QR code for this URLTCF 440/540
Seminar In American Cinema (Spring 2014)
http://goo.gl/s8cfGT

This is an addendum to the full syllabus. The instructor stipulates that a student's receipt of this addendum shall act as a contract between the instructor and the student. Receipt of this addendum presupposes that a student has read and understands the policies contained here and in the full online syllabus: goo.gl/ox15XM. Please contact the instructor if you have any questions about these policies.

Grades and other course materials are posted on Blackboard Learn.

THIS OUTLINE IS SUBJECT TO CHANGES ANNOUNCED IN CLASS
Illustrations icon = illustrations | Screenpedia = Screenpedia |Netflix logo = Netflix streaming

Date Topic/Screening Readings
1/8 Introduction to the Course
Ordinary People (Redford, 1980; 124 min.) Netflix logo Click for illustrationsClick for illustrations
 
1/13 Film Analysis: Narrative Form Screenpedia
Butler, ch. 2 (21-32); ch. 3 (55-79)
Recommended: for more on narrative, see David Bordwell, "Three Dimensions of Film Narrative"
1/15 Film Analysis: Mise-en-Scene Screenpedia Click for illustrationsClick for illustrations
Out of the Past (Tourneur, 1947)Click for illustrations
Butler, ch. 7examples Click for illustrations
1/20 I have a dream . . .No Class: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Why not read King's "I Have a Dream" or "Letter from the Birmingham Jail" today?
 
1/22 Film Analysis: Cinematography Screenpedia Click for illustrations
Ball of Fire (Hawks, 1941)
Butler, ch. 8examples
First Reading Quiz
1/27 Film Analysis: Editing & Sound Screenpedia Screenpedia Click for illustrations Butler, chs. 9 (293-313), 10 Click for illustrations
1/29 View on your own:
The Maltese Falcon (Huston, 1941) Click for illustrations Click for illustrations view online
Recommended, not required:
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (excerpt, Wiene, 1920)Click for illustrations
Le Jour se Lève (excerpt, Carné, 1939; Gorgas VCR 84-24)Click for illustrations
 
2/3 Discussion Screenpedia article
The Concept of Genre Screenpedia page
Kitses (6-27)Click for illustrations, Buscombe (33-45), Collins (157-163)
2/5 Analytical Exercise Due ScreenpediaClick for illustrations
Film Noir as GenreClick for illustrations Screenpedia article
The Grifters (Frears, 1990) Netflix logo Click for illustrations

Recommended on Netflix logo:

Double Indemnity (Wilder, 1944)
99 River Street (Karlson, 1953)
Scarlet Street (Lang, 1945)
Raw Deal (Mann, 1948)
 
2/10 Discussion Screenpedia article Silver & Ursini (17-26, 37-52, 53-64, 65-76)Click for illustrations
2/12 The Concept of Authorship Illustrations icon Screenpedia article

View on your own:
Only Angels Have Wings (Hawks, 1939) Click for illustrations view online
To Have and Have Not (excerpts, Hawks, 1944)
Click for illustrations view online
Click for illustrations view online
 
2/13 Assignment One Due, Thursday, 11:59 pm
(see Notes on Writing Film Analyses for tips)
 
2/17 Discussion Screenpedia article
Caughie (9-16, 22-67) Theories of Authorship
2/19 Howard Hawks as AuteurIllustrations icon Screenpedia article
Monkey Business (Hawks, 1952) Netflix logo Click for illustrations

Recommended:
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (Hawks, 1953) Click for illustrations
Recommended on Netflix logo:
His Girl Friday (Hawks, 1940)
I Was a Male War Bride (Hawks, 1949)
 
2/24 Discussion Screenpedia article
Sarris (on Hawks, 52-56), Caughie (138-151), Hillier & Wollen (26-31, 32-34, 68-71, 83-86, 111-119) Theories of Authorship
2/26 The Concept of Star The Star System Screenpedia article
Dark Victory (excerpt, Goulding, 1939) Illustrations icon
The Petrified Forest (Mayo, 1936) Petrified Forest
 
2/27 Assignment Two Due, Thursday, 11:59 pm
(see Notes on Writing Film Analyses for tips)
 
3/3 Discussion Screenpedia article Click for illustrations Dyer (Stars, 106-50; recommended: 88-105)
3/5 Humphrey Bogart as Star Click for illustrations Screenpedia article
The African Queen (Huston, 1951) Netflix logo Click for illustrationsClick for illustrationsClick for illustrations
 
3/10 Discussion Screenpedia article
Sklar (104-120, 165-176, 227-251)
3/12 Domestic Melodrama as Genre Click for illustrationsClick for illustrationsIllustrations icon Screenpedia article
Imitation of Life (Stahl, 1934) Illustrations icon Illustrations
 
