FAR 330 Syllabus

Course Description

This course will focus on "women and film" in an international perspective. The course will examine selected films with regard to the representation of women on screen, women's filmmaking as critical practice, and issues in feminist film theory and criticism. The course includes perspectives on Hollywood cinema, independently produced American, and international films. Students will learn how to analyze films. (3 credits)

Prerequisites

  • ENG 101: English Composition 1
  • ENG 102: English Composition 2

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:

  1. Discuss visual strategies of film analysis and film making by focusing on the four categories of camera movement (cinematography), sound, editing, and mise-en-scene.
  2. Identify gender specific topics covered in films.
  3. Enhance critical thinking about gendered aspects of our own life and how they are represented in mainstream and independently produced movies.
  4. Look at mainstream movie productions differently after studying aspects of international films and American made movies with international themes.
  5. Respond to movies in a more reflective and critical way after completing this course.

General Education Outcomes (GEOs)

Please check the applicable GEOs for this course, if any, by outcomes at GEO Category Search, or by subject area at GEO Discipline Search.

Course Activities and Grading

AssignmentsPointsWeight

Discussions (Weeks 1-8 @30 points)

240

24%

Short Response Assignments (Weeks 1, 2, 5 and 7 @ 60 points)

240

24%

Research Paper Proposal (Week 3)

60

6%

Research Paper (Week 6)

240

24%

Final Exam (Week 8)

220

22%

Total

1000

100%

Required Textbooks

Available through Charter Oak's online bookstore

  • Bordwell and Thompson, Film Art: An Introduction. 12th ed. New York: McGraw Hill, 2020. ISBN-10: 1-260-48512-9 or ISBN-13: 978-1-260-48512-7
  • Erens, Patricia. Issues in Feminist Film Criticism. Indiana University Press, 1990. ISBN-10: 0-253-20610-3 or ISBN-13: 978-0-253-20610-7

Additional Materials

Additional articles will be made available in the Course Documents section of the course

Films - Students are expected to watch the films each week.

  • Students are expected to seek access to films either via their public library; Netflix; Redbox; Amazon Prime; TV and/or buy films.

Late Policy

  • Written papers submitted late will receive a 3-point deduction for each day it is late for up to three days. After three days, the assignment will no longer be accepted. Final exam is not accepted after the due date.
  • Discussion board posts will not be accepted after the end of the assigned week. Each week ends on Sunday.
  • Short responses will not be accepted after the end of the assigned week.

Course Schedule

WeekSLOsReadings and ExercisesAssignments

1

1, 2, 3

Topic: WOMEN AND REPRESENTATION

  • Introduction to the course structure & getting to know each other.
  • “Film Form” versus “Film Style.”
    • We will discuss Wendy & Lucy and Maria Full of Grace – choose and watch one
  • Readings:
    • Film Art, Part One, Chapter 1
  • Video:
    • Wendy & Lucy and/or Maria Full of Grace (You are only required to watch one but feel free to view both)
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Participate in the discussions
  • Complete short response
  • Watch movie

2

1, 2, 3, 5

Topic: VISUAL PLEASURE

  • Developing analytical skills for visual analysis: what does that mean? What is “semiotics?” Why is it central to our course?
  • Short Visual Analysis:
    • The kiss in Rear Window with Grace Kelly and Jimmy Stewart. Theorizing the Female/Male Spectator.
  • Readings:
    • Film Art, Part Three, Chapter 4.
    • Laura Mulvey, “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema” (in Erens, pp. 28-40).
    • Tania Modleski, “Hitchcock, Feminism, and the Patriarchal Unconscious (in Erens, pp. 58-74).
  • Video:
    • Rear Window. Dir. Alfred Hitchcock. Paramount Pictures, 1954.
    • Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock, 1958);
    • Disturbia (D.J. Caruso, 2007)
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Participate in the discussion
  • Complete short response
  • Watch movie

3

1, 2, 3, 5

Topic: MALE GAZE

  • Stereotypes of femininity in mainstream Hollywood films. Mechanism of Stardom.
  • Case Study: Marilyn Monroe as a star phenomenon. The pragmatics and “commodity” of female sexuality: the song “Diamonds are girl’s best friends.”
  • Readings:
    • Film Art, Part Three, Chapter 5.
    • Maureen Turim (in Erens, pp. 101-111)
    • Lucie Arbuthnot and Gail Seneca (in Erens, pp. 112-125)
  • Video:
    • Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Dir. Howard Hawks. Twentieth Century Fox, 1953.
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Participate in the discussion
  • Watch movie
  • Submit proposal for research paper

