Department of film and television studies ma in film and television studies



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DEPARTMENT OF FILM AND TELEVISION STUDIES

MA IN FILM AND TELEVISION STUDIES



SCREEN CULTURES AND METHODS 2016-17



Core Module, Autumn Term 2016

(Mondays, 10—4, A1.27)
Teaching team: Stella Bruzzi (convenor), Tiago de Luca, Owen Weetch, Helen Wheatley
Learning Aims and Outcomes

This core module aims to explore significant methodologies and conceptual frameworks which are central to the study of audio-visual media. The module will be divided into three sections: theoretical and conceptual paradigms; textual analysis; historiography. The module provides a grounding in key concepts and methods, but will also encourage an advanced level of reflection on the key areas addressed. The module is taught through a combination of screenings, presentations, reading and discussion and this document details the work for each week, the required and suggested further reading and assessment.


Assessments

The assessment for this module consists of a portfolio of three pieces of work of 2,000 words in length, each relating to the three sections of the module. (Details and questions at the bottom of this document)



Week 1: Introductory session: all tutors
Film: M (Fritz Lang, 1931)
This will be an introductory session run by the module tutors on the Tuesday of Week One (4 October 2.30-4.30) and will focus on the film M (Fritz Lang, 1931) to be considered from a variety of different points of view, both as a text and in relation to several cultural and media contexts. It will also be specifically discussed as a television programme (transmitted 29/12/88, 11.50pm-1.50am, Channel 4). Owen Weetch will look closely at the opening sequence of M, considering how it introduces the viewer to the film’s world and how it invites us to read it.  Tiago de Luca will consider the film in relation to Lang’s oeuvre and to its historical and industrial context. Stella Bruzzi will look at M on video from the point of view of cataloguing and the creation of arbitrary lists.  Helen Wheatley will then think about what happens to M (and other film) when it appears on television, and will critically contextualize a broadcast of M on Channel 4 in the UK.

Timetable for Week One (ONLY), Tuesday 4 October:

2.30 – 4.30 Introduction to module (Stella), mini lectures (all tutors), followed by discussion.



Essential reading:
For analysis of the opening sequence:

V.F. Perkins (2005), ‘Where is the world? The horizon of events in movie fiction’ in John Gibbs and Douglas Pye (eds.), Style and meaning: Studies in the detailed analysis of film, Manchester: Manchester University Press, 16-41.


For issue of film narrative:

‘Narrative Schema’, pp. 15—20 from Edward Branigan (1992) Narrative Comprehension and Film, New York and London: Routledge.


For discussion of the film’s historical and industrial context:

Extract from: Anton Kaes (1999) M (BFI Film Classics series): ‘Berlin, 1931’, pp.9—26.


For analysis of the broadcast of films on television:

Raymond Williams (1990) ‘Programming: distribution and flow’. In: Williams, R, Television: Technology and Cultural Form. 2nd ed., London: Routledge, Ch.4, pp.78-118.



Further reading:
On textual analysis
The following material, freely-available online, is recommended:
David Bordwell (2008) ‘In Critical Condition’ Observations on Film Art (May 14 2008). Online: http://www.davidbordwell.net/blog/2008/05/14/in-critical-condition/

Special issue of online journal The Cine-Files devoted to mise-en-scène, available at http://issue4.thecine-files.com/ [Of particular relevance here are the articles by a number of ‘guest scholars’ which either offer works of close textual analysis, or engage productively with the theory of close textual analysis and interpretation.]


If you wish to further explore the theory and practice of textual analysis on film, consider seeking out any of the following books. All will feature on the main reading list for this strand of the module.


  • Alex Clayton and Andrew Klevan (eds.) (2011), The Language and Style of Film Criticism, London: Routledge.

  • John Gibbs (2002) Mise en Scène: Film Style and Interpretation, London: Wallflower Books.

  • V. F. Perkins (1972) [1993] Film as Film: Understanding and Judging Movies (Second edition), New York: Da Capo Press.


On narrative schema


  • Barthes, Roland (1977) “Introduction to the Structural Analysis of Narratives” in Image / Music / Text, London: Fontana Press

  • Forster, E.M (1927) Aspects of the Novel, London: Penguin, 2005

  • Klinger, Barbara (2007) “Cinema’s Shadow: Reconsidering Non-Theatrical Exhibition,” in Going to the Movies: Hollywood and the Social Experience of Cinema, ed. Richard Maltby, Melvyn Stokes, and Robert C. Allen (Exeter, UK: University of Exeter Press, 2007), 273-290.

