3 credit hours
TCF 440/540 will familiarize the student with the three major critical methods applied to the American cinema: genre study, the auteur "theory," and the star "system." We will begin with the Western, director John Ford and actor John Wayne, and then, during the second half of the semester, turn our attention to the melodrama, director Douglas Sirk, and actress Lana Turner.
Our focus will shift back and forth from the primary texts (the films themselves) to the writings on them. The latter will eventually lead us into considerations of feminism, Marxism, structuralism and semiotics.
The student's grade will depend upon four separate components:
Beyond the requirements for undergraduates, the grad student must lead one discussion (worth 3 points). The directed papers should be five pages (1500 words) instead of four (worth 15 points), and the final paper should be 13 pages instead of 10.
A 93-100 C 73-76 A- 90-92 C- 70-72 B+ 87-89 D+ 67-69 B 83-86 D 63-66 B- 80-82 D- 60-62 C+ 77-79 F 59 and below
Grades will be posted on the TCF Department's Web site:
If you do not wish your grades to be posted in this manner, please notify
me in writing.
If poor attendance adversely affects class discussions, then in-class quizzes
will be given and factored into the grading.
All acts of dishonesty in any work constitute academic misconduct. The Academic Misconduct Disciplinary Policy will be followed in the event of academic misconduct.
To request disability accommodations, please contact Disabilities Services (348-4285). After initial arrangements are made with Disabilities Services, contact Jeremy Butler.
(subject to changes announced in class)
|1/7||Introduction to the Course|
|1/12||Film Analysis: Narrative Form||Bordwell/Thompson (chs. 3, 4)|
|1/14||RIO BRAVO (Hawks, 1959; 140 min.)|
|1/19||No Class: Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day|
|1/21||Film Analysis: Classical Style (Illustrations.)||Bordwell/Thompson (chs. 6, 7)|
|HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY (Ford, 1941)|
|1/26||Film Analysis: Editing and Sound||Bordwell/Thompson (ch. 8, 9)|
|1/28||11:00 a.m.: Discussion and *Analytical Exercise Due*|
|7:00 p.m.: The Concept of Genre and TUMBLEWEEDS (1925)|
|2/2||Discussion||Kitses (6-27), Buscombe|
|2/4||The Western as Genre|
|UNFORGIVEN (Eastwood, 1992; 127 min.)|
|2/11||The Concept of Authorship|
|WAGONMASTER (Ford, 1950)|
|THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE (Ford, 1962; extract)|
|*Assignment One Due*|
|2/16||Discussion||Caughie (9-16, 22-67)|
|2/18||John Ford as Auteur (Illustrations.)|
|THE QUIET MAN (Ford, 1952)|
|2/23||Discussion||Sarris (on Ford, 43-49)|
|Caughie (69-74, 83-101,138-151)|
|2/25||Auteur-Structuralism and Post-Structuralism|
|*Assignment Two Due*|
|YOUNG MR LINCOLN (Ford, 1939)|
|3/2||Discussion||Caughie (123-135, 152-165)|
|Cahiers (493-529; read|
|only sections 1-11, 18, & 25)|
|3/4||The Concept of Star|
|HURRICANE EXPRESS (Schaefer & McGowan, 1933)|
|3/9||Discussion||Dyer (Stars, 99-172)|
|3/11||John Wayne as Star|
|THE SEARCHERS (Ford, 1956)|
|3/16||Discussion||Screen Ed. (3-48)|
|3/18||Domestic Melodrama as Genre|
|*Assignment Three Due*|
|IMITATION OF LIFE (Stahl, 1934)|
|3/25||Domestic Melodrama Since World War II|
|TERMS OF ENDEARMENT (Brooks, 1983; 132 min.)--in Reading Room, no in-class screening|
|3/30-4/3 SPRING BREAK|
|4/6||Discussion||Gledhill (5-39), Elsaesser (43-69)|
|4/8||Melodrama Variations: TV Soap Opera|
|*Research Paper Topics Due*|
|BACKSTAGE WIFE/AS THE WORLD TURNS|
|4/13||Discussion (Illustrations)||Butler ("Apparatus," 53-70) Reading Room|
|Butler ("Actors," 75-91)|
|4/15||Douglas Sirk as Auteur|
|IMITATION OF LIFE (Sirk, 1959)|
|4/20||Discussion||Sarris (on Sirk, 109-110)|
|Fischer (3-28, 268-272)|
|4/22||Lana Turner as Star (Illustrations)|
|THE BAD AND THE BEAUTIFUL (Minnelli, 1952)|
|4/27||Discussion||Dyer (30-52) [Also in|
|4/29||Discussion: Course Summary and Autocritique|
|DONOVAN'S REEF (Ford, 1963)|
|5/4||*Monday: Research Paper Due--4:45 p.m., TCF Office, 484 Phifer Hall*|
|5/7||*Thursday: Final Exam Period--8-10:30 a.m.*|
David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson, Film Art: An Introduction, Fifth Edition (New York: McGraw Hill, 1997).
John Caughie, ed., Theories of Authorship (Boston: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1981).
Lucy Fischer,ed., Imitation of Life, (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers
University Press, 1991).
(Some will also be on reserve--Main Library and/or Winter (Communication)
In order of assignment.
(Note: The above listings follow the guidelines for footnotes specified in Kate L. Turabian, A Manual for Writers. Citations in a bibliography use a slightly different format. You must use Turabian or another recognized style guide when creating citations in your papers.)