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Film 1010 Spring 2009 Syllabus

Film 1010 Spring 2009 Syllabus

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Film 1010: Film Aesthetics and Analysis (Spring 2009, CRN: 17719)
 F 9:00am-11:30am, Classroom South 201Instructor: Drew Ayers Office: 840B, One Park PlaceEmail:dayers2@gsu.eduOffice Hours: T 3:00pm-4:00pm, W 2:45pm-Website:www.drewayers.net4:30pm, and by appt.Mailbox: 6
th
Floor, One Park Place
N.B.
 1)
 
The course website and uLearn will reflect updates to the course, changes in syllabus,assignments, etc. Be sure to check them regularly. The course syllabus provides ageneral plan for the course; deviations may be necessary.2)
 
Your constructive assessment of this course plays an indispensable role in shapingeducation at Georgia State University. Upon completing the course, please take the timeto fill out the online course evaluation.
Course Description
This course will examine the aesthetics (both visual and aural) of film and their relation to filmnarrative and genre. This course will also explore the ways in which film aesthetics help toconvey meanings, tell stories, and perpetuate ideologies. Special attention will be paid to criticalwriting about film, and this course will develop the critical thinking and writing skills needed for academic film criticism. Students will be introduced to the specialized concepts and vocabularyrequired for scholarly film criticism. This course is a prerequisite to the upper-level filmcourses.
Course Objectives
 By the end of the course, students will be able to:
§
 
Define terms/concepts fundamental to film studies
§
 
Employ these terms/concepts in both academic writing and class discussion
§
 
Write analytical/critical essays that show understanding of, engagement with, andthoughtful use of film studies vocabulary
§
 
Conduct research specific to film studiesThe critical, argumentative, and written skills gained in this course are those required for upper-level film studies courses as well as in other critical engagements with the world.
Required Texts
 1)
 
Corrigan, Timothy and Patricia White.
The Film Experience: An Introduction.
New York:Bedford, 2004. (Available at the GSU bookstores)2)
 
Readings on uLearn3)
 
Course films (Available on library reserve)
Screenings
 Throughout the semester, you will be required to view the six films listed on the syllabus. Sincewe do not have a reserved screening time for the class, you will need to watch these films onyour own. The films (except for 
Orlando
and
 Die Hard 
) are available through the library media
 
center (2
nd
Floor, Library South), and all of the films are available through Netflix or at localvideo stores (e.g., Movies Worth Seeing and Videodrome). The films are a fundamental part of the course and will comprise a large part of our discussions. Thus, even if you have already seenthe films, you should plan to view them again
before
the class in which we are discussing them.
Attendance and Participation
 Attendance for this course is mandatory. My approach to this class will integrate lectures, classdiscussions, student presentations, and various exercises and activities in order to explore the principles discussed in the readings and lectures – you can’t participate if you’re not there.Attendance will be taken during the first fifteen minutes of each class by using a sign-in sheet.Each student will have
two personal days
during the semester to cover absences from either class or screenings. These days may be used for any reason you choose and should include timeout for illness, emergencies, religious holidays, and family obligations. For each absence after the initial two, your overall attendance grade will be lowered by
one letter grade
. If you arriveto class after the first fifteen minutes, you will be counted as tardy. Each tardy counts as one-half of an absence. If you have an ongoing situation that requires special consideration, pleasediscuss this with me at the beginning of the semester.Group discussion of course material will comprise a large portion of our in-class activity. It isessential that you have carefully read the assigned material prior to class in order to fulfill your responsibilities as a member of the learning community of this class. Further, you are expectedto actively participate in class discussion. Attendance/Participation comprises 10% of the finalgrade, and your participation grade will be based on both the level and quality of your  participation.
Late Assignment Policy
 If an assignment is turned in late, one full letter grade will be deducted for each day theassignment is late. Additionally, please remember that an assignment is considered lateimmediately following the class period in which it is due. If you are unable to attend class on aday that an assignment is due, you must contact me
prior
to the class and make alternativearrangements. All assignments must be submitted in hard-copy form. When assignments aredue, expect the unexpected. Assume that one (or perhaps all) of the following will happen toyou on exam dates and assignment due dates:
§
 
Your printer will not print or the line for the printer at the University is a mile long
§
 
Your printer will run out of ink or paper 
§
 
Your disk will crash and all data will be lost
§
 
Your car will not run, busses will skip your stop, and all or your friends will be out of townPlease take whatever steps are necessary to prevent these events from affecting the timelysubmission of assignments and exams.
Additional Sources of Academic Support
 The University offers a range of support services for students. Among the resources availableare:
 
 
The Writing Studio (http://www.writingstudio.gsu.edu/) -- Provides advice and tutoringin composition
 
Student Support Services (http://www2.gsu.edu/~wwwsss/) -- Offers a variety of services, including tutoring, career counseling, and support groups
Special Accommodations
 If you have specific physical, psychiatric, or learning disabilities that you believe may requireaccommodations for this course, please meet with me after class or during my office hours todiscuss appropriate adaptations or modifications that might be helpful to you. The Office of Disability Services (http://www2.gsu.edu/~wwwods/) can provide you with information andother assistance to manage any challenges that may affect your performance in coursework.
Assignments
 There are five primary assignments for the semester. We will talk about each in more detail asthe due dates approach.1)
 
Short Essays: There are six short writing assignments spaced throughout the semester (see the final page of this syllabus). Each short essay is worth 5% of your overall grade,and the essays together comprise 30% of your overall grade.2)
 
Quizzes: At random times throughout the semester, I will distribute a total of five shortquizzes to the class. These quizzes are designed to test your comprehension of theassigned reading and/or film for the day. If you are absent on a day on which a quiz isgiven, that quiz cannot be made up. The quizzes are worth 10% of your overall grade.3)
 
Film Clip Presentation: Groups of two people will present and discuss the cinematicaspects of a film clip of their choosing. The presentations should focus on the particular aspects of cinema we are studying (editing, cinematography, etc.) and should relate to thetopic of discussion for the day. Your presentation should (1) focus on a brief clip from afilm of your choice – 
clips should be
 
no more than two or three minutes;
(2) provide areading of the clip focusing on the topic of the class discussion (editing, etc.); (3) drawconclusions as to how your clip is representative of the larger issues we are discussing;and (4) provide further questions for class discussion. There will be one presentation atthe beginning of every class session, and you should think of your presentation as a lead-in to the topic of discussion for the day. Your group should meet with me at least a week  prior to your presentation to discuss what you are going to present. The presentation isworth 10% of your overall grade.4)
 
Midterm Exam: You will be responsible for completing a take-home midterm exam.The exam is designed to test you on the material we have covered in class up to themidpoint, and you will have one week in which to complete it. You will respond to twoquestions/prompts of your choice, selected from a list of several questions/prompts that Iwill provide to you. Each response should be
at least 750 words in length
(roughly 3double-spaced pages), resulting in a total of approximately 6 pages for the entiremidterm.
The midterm is due at the beginning of class on Friday, February 27
th
, andit is worth 20% of your overall grade.
5)
 
Final Paper: This assignment builds off of the last short essay assignment. The final paper will be
7-8 pages in length
, and it is meant to showcase all you have learned thissemester. The paper should make use of all of our discussions about film criticism – filmic elements, essay construction, analysis, research, etc. – and it will require a research

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