—(2006) Beyond the Multiplex: Cinema, New Technologies, and the Home, Berkeley, Calif.: Univ. of California Press. (see in particular: Introduction, ‘What is Cinema Today?’; Chapter 2, ‘The Contemporary Cinephile: Film Collecting after the VCR’; Chapter 3, ‘Once Is Not Enough: The Functions and Pleasures of Repeat Viewings’.

  • Mulvey, Laura (2006) Death 24x a Second: Stillness and the Moving Image (London: Reaktion Books)

  • Phelan, James and Rabinowitz, Peter J. (2005) (eds) A Companion to Narrative Theory Oxford: Blackwell.

Theories of narrative and non-narrative schema are plentiful, so you can pursue these interests on your own. The other aspect of M I want to explore is cataloguing. The copy of M I have (recorded at the same time as the copy you will watch) is stored on a 4-hour VHS after Jagged Edge. I will also be looking at more or less sophisticated ways of cataloguing and storing audiovisual material, starting with a discussion of our own practices and then looking at some of the DVD cataloguing software packages available online. Cf. http://dvd-collection-software-review.toptenreviews.com, for example.


On Historical and Industrial Context


  • Brook, Vincent (2009) Driven to Darkness: Jewish Émigré Directors and the Rise of Film Noir, Rutgers University Press.

  • Dickos, Andrew (2002) Street With No Name: A History of the Classic American Film Noir, University Press of Kentucky (Cf. ‘Expressionism and the Roots of the Film Noir: Fritz Lang, Robert Siodmak’).

  • Eisner, Lotte (1965) The Haunted Screen: Expressionism in the German Cinema and the Influence of Max Reinhardt. Thames and Hudson.

  • Elsaesser, Thomas (2005) European Cinema: Face to Face with Hollywood

  • Elsaesser, Thomas (2003) ‘Too Big and Too Close: Alfred Hitchcock and Fritz Lang’, Hitchcock Annual, 12, 1—41.

  • Gunning, Tom (2000) The films of Fritz Lang. Allegories of Vision and Modernity. British Film Institute. 

  • HakeSabine (2002) German National Cinema. Routledge.

  • Harbou, Thea von (1968) M. Lorrimer Publishing Ltd. 

  • Kaes, Anton (1999) M. British Film Institute.

  • Kracauer, Siegfried (1947) From Caligari to Hitler: a psychological history of the German film. Princeton University Press. 

  • Munby, Jonathan (1999) Public Enemies, Public Heroes: Screening the Gangster from Little Caesar to Touch of Evil, University of Chicago Press (cf. Chapter 7 ‘The “Un-American” Film Art: Robert Siodmak, Fritz Lang and the Political Significance of Film Noir’s German Connection’).

  • Roberts, Ian (2008) German Expressionist Cinema: The World of Light and Shadow. Wallflower.


On Films on Television


  • Hannah Andrews (2014) Television and British Cinema: Convergence and Divergence Since 1990, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan (particularly Part I of this book)

  • Hannah Andrews (2011) ‘On the grey box: broadcasting experimental film and video on Channel 4’s The Eleventh Hour’, Visual Culture in Britain 12: 2, 203-218.

  • Charles Barr (1986) ‘Broadcasting and Cinema: 2: Screen within screens’ in his All Our Yesterdays: 90 Years of British Cinema, London: BFI Publishing.

  • John Caughie (1986) ‘Broadcasting and Cinema: 1: Converging histories’ in Charles Barr (ed.) All Our Yesterdays: 90 Years of British Cinema, London: BFI Publishing.

  • John Hill and Martin McLoone (eds) (1996) Big Picture, Small Screen: the Relations Between Film and Television, Luton: University of Luton Press.

  • Barbara Klinger (2006) Beyond the Multiplex: Cinema, New Technologies and the Home, Berkeley: University of California Press.

  • Niels Nielssen (2011) ‘Lives of cinema: against its death’, Screen 52, 3. Pp. 307-326.

  • D.N. Rodowick (2007) The Virtual Life of Film, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

  • Jane Stokes (1999) On Screen Rivals: Cinema and Television in the United States and Britain, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.