4

1, 2, 3, 5

Topic: NARRATIVE CONVENTIONS

  • Film Style in Classical Hollywood. Gender Stereotypes. Fabricated identities.
  • Readings:
    • Film Art, Part Two, Chapter 3.
    • Mary Ann Doane (In Erens, pp. 41-57).
  • Video:
    • Tootsie (Sydney Pollack, 1982);
    • The Stepford Wives (Bryan Forbes, 1975);
    • The Stepford Wives (Remake, Frank Oz, 2004);
    • TransAmerica (Duncan Tucker, 2005);
    • Boys Don’t Cry (Kimberly Peirce, 1999);
    • Pretty Woman (Garry Marshall, 1990);
    • Albert Nobbs (Rodrigo Garcia,  2011).
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Participate in the discussion
  • Watch two movies

5

1, 2, 3, 5

Topic: CLASSICAL HOLLYWOOD CINEMA

  • Maternal Melodrama. Classic Hollywood versus Remake. Contemporary Versions of motherhood/romance.
  • Case Study:
    • Julia Roberts
  • Readings:
    • Film Art, Part Two, Chapter 2.
    • E Ann Kaplan (in Erens, pp. 126-136);
    • Linda Williams (In Erens, pp. 137-162)
  • Video:
    • Stella Dallas. Dir. King Vidor. Samuel Goldwyn Company, 1937.
    • Stella (Remake, John Erman, 1990);
    • Erin Brokovich (Steven Soderbergh, 2000);
    • Stepmom (Chris Columbus, 1998);
    • Notting Hill (Roger Mitchell, 1999);
    • Sleepless In Seattle (Nora Ephron, 1993)
    • August: Osage County (John Wells, 2014)
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Participate in the discussion
  • Complete short response
  • Watch two movies

6

1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Topic: FILM NOIR

  • Classical Hollywood filmmaking. Editing. Film Noir. Different Film Genres/Film Movements.
  • Readings:
    • Film Art, Part Four, Chapter 9
    • Article - Film Noir
    • Article - The Femme Fatale
  • Video:
    • Sunset Boulevard (Billy Wilder, 1950);
    • Mildred Pierce (Michael Curtiz, 1945);
    • Chinatown (Presudo-Noir; Roman Polanski, 1974);
    • Body Heat (Lawrence Kasdan, 1981);
    • The Last Seduction (John Dahl, 1994).
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Participate in the discussion
  • Watch two movies
  • Submit Research Paper

7

1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Topic: INTERNATIONAL CINEMA: DIVERSITY OF WOMEN'S VOICES

  • Personal stories of women in different countries. The gaze on America from a woman’s perspective.
  • Readings:
    • None
  • Video:
    • White Material (Claire Denis, 2009);
    • Nowhere in Africa (Caroline Link, Germany, 2001);
    • Run Lola, Run (Tom Tykwer, Germany, 1999);
    • Mostly Martha (Sandra Nettelbeck, Germany, 2001);
    • Bread and Tulips (Silvio Soldini, Italy, 2000);
    • Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Ang Lee, USA, 2000);
    • Raise The Red Lantern (Yimou Zhang, China, 1991);
    • The Lover (Jean-Jacques Annaud, France, 1992);
    • Vera Drake (Mike Leigh, England, 2004).
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Participate in the discussion
  • Watch two movies
  • Complete short response

8

1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Topic: WOMEN IN HORROR FILMS: THE POWER OF THE FINAL GIRL

  • The role of women in horror films and the purposes of the “Final Girl”
  • Readings:
    • Article - Girls on Film: The Battle Between Feminism and Horror
    • Article - Transgression in Slasher Horror
    • Article - Horror Films and Female Youth
  • Video:
    • Halloween (John Carpenter, 1978);
    • Carrie (Brian De Palma, 1976);
    • Alien (Ridley Scott, 1979);
    • Rosemary’s Baby (Roman Polanski, 1968);
    • Scream (Wes Craven, 1996);
    • The Cabin in the Woods. (Drew Goddard, 2011).
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Participate in the discussion
  • Watch two movies
  • Complete Final Exam
Final Exam
SLOs 1-5

COSC Accessibility Statement

Charter Oak State College encourages students with disabilities, including non-visible disabilities such as chronic diseases, learning disabilities, head injury, attention deficit/hyperactive disorder, or psychiatric disabilities, to discuss appropriate accommodations with the Office of Accessibility Services at OAS@charteroak.edu.

COSC Policies, Course Policies, Academic Support Services and Resources

Students are responsible for knowing all Charter Oak State College (COSC) institutional policies, course-specific policies, procedures, and available academic support services and resources. Please see COSC Policies for COSC institutional policies, and see also specific policies related to this course. See COSC Resources for information regarding available academic support services and resources.