3/13 Assignment Three Due, Thursday, 11:59 pm
(see Notes on Writing Film Analyses for tips)
 
3/17 Discussion Screenpedia article Haskell (153-188)
3/19 Domestic Melodrama Since World War II Rebel Without A Cause Rebel Without A Cause Rebel Without A Cause Screenpedia article
Juno (Reitman, 2007)Click for illustrations
 
3/22-30 Spring Break  
3/31 Discussion Screenpedia article Gledhill (5-39), Elsaesser (43-69)
4/2 Melodrama Variations: TV Soap OperaSoap Opera Illustrations Screenpedia article
Research Paper Topics Due
Backstage Wife/As the World Turns (CBS, 1956-2010) Illustrations icon
 
4/7 Discussion Screenpedia article Soap Apparatus & Stars ATWT alumni Meg Ryan profile Illustrations icon Butler ("Zero-Degree Style," 55-120), Butler ("Actors," 75-91)
4/9 Douglas Sirk as AuteurIllustrations IllustrationsScreenpedia article
Imitation of Life (Sirk, 1959) Netflix logo Illustrations
Recommended: Far From Heaven (Haynes, 2002)
 
4/14 Discussion Screenpedia article Sarris (on Sirk, 109-110), Fischer (3-28), Willemen (in Fischer, 268-272); recommended: Doherty (online)
4/16 Lana Turner as Star Click for illustrations Screenpedia article
The Bad and the Beautiful (Minnelli, 1952) Click for illustrations
(Passover)
 
4/21 Discussion Screenpedia article Click for illustrations
(Passover)
Dyer ("Four Films...", 30-52)
4/23 Discussion: Course Summary, Final Paper Prep, Extra Credit Help
Mildred Pierce (Curtiz, 1945)
 
4/25 Shot Logger Extra Credit Due, TCF office, 4:45 pm  
4/27 Mildred Pierce Extra Credit Due, via email, 11:59 pm  
4/30
Wed.
Final Paper Due Illustrations icon
11:59 pm, via Blackboard Learn/TurnItIn
 

Supplemental Survey

Reading List (in order of assignment)

  1. Jim Kitses, Horizons West (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1969) 6-27.
  2. Edward Buscombe, "The Idea of Genre in the American Cinema," Screen, 11.2 (1970): 33-45.
  3. Richard Collins, "Genre: A Reply to Ed Buscombe," Movies and Methods, ed. Bill Nichols (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1976) 157-163.
  4. Alain Silver and James Ursini, eds., Film Noir Reader (New York: Limelight, 1996).
  5. John Caughie, Theories of Authorship: A Reader (New York: Routledge, 1981).
  6. Andrew Sarris, The American Cinema: Directors and Directions 1929-1968 (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1973) 52-56, 109-110.
  7. Jim Hillier and Peter Wollen, eds., Howard Hawks American Artist (London: British Film Institute, 1996).
  8. Robert Sklar, City Boys: Cagney, Bogart, Garfield (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1992).
  9. Molly Haskell, "The Woman's Film," in From Reverence to Rape: The Treatment of Women in the Movies (New York: Penguin, 1974) 153-188.
  10. Christine Gledhill, "The Melodrama Field: An Investigation," Home is Where the Heart Is: Studies in Melodrama and Woman's Film, ed. Christine Gledhill (London: British Film Institute, 1987) 5-39.
  11. Thomas Elsaesser, "Tales of Sound and Fury: Observations on the Family Melodrama," Home is Where the Heart Is: Studies in Melodrama and Woman's Film, ed. Christine Gledhill (London: British Film Institute, 1987) 43-69.
  12. Jeremy G. Butler, "Television and Zero-Degree Style" in Television Style (New York: Routledge, 2010), 55-120.
  13. Jeremy G. Butler, "'I'm Not a Doctor, But I Play One on TV': Characters, Actors, and Acting in Television Soap Opera,"Cinema Journal 30.4 (1991): 75-91.
  14. Lucy Fischer, "Three-Way Mirror: Imitation of Life," Imitation of Life: Douglas Sirk, Director ed. Lucy Fischer (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press) 3-28.
  15. Paul Willemen, "Distanciation and Douglas Sirk," Imitation of Life: Douglas Sirk, Director, 268-272.
  16. Recommended, not required: Thomas Doherty, "Douglas Sirk: Magnificent Obsession," The Chronicle Review, 49, no. 12 (November 15, 2002), p. B16. Available online.
  17. Richard Dyer, "Four Films of Lana Turner," Movie 25: 30-52.

Contact: jbutler@ua.edu
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