On the Early History of Channel 4


  • Have a look at the resources produced by the BUFVC/University of Portsmouth AHRC-funded project about Film4 (Channel 4’s feature film productions): http://bufvc.ac.uk/tvandradio/c4pp/the-project - there is lots of interesting information about the film culture at Channel 4 in the 1980s and 90s which contextualises our screening including an illuminating oral history with their film buyer, Derek Hill.

  • David Aukin (1996) ‘Channel Four’s Policy Towards Film’ in J. Hill and M. McLoone (eds) Big Picture, Small Screen: the Relations Between Film and Television, Luton: University of Luton Press.

  • Simon Blanchard and David Morley (eds) (1982) What’s This Channel Four?, London: Comedia.

  • Maggie Brown (2007) A Licence to be Different: The Story of Channel 4, London: BFI Publishing.

  • Peter Cattterall (ed.) (1998) The Making of Channel Four, London: Frank Cass.

  • John Ellis (2000) ‘Channel Four: from offer-led to demand-led television’, in his Seeing Things, London: IB Tauris pp. 148—161.

  • Sylvia Harvey (1994) ‘Channel 4 Television: from Annan to Grade’ in Stuart Hood (ed.) Behind the Screens, London: Lawrence and Wishart.

  • Andrew Higson (1989) ‘A wee trendy channel: a review of some recent literature about Channel 4’, Screen 30: 1-2, p. 80-91.

  • Dorothy Hobson (2008) Channel 4: The Early Years and the Jeremy Isaacs Legacy, London: IB Tauris.

  • Jeremy Isaacs (1989) Storm Over 4: A Personal Account, London: Weidenfield and Nicholson.

  • Stephen Lambert (1982) Channel 4: Television with a Difference, London: BFI Publishing.


On Interstitials/Branding


  • John Ellis (2012) ‘Interstitials: how the ‘bits in between’ define the programmes’ in Paul Grainge (ed.) Ephemeral Media: Transitory Screen Culture from Television to YouTube, London: BFI Publishing.

  • Catherine Johnson (2011) Branding Television, London & New York: Routledge.



Weeks 2 and 3: Theorising the Film and Television Text (Stella Bruzzi)

These two weeks of the module will focus on two things: theorizing the ‘invisible’ or ‘absent’ textual element. The first week will examine the lost text of the Kennedy assassination of 1963 – the Zapruder 8mm film, which was not made publicly available until 1975, but which was, prior to that, viewable only in bootleg form, unless you were a member of the FBI or the Zapruder family. The second week will examine film costume as a way of considering analytical strategies for discussing narrative film beyond plot and character. In both weeks the stress will be on close textual analysis as an interpretative tool, and also on the marginalisation of narrative as the dominant means of understanding what’s happening on screen.


Week 2

Screenings:

  • Abraham Zapruder’s 8mm home movie footage of the assassination of John Kennedy, 22 November 1963, plus the breaking news of the shooting in Dallas on US television (CBS and NBC), plus journalist Dan Rather’s description on 25 November 1963 after having watched the Zapruder footage at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFXNAJNnO2Y. Plus its first public broadcast on Geraldo Rivera’s late-night ABC-TV talk show Good Night America, available at:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxCH1yhGG3Q.
Alongside these, I will also screen:

  • Bruce Conner Report (1966)

  • Ant Farm and J.T Uthco’s The Eternal Frame (1975)


Secondary viewing:

  • JFK (Oliver Stone, 1991)

  • Kennedy (Jim Goddard, mini series, 1983)

  • The Kennedys (John Cassar, History Television, 2011)

  • Mad Men Season 3, Episode 12 ‘The Grown Ups’ (Matthew Weiner/AMC , 2007)

  • David Von Pein’s JFK Channel (where Rivera’s been uploaded) has most JFK television materials.



Reading:

  • Pasolini, Pier Paolo (1967) ‘Observations on the Long Take’, October, Vol. 13 (Summer, 1980), pp. 3—6. Available to download at: http://fdm.ucsc.edu/~landrews/178s2010/Assets/8656165C/observations%20on%20the%20long%20take.pdf.

Additional Reading:

  • Gordon, Robert S.C. (2000) ‘“To Speak Oneself and Die”: Pasolini and the Poet as Martyr’, in Dying Words: The Last Moments of Writers and Philosophers, ed. Martin Crowley, Amsterdam: Rodopi.

