhetoric of film. We will watch and discuss a variety of films. Because this course is advanced composition, you will be required to do a great deal of writing. Because it is also speaking intensive, you will be required to speak publicly in a number of ways. In particular, this class will give you opportunity to:
• interpret and evaluate argumentative discourse, including writing
• Construct cogent arguments
• Communicate those arguments clearly, coherently and effectively
• Locate, synthesize, and evaluate relevant information
• Demonstrate an understanding of the aims and methods of intellectual discourse
• Weigh evidence and evaluate the arguments of differing viewpoints
• Understand and use the conventions of writing and speaking for the academic community
Film: A Critical Introduction by Maria T Pramaggiore and Tom Wallis
NOTE: films shown in this class sometimes include strong language, nudity and "sexual situations," and/or scenes of violence. As adults, you are expected to approach these films with the same seriousness as you would approach any object of study in college. However, if you have genuine objections to watching such material, let me know.
In-class Writing and Speaking
Since this class is centered on speaking, it is vital that you come to class
prepared to participate. Make sure you have carefully read the assigned reading
and are ready to ask questions and make comments. You will have the opportunity
to participate in both small and large groups. I may ask you to write informal
responses to questions in class. I may also ask to see your in-class writing
from time to time. If you do not participate in all the writing and speaking
activities, your participation grade will be lowered.
Each of you participate in a group presentation with two or three of your classmates. For this presentation, you will sumarize and lead a discussion on the assigned reading in Film: A Critical Introduction. The presentation should involve everyone in the group and must be between 45 min to 1 hour. I highly recommend using handouts, multimedia (such as film clips), and perhaps discussion questions for the class. Break down the information in the assigned chapter (summarize) and give examples (in your own words), do not just read the textbook to the class. One of the goals of this assignment is to help your classmates understand the details of your assignmed chapter.
Each of you will discuss and analyze a film from the film list. For this presentation, you should apply the discourse (language) from our textbook. You will be graded on how well you demonstrate close reading and critical analysis of your film. This presentation should be about 25-30 min long. I highly recommend using handouts and perhaps some multimedia to make your presentation both interesting and informative.
You will be required to write a 4-5 page critical essay as part of your individual presentation. For this essay, you will apply the information you learned in Film: A Critical Introduction to the film you have chosen. This essay is due on the day of your presentation. Remember: this is an essay, not a summary or outline.
There may be a quiz if I suspect the class is not reading the required materials. The quiz will count toward your participation grade.
Group Presentation (approx. 25%)
Individual Presentation (approx. 25%)
Essay (approx. 25%)
Participation (approx. 25%)
Attendance: It is imperative that you show up to class, both physically and mentally every class period. I realize emergencies may come up which prevent you from attending class. That is why you have three freebies. It is also important to attend class on time.
Two tardies equals one absence.
4 absences = highest grade b
5 absences = highest grade c
6 absences = highest grade c-
More than 6 absences = consider withdrawing or risk failing the class
Conferences: The purpose of conferences is to give you individual time to talk about your reading and writing with the instructor. Take charge of these conferences; they’re designed to address your needs. Bring your questions, ideas, and your draft to the conference.
Late work: If you do an assignment after the fact, the reason for doing it is often lost. As with any professional environment, if you miss class, the work is still due that day. Give it to me early or have someone drop it off for you. If an emergency arises, contact me as soon as possible, hopefully before class, to see if we can work out an arrangement.
Speaking Center: 22 McIver Building Underground. Hours: Monday 10am to 8pm, Tuesday - Thursday 10am to 6pm, Friday 9am to noon. Website: http://www.uncg.edu/cst/speakingcenter/main.html
Plagiarism: Plagiarism is intentionally or knowingly representing the words of another as one's own in any academic exercise. This is a SERIOUS offense punishable by failure or even expulsion from school. I will not tolerate any act of plagiarism in this course.
General Expectations: This course will be broad and foundational in nature; it will not assume extensive previous knowledge. In addition, the skills taught will prepare you for understanding and responding appropriately to the various rhetorical situations in any discipline.
Class Schedule (subject to change)
PART ONE: Film: A Critical Introduction
M Aug 15: intro: ways of seeing. Watch Amelie.
