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From early "one-reelers" to current offerings on dedicated Web sites, international festivals, and film schools, this course studies the history, form, and purpose of classical and contemporary short films. Students will view, discuss, and write about the unique aspects of the short narrative film, with its dazzling array of themes and styles. As these award-winning independent films often feature actors, writers, and directors prominent in commercial films and television shows, the course provides an opportunity to examine the relationship between 5-25 minute short films and full-length films by the same writers or directors. Prerequisite: ENG 104.
Studies the development of film comedy from its humblest origins to its most sophisticated forms. The course breaks down into studies of the physical, clown tradition of comedy, and the more sophisticated verbal comedy. An emphasis on key comic performers, writers, and directors helps make this an intellectual study of why comedy is universally appealing.
A study of the classic myths of horror, with an emphasis on the literary origins of horror tales, and a close study of such significant books as Dracula and Frankenstein, with interpretations of why such terrifying concepts have continuously proven popular the world over, and a study of the way in which Hollywood motion pictures have both extended and distorted the varied tales.
This course allows students to study the contributions to the art of film of the great American film directors. In a given semester one director such as Stanley Kubrick, Quentin Tarantino, or Martin Scorsese will be discussed in terms of his contribution to important genres, film techniques, and pop culture influences, among other possible topics. Students will view the director's films as well as sample the literature from which the director chose his screenplays.
This course will trace the development of the American Film Hero from early 20th Century to present. The course will concentrate on different genres in American film, depicting a variety of heroes, including: The Early War Film, the Western, the Gangster Film, The Vietnam Era, Film Noir as well as many others. Students will study the novels on which successful film adaptations have been based.