  • Knight, Peter (2007) The JFK Assassination, Manchester: Manchester University Press

  • Lane, Mark (1966) Rush to Judgement: A Critique of the Warren Commission’s Inquiry, New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.

  • Mullin, Tom (1995) ‘Livin’ and Dyin’ in Zapruderville: A Code of Representation—Reality and its Exhuastion’, CineAction 38, 12—15.

  • Simon, Art (1996) Dangerous Knowledge: The JFK Assassination in Art and Film, Philadelphia: Temple University Press.

  • Spigel, Lynn and Curtin, Michael (1997) (eds) The Revolution Wasn’t Televised: Sixties Television and Social Conflict, New York and London: Routledge.

  • Vågnes, Øyvind Zaprudered: The Kennedy Assassination: Film in Visual Culture (2011), Austin: University of Texas Press.

  • Wasson, Haidee (1995) ‘Assassinating an Image: The Strange Life of Kennedy’s Death’, CineAction 38, 4—11.



Week 3

Screening: Plein Soleil (René Clément, 1960)

Further viewing: The Talented Mr Ripley (Anthony Minghella, 1999)

Reading:

  • Nick Rees Roberts ‘Dressed to Kill: Delon as Style Icon’, in Nick Rees Roberts and Darren Waldron (eds.) Alain Delon: Style, Stardom and Masculinity, Bloomsbury 2015.

  • Steve Neale ‘Masculinity as Spectacle’, Screen, 24, 6, 1983.

Additional Reading:

  • Stella Bruzzi ‘The Talented Mr Ripley’, EnterText 1:2, (available at: http://www.brunel.ac.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0013/111280/Stella-Bruzzi,-The-Talented-Mr-Ripley.pdf), 2001

  • Stella Bruzzi Undressing Cinema: Clothing and Identity in the Movies, Routledge 1997




  • Jane Gaines and Charlotte Herzog (eds.) Fabrications: Costume and the Female Body, New York and London: Routledge, 1991

  • Head, Edith and Ardmore, Jane Kesner The Dress Doctor, London: Morrison and Gibb Ltd., 1959

  • Patricia Highsmith The Talented Mr Ripley, Penguin, 1955.




  • Adrienne Munich (ed.) Fashion in Film, Indianapolis: Indiana University Press 2011.

  • Deborah Nadoolman Landis Hollywood Costume, 2012, London: V&A Publishing.

  • Nick Rees Roberts and Darren Waldron (eds.) Alain Delon: Style, Stardom and Masculinity, Bloomsbury 2015.

  • Sarah Street Costume and Cinema: Dress Codes in Popular Culture, 2002, London: Wallflower Press.

  • Ginette Vincendeau Stars and Stardom in French Cinema, London: Continuum, 2000

  • Michael Williams ‘Plein soleil and The Talented Mr Ripley: sun, stars and Highsmith’s queer periphery’, Journal of Romance Studies, 4, 1, 2004.


WEEKS 4 AND 5: TELEVISION (Helen Wheatley)
Week 4: Television textual analysis: flows, convergences and complexity
Screenings: ITV morning ‘flow’ (2015); 24 Hours in A&E (Channel 4, 10/4/2013); Sense8 (Netflix, 2015)
This workshop will focus on (1) discussion of classic theories of the television text (how television is formed, how we experience it textually) and their applicability to our screenings and the ways that we watch television (2) questions about the ways in which television is changing and how media convergence might have impacted upon television aesthetics as well as its delivery and consumption.
Essential reading:

  • John Ellis (1982) Visible Fictions: Cinema, Television, Video, London: Routledge, Chapter 7 ‘Broadcast TV as Cultural Form’, pp. 111—126 & Chapter 8 ‘Broadcast TV as sound and image’, pp. 127—144 (if you have time).

  • Horace Newcomb and Paul Hirsch (1983) ‘Television as a cultural forum’, Quarterly Review of Film Studies (Summer); also collected in Newcomb (ed.) (1987) Television: The Critical View (Fourth Edition), New York: Oxford University Press.

  • John Thornton Caldwell (1995) Televisuality: Style, Crisis and Authority in American Television, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press. Chapter 1 ‘Excessive Style: The Crisis of Network Television’ pp. 3-31.