M, Aug 22: read chapter Chapter 2: An Approach to Film Analysis (GROUP PRESENTATION # 1) and Chapter 3: Narrative Form (GROUP PRESENTATION # 2)
M, Aug 29: read Chapter 4: Mise en Scene (GROUP PRESENTATION # 3) and Chapter
(GROUP PRESENTATION # 4)
M Sep 12: read Chapter 11: Film and Ideology (GROUP PRESENTATION # 5) and Chapter 8: Alternatives to Narrative Fiction Film (GROUP PRESENTATION # 6)
PART TWO: A FEW MOVIES
M, Sep 19: watch Brakhage’s Black Ice and Dark Tower and Jane Campion’s The Piano and discuss
M, Sep 26: watch Federico Fellini’s Juliet of the Spirits and discuss
M, Oct 3: watch Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut and discuss
M, Oct 17: watch Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s A Very Long Engagement and discuss
M, Oct 24: watch Jean-Luc Godard’s Breathless and discuss
PART THREE: INDIVIDUAL PRESENTATIONS (5 per class period. 25-30 min each)
M, Nov 7: Individual Presentations (5 per class period. 25-30 min each)
M, Nov 14: Individual Presentations (5 per class period. 25-30 min each)
M, Nov 21: Individual Presentations (5 per class period. 25-30 min each)
M, Nov 28: Individual Presentations (5 per class period. 25-30 min each)
M, Dec 5: Last Day of Classes (make-up day)
Film List For Individual Presentations
1. 'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’ (Michel Gondry)
2. 'Annie Hall' 1977 (Woody Allen)
3. 'Singin' in the Rain (Two-Disc Special Edition)' 1952 (Gene Kelly & Stanley Donen)
4. 'The Godfather' 1972 (Francis Ford Coppola)
5. 'Citizen Kane (Two-Disc Special Edition)' 1941 (Orson Welles)
6. 'Vertigo (Collector's Edition)' 1958 (Alfred Hitchcock)
7. 'Pulp Fiction (Collector's Edition)' 1994 (Quentin Tarantino)
8. 'Gone with the Wind' 1939 (Victor Fleming)
9. 'The Piano' 1993 (Jane Campion)
10. 'My Dinner with Andre' 1981 (Louis Malle)
11. 'Taxi Driver (Collector's Edition)' 1976 (Martin Scorsese)
12. 'The Graduate (Special Edition)' 1967 (Mike Nichols)
13. 'The Bicycle Thief' 1949 (Vittorio De Sica)
14. 'Rashomon - Criterion Collection' 1951 (Akira Kurosawa)
15. 'Sunset Boulevard (Special Collector's Edition)' 1950 (Billy Wilder)
16. 'Chinatown' 1974 (Roman Polanski)
17. 'Manhattan' 1979 (Woody Allen)
18. 'Psycho (Collector's Edition)' 1960 (Alfred Hithcock)
19. 'Some Like It Hot (Special Edition)' 1959 (Billy Wilder)
20. 'On the Waterfront (Special Edition)' 1954 (Elia Kazan)
21. 'The Manchurian Candidate' 1962 (John Frankenheimer)
22. 'The Gold Rush (2 Disc Special Edition)' 1925 (Charlie Chaplin)
23. 'A Hard Day's Night' 1964 (Richard Lester)
24. 'E.T. - The Extra-Terrestrial (Widescreen Collector's Edition)' 1982 (Steven Spielberg)
25. 'The Passion of Joan of Arc - Criterion Collection' 1928 (Carl Theodor Dryer)
26. 'Cries & Whispers - Criterion Collection' 1972 (Ingmar Bergman)
27. 'The 400 Blows' 1959 (Francois Truffaut)
28. 'All About Eve (Special Edition)' 1950 (Joseph Mankiewicz)
29. 'A Streetcar Named Desire (Original Director's Version)' 1951 (Elia Kazan)
30. 'Tokyo Story - Criterion Collection' 1953 (Yasujiro Ozu)
31. 'The Shawshank Redemption' 1994 (Frank Darabont)
32. 'North by Northwest' 1959 (Alfred Hitchcock)
33. 'Bonnie and Clyde' 1967 (Arthur Penn)
34. 'The Wizard of Oz' 1939 (Victor Fleming)
35. 'Fargo (Special Edition)' 1996 (The Coen Bros.)
36. 'Do The Right Thing - Criterion Collection' 1989 (Spike Lee)
37. 'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?' 1966 (Mike Nichols)
38. 'The Silence of the Lambs (Widescreen Special Edition)' 1991 (Jonathon Demme)
39. 'GoodFellas' 1990 (Martin Scorsese)
40. 'The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (Two-Disc Special Edition)' 1948 (John Huston)
41. 'Schindler's List (Widescreen Edition)' 1993 (Steven Spielberg)
42. 'Crimes and Misdemeanors' 1989 (Woody Allen)
43. 'Amadeus - Director's Cut (Two-Disc Special Edition)' 1984 (Milos Forman)
44. 'Rear Window (Collector's Edition)' 1954 (Alfred Hitchcock)
45. 'American Beauty (The Awards Edition)' 1999 (Sam Mendes)
46. 'Mildred Pierce' 1945 (Michael Curtiz)
47. 'Ghost World' 2001 (Terry Zwigoff)
48. 'Rebel Without a Cause' 1955 (Nicholas Ray)
49. 'Wings of Desire' 1988 (Wim Wenders)
50. 'The Royal Tenenbaums (The Criterion Collection)' 2001 (Wes Anderson)