Credit hours: 3
Instructor: Jeremy Butler
Office: 430C Phifer, 348-6350
Office hours: TT 2-3:00, MW 3-4:00, & by appt.
Online grades: http://www.tcf.ua.edu/Classes/jbutler/t577/grades.htm
What is the star system and how does it operate? How do movie stars function within our culture, our ideology? Why are particular stars popular during specific time periods? What forms of pleasure do movie stars offer? How is a star image constructed and what function does it serve in a film's signifying system? How do stars generate meaning through performance?
This course confronts the issues of film/TV stardom and performance. These areas are neglected by most academic/scholarly approaches to the cinema and television. They're buried beneath an immense bulk of bad writing and sycophantic adulation. We will pose the above questions--and more--in an attempt to articulate what stardom is, why it exists, and what effects it has.
1. Two exams--a mid-term and a final. Both will be open-book, open-note essay exams. Each is worth 20 points.
2. An oral presentation. Each students will "present" a film star to the class. The presentation will consist of an approximately 25-30 minute lecture and an approximately 35-20 minute discussion. The star may not be one of the stars considered in class and must be from a film that is available on videocassette (which the student will provide). The total presentation is worth 25 points.
3. A term paper. The student will prepare a 20 page (6000 word) analysis of the same star as his or her oral presentation. The paper will present more formally and rigorously the information from the presentation, focusing on one specific film. It is worth 35 points.
Presentation 25 Term Paper 35 Mid-Term Exam 20 Final Exam 20 --------- 100 TOTAL
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 by the last four digits of your student ID number on the TCF Department's World Wide Web site:
This site may be accessed from most computer labs on campus and, via the Internet, from computers around the world. If you do not want your grades posted, please notify me in writing.
The exams' questions assume the student has attended all discussions and film screenings.
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.
|01/08||Introduction to the Course|
|01/13||Stars and Performance I||Dyer, Stars, 149-185|
|01/15||Stars and Performance II||Butler, ST Intro, 7-16|
|ON THE WATERFRONT (Kazan, 1954)|
|01/20||Theories of Performance: Naturalism I||Stanislavski, ST 18-33|
|Pudovkin, ST 34-41|
|01/22||Naturalism II||Strasberg, ST 42-50; Ciment, 28-48|
|VIVRE SA VIE (Godard, 1962)|
|POTEMKIN (Eisenstein, 1925; extract)|
|01/27||Theories of Performance: Counter Tendencies (Illustrations)||Kuleshov, ST 50-65; Eisenstein, 28-44|
|01/29||Counter Tendencies II: Brecht & Bresson (Illustrations)||Brecht, ST 66-79; Bresson, ST 80-87|
|WAY DOWN EAST (Griffith, 1920)|
|02/03||Rise of the Star System: The Picture Personality||deCordova, 23-97|
|02/05||Rise of the Star System: The Star||deCordova, 98-116|
|THE WAY WE WERE (Pollack, 1973)|
|02/10||Stars as Signs (Illustrations)||Dyer, Stars, 99-148|
|02/12||Marilyn Monroe and Sexuality (Illustrations)||Dyer, HB 1-42|
|SOME LIKE IT HOT (Wilder, 1959)|
|02/17||Monroe II||Dyer, HB 42-66|
|02/19||Paul Robeson: Crossing Over||Dyer, HB 67-109|
|THE EMPEROR JONES (Murphy, 1933)|
|02/24||Robeson II (Illustrations)||Dyer, HB 109-139|
|02/26||Judy Garland and Gay Men||Dyer, HB 141-168|
|A STAR IS BORN (Cukor, 1954)|
|03/03||Garland II||Dyer, HB 168-194|
|Television Performance||Ellis, ST 300-315|
|AS THE WORLD TURNS episode|
|03/10||Soap Opera Performance (Illustrations)||Butler, 1-30|
|03/12||Star Semiotics||King, ST 125-154|
|FORT APACHE (Ford, 1948)|
|03/17||Star Semiotics II||Higson, ST 155-181|
|03/19||Star Texts: John Wayne (Illustrations)|
|STUDENT-CHOSEN FILM 1: GILDA|
|03/24||Star Texts: Lana Turner||Dyer, ST 214-239|
|03/26||Star Texts: Wyman on Hayworth|
|04/07||Star Texts: Valentino||Hansen, ST 266-297|
|STUDENT-CHOSEN FILM 2: Pryor Film|
|04/09||Star Texts: Glenn on Pryor|
|STUDENT-CHOSEN FILM 3: Foster Film|
|04/14||Star Texts: Joey on Foster|
|STUDENT-CHOSEN FILM 4: Stewart Film|
|04/16||Star Texts: James on Stewart|
|STUDENT-CHOSEN FILM 5: Davis Film|
|04/21||Star Texts: Ross on Davis|
|STUDENT-CHOSEN FILM 6: JULIA|
|04/23||Star Texts: Demetria on Carroll|
|STUDENT-CHOSEN FILM 7: Eastwood Film|
|04/28||Star Texts: Josh on Eastwood|
|STUDENT-CHOSEN FILM 8: THE AVENGERS|
|04/30||Star Texts: Sheree on Rigg|
|05/04||**Term Paper Due: 4:45 p.m., TCF Office, 484 Phifer Hall**|
|05/07||**Final Exam Period: Thursday, 2-4:30 p.m.**|
Butler, Jeremy G. Star Texts: Image and Performance in Film and Television. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1991.
Dyer, Richard. Heavenly Bodies: Film Stars and Society. New York: St. Martin's, 1986.
deCordova, Richard. Picture Personalities: The Emergence of the Star System in America. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1990.
Butler, Jeremy G. "'I'm Not a Doctor, But I Play One on TV': Characters, Actors, and Acting in Television Soap Opera." Cinema Journal 30, no. 4 (Summer 1991): 75-91.
Ciment, Michel. Kazan on Kazan. New York: Viking Press, 1974.
Dyer, Richard. "Four Films of Lana Turner." Movie, no. 25, 30-52.
Eisenstein, Sergei. "The Cinematographic Principle and the Ideogram." In Film Form: Essays in Film Theory, 28-44. Edited and translated by Jay Leyda. New York: Harcourt, Brace, and World, 1949.