  • Jason Mittell (2015) Complex TV: The Poetics of Contemporary Television Storytelling, New York: New York University Press, Chapter 1 ‘Complexity in context’ pp. 17-54.

We will also be discussing the Raymond Williams chapter read in Week One


Further Reading:

  • William Boddy (2011) ‘“Is it TV yet?” The dislocated screens of television in a mobile digital culture’, in James Bennett and Nikki Strange Television as Digital Media, Durham: Duke University Press, pp. 76-101

  • Nick Browne (1984) ‘The political economy of the television (super) text’, Quarterly Review of Film Studies 9, 3; also collected in Newcomb (ed.) (1987) Television: The Critical View (Fourth Edition), New York: Oxford University Press.

  • Milly Buonnano (2008) The Age of Television: Experiences and Theories, Bristol: Intellect (N.B. Chapter two of this gives a very good precis of the ‘flow’ debate)

  • John Thornton Caldwell (2003) ‘Second-shift media aesthetics: programming, interactivity and user flows’, in A. Everett and J.T. Caldwell (eds.) New Media: Theories and Practices of Digitextuality, New York, Routledge, p. 127-144.

  • John Corner (1999) Critical Ideas in Television Studies, Oxford: Clarendon Press – especially the chapter on ‘Flow’

  • Max Dawson (2011) ‘Television's aesthetic of efficiency: convergence television and the digital short’ in James Bennett and Nikki Strange (eds) Television as Digital Media, Durham: Duke University Press, 204-229.

  • Jane Feuer (1983) ‘The concept of live television: ontology as ideology’, in E. Ann Kaplan (ed.) Regarding Television: Critical Approaches – An Anthology, Los Angeles: AFI, University Publications of America, Inc. p. 12-22.

  • John Fiske (1987) ‘Segmentation and flow’, Television Culture, London and New York: Routledge, p. 9-105.

  • Jostein Gripsrud (1998) ‘Television, broadcasting, flow: key metaphors in TV theory’, in Geraghty and Lusted (eds) The Television Studies Book, pp. 17-32.

  • Matt Hills (2007) ‘From the box in the corner to the box set on the shelf’: ‘TVIII and the cultural/textual valorisations of DVD’, New Review of Film and Television Studies, 5, 1: 41-60.

  • Jason Jacobs (2001) ‘Issues of judgement and value in television studies’, International Journal of Cultural Studies 4,4: 427—447.

  • Jason Jacobs (2011) ‘Television, Interrupted: Pollution or Aesthetic?’ in James Bennett and Nikki Strange (eds) Television as Digital Media, Durham: Duke University Press.

  • Karen Lury (2005) Interpreting Television, London: Arnold. I hope you will have read this over the summer, but this text will be useful for this week’s work.

  • Margaret Morse (1990) ‘An ontology of everyday distraction: the freeway, the mall, and television’, in Mellencamp (ed.) Logics of Television, p. 193—221.

  • Lynn Spigel and Jan Olsson (eds.) (2004) Television After TV: Essays on a Medium in Transition, Durham: Duke University Press.

  • Lynn Spigel. (2009) ‘My TV Studies… now playing on a YouTube site near you’, Television and New Media 10, 1: 149-153.

  • Graeme Turner and Jinna Tay (2009) Television Studies After TV: Understanding Television in the Post-Broadcast Era, London: Routledge.

  • William Urrichio (2004) ‘Television’s next generation: technology/interface culture/flow’, in Lynn Spigel and Jan Olssen (eds.) Television After TV: Essays on a Medium in Transition, Durham and London: Duke University Press, p. 163-182.

  • Mimi White (2004) ‘The attractions of television: reconsidering liveness’, in Nick Couldry and Anna McCarthy (eds) MediaSpace: Place, Scale and Culture in a Media Age, London and New York: Routledge, pp.75-91.

  • Raymond Williams (1974) Television, Technology and Cultural Form, London: Fontana.

Helen Wood (2007) ‘Television is happening: Methodological considerations for capturing digital television reception’ in European Journal of Cultural Studies, 10 (4).

WEEK 5: Issues in Television Historiography

This week will concentrate on historiographical issues and methodologies specific to Television Studies. It is designed to help develop students’ empirical research skills and to discuss the value of archival and other sources in contextualising television texts over time and examining the history of television viewing. We will look at approaches to and methods of researching television history. We will spend part of the session on a practical archive exercise in the library, and the rest of the day presenting results to the group. A detailed timetable for this session will be circulated in Week Four. It is essential that you have done the required reading for this week before the session.


