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2012

CRITIC AL THINKING ABOUT SOCIETY IN FILM

Left:  Hailee  Steinfeld  and  Jeff  Bridges   from  True  Grit  (2010)  remake;  Right:  John   Wayne  from  the  original  True  Grit  (1969)

American Film: Original, Remake & Reboot
Perhaps more than any other cultural art form of the twentieth century, film reflects and often challenges the ideological assumptions of America. Some themes speak so loudly and poignantly, that they reappear decade after decade in film, and often in the same film remade for a new generation. This course will consider “originals” and “remakes” in their historical and cultural contexts. Why are films remade, or series rebooted? Is it a flawed original, or is it that the ideas examined have maintained their importance, but have an added significance because of historical events or societal attitudes? In this course, we will look at both originals and remakes and examine them within the contexts of their productions. Get prepared to look at new and familiar films in a new way.

Sabrina  (1954)

Sabrina  (1995)

Sabrina  (1954)

Course Goals After completing this course, students will be better equipped to interpret the cultural significance of film and to express their ideas about films both in writing and in oral presentations.

TEXTS
Belton,  John.  American  Cinema   American  Culture.  (2008). Corrigan,  Timothy.  Short  Guide  to   Writing  about  Film.  8th  Ed.  (2011). Possible  online  readings  and/or   PDF  downloads.

WARNING: THIS COURSE IS RATED R. PLEASE NOTE THAT THE FILMS WE WILL STUDY CONTAIN ADULT LANGUAGE, THEMES, AND IMAGES.
Assignments Your work represents you. Therefore, I expect everything you turn into me to exemplify the very best of your professional self. Work should be proofread, rhetorically appropriate, and illustrate your very best writing. No late submissions will be considered for a grade. Attendance The classroom experience is a vital part of college education. Interaction with instructors and other students is an important element of the learning process. Students are expected to attend all class sessions. Students whose number of absences is more than twice the number of class meetings per week may be assigned a failing grade for the course at the discretion of the instructor. Students who have more absences than the number of class meetings per week but less than twice the number of class meetings per week may be penalized at the discretion of the instructor. Special Needs Students seeking academic accommodations for a special need must contact the MSC Disability Support Services (478471-2985) located on the first floor of the Math Building (formerly Learning Support), Room 110 on the Macon Campus. I cannot accommodate needs requests without the proper documentation.

CONDUCT
As  a  Macon  State  College  student   and  as  a  student  in  this  class,  it  is   your  responsibility  to  read,  to  un-­‐ derstand,  and  to  abide  by  the  MSC   Student  Code  of  Conduct  from  the   MSC  Student  Handbook,  available   online.  As  a  student,  you  must  al-­‐ ways  act  appropriately  in  class.

PLAGIARISM
Willful  plagiarism  will  result  in   automatic  failure  of  this  class  and   will  be  pursued  to  incite  the  ut-­‐ most  penalty  for  such  dishonesty.   Academic  falsehood,  in  any  form,   will  constitute  class  failure.  The   professor  reserves  the  right  to  use   the  plagiarism  detection  service   Turn  It  In  at  his  discretion.

Requirements for this course range from informal writing assignments, to oral presentations, to major exams.
There will be various assignments throughout the semester, ranging from quizzes to informal writing assignments. Your course grade will be evaluated on a point system. Each assignment will be worth a specific amount of points depending on its relative importance in evaluation. For example, a reading quiz might be worth 10 points, while a midterm exam might be worth 100. Since this course is designed to fulfill your Area B requirement in critical thinking, several different assignments will help you develop your critical capacities in different ways. Assignments act both as tools for learning and evaluation. At some point throughout the semester, you will be asked to write both formally and informally; to recall information about texts for quizzes; to speak orally in front of your classmates both prepared and extemporaneously; to discuss various perspectives on the course material; and to show an enthusiastic and thoughtful engagement in classroom activities. Here’s how you can excel in this course: avoid excessive absences; view all films; read all assigned readings; take notes on films and reading; complete all assignments on-time and to the best of your ability; demonstrate a thoughtful and critical engagement of the course material. Grading Scale A=90%-100% of total points; B=80%-89%; C=70%-79%; D=60%-69%; F=below 60%.

STILLS

SABRI N A (1995)

THIS CLASS IS MANDATORY FOR ALL STUDENTS: DO WHAT YOU NEED TO PASS

THE THING (1982)

THE THING (1951)

TOTAL REC A LL (1990)

Tentative Course Schedule 1: 8/21 & 8/23 2: 8/28 & 8/30 Introduction & Orientation Reading: Corrigan, Chapters 1 & 2 (137); Belton, Chapter 11 (242-270) Screening: True Grit (1969; 128 min) Screening: True Grit (2010; 110 min) Reading: Corrigan, Chapters 3 & 4 (38113); Belton, Chapter 12 (271-295) Screening: The Thing from Another World (1951; 87 min) Screening: The Thing (1982; 109 min) Midterm Exam 9: 10/16 & 10/18 10: 10/23 & 10/25 Reading: Belton, Chapter 8: Comedy Screening: Sabrina (1954; 113 min)

3: 9/4 & 9/6 4: 9/11 & 9/13 5: 9/18 & 9/20

11: 10/30 & 11/1 12: 11/6 & 11/8 13: 11/13 & 11/15

Screening: Sabrina (1995; 127 min) Screening: Total Recall (1990; 113 min) Screening: Total Recall (2012; 118 min)

6: 9/25 & 9/27

14: 11/20 & 11/22

Thanksgiving Week: No Class

7: 10/2 & 10/4 8: 10/9 & 10/11

15: 11/27 & 11/29 16: 12/4 & 12/6 12/13: 10:30-12:30

Presentations Presentations Final Exam

Oral Report
You will give one 7-minute presentation that compares two films: one original and one remake or a reboot film. Choose two films and submit them to me by midterm, 10/11; directions will follow. The goal of this exercise is to generate engaged discussion of the films, not simply to summarize them. Think of questions or observations that are likely to spark the interest of your audience and encourage them to share their own ideas. In preparing your presentation, consider (1) the cultural aspects of America that inform the themes, (2) the formal elements, and (3) the major similarities and differences of the films. You must use at least two scholarly sources in your presentation. For the complete assignment description, see LitMUSE: <http://litmuse.net/>.

FILMS

(CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER)

Dr. Gerald R. Lucas
Web: http://litmuse.net/ Email: prof@litmuse.net AIM: drgrlucas Office (H/SS-117) Hours: • MW 1-3:30pm • TR 12-1pm • By Appointment I try to make myself available to students as much as possible during the week. If you need to talk with me about any aspect of the course, please come by my office during the posted office hours above, so we can talk. This is what office hours are for. If you need to see me outside of my office hours, please email me with a couple of times you would be able to make it. I will do my best to accommodate you.You can always try to chat with me via AIM, too, if you have a quick question. Please note: I do not discuss grades via any electronic medium. If have a question concerning your grades, see me during my office hours. Finally, I make every effort to reply to email quickly. However, please note that I do not reply to emails on the weekends. Thanks for your understanding.

1. THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD (1951) 2. SABRINA (1954) 3. TRUE GRIT (1969) 4. THE THING (1982) 5. SABRINA (1995) 6. TRUE GRIT (2010)

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