Essential reading:

  • John Corner (2003) ‘Finding data, reading patterns, telling stories: Issues in the historiography of television’, Media, Culture & Society 25, 2: 273-280.

  • Lynn Spigel (1992) ‘Installing the television set: popular discourses on television and domestic space, 1948-1955’, in Lynn Spigel and Denise Mann (eds) Private Screenings: Television and the Female Consumer, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, pp. 3-40.

  • Helen Wheatley (2007) ‘Introduction: Re-viewing Television Histories’ in H. Wheatley (ed.) Re-viewing Television History: Critical Issues in Television Historiography, London: IB Tauris


Further reading:

  • Julia Hallam (2005) ‘Remembering Butterflies: the comic art of housework’, in J. Bignell and S. Lacey (eds) Popular Television Drama: Critical Perspectives, Manchester: Manchester University Press, pp. 34-50.

  • Michele Hilmes and Jason Jacobs (2003) The Television History Book, London: BFI Publishing

  • Amy Holdsworth (2008) ‘“Television Resurrections”: Television and Memory’, Cinema Journal 47, 3: 137-144.

  • Jason Jacobs (2000) The Intimate Screen: Early British Television Drama, London: BFI.

  • Jason Jacobs (2006). ‘Television and history: investigating the past’ in G. Creeber (ed.) Tele-Visions: An Introduction to Studying Television, pp. 107-115.

  • Stephen Lacey (2006) ‘Some thoughts on television history and historiography: a British perspective’, Critical Studies in Television, 1, 1: 3-12.

  • Joe Moran (2014) Armchair Nation, London: Profile.

  • Rachel Moseley (2009) ‘Marguerite Patten, television cookery and postwar British femininity’, in Stacy Gillis and Joanne Hollows (eds) Feminism, Domesticity and Popular Culture, London: Routledge pp.17-31.

  • Rachel Moseley and Helen Wheatley (2008) 'Is archiving a feminist issue? Historical research and the past present and future of television studies', Cinema Journal 47, 3: 152-158.

  • Tim O’Sullivan (1991) ‘Television Memories and Cultures of Viewing 1950-1965’, in John Corner (ed.) Popular Television in Britain: Studies in Cultural History, London: BFI, pp.159-181.

  • Jean Seaton (2004) ‘Writing the history of broadcasting’ in D. Cannadine (ed.) History and the Media, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 141-159.


WEEK 6: READING WEEK
Weeks 7 and 8: Textual Analysis in Film (Owen Weetch)
These two weeks of the module will focus on developing, practising and reflecting on skills in textual analysis of the moving image with specific reference to film. Textual analysis is a key methodological approach in the disciplines of Film and Television Studies, and this part of the module will enable you to develop your skills in this area as well as providing the opportunity for critical reflection on this method of analysis. The reading below will provide a useful background and introduction to questions of the textual analysis.
Week 7: Film and Textual Analysis 1

This week will test and extend your skills in the advanced analysis of film style and interpretation. Structured around the detailed examination of All that Heaven Allows (Dir: Douglas Sirk, 1955) and Enough Said (Dir. Nicole Holofcener, 2013), our workshops in these weeks will consist of full screenings of the films, close analysis of clips, group discussions, and detailed responses to set reading. Central issues to be considered will be the relationship between ‘how’ and ‘what’ in filmmaking, between describing and interpreting in film criticism, the concept of aesthetic intention, issues of analyzing tone and point of view, and the role of evaluation in film analysis. Each session will be structured as follows:


10 – 10.30: Introduction

10.30 – 12:30: Screening (All that Heaven Allows [1955])

12:30.00 – 4.00: Group workshop on film and reading
Essential Reading


  • V. F. Perkins (1972) [1993], ‘“How” is “What”’, in Film as Film: Understanding and Judging Movies (Second edition), New York: Da Capo Press, p. 116-133.

  • John Gibbs (2002), ‘The Elements of Mise-en-Scène’, Mise en Scène: Film Style and Interpretation, London: Wallflower Books, p. 5-26.


Further Reading

  • Mary Beth Haralovich (1990) ‘All that Heaven Allows: Color, Narrative Space, and Melodrama’ in Peter Lehman (ed.), Close Viewings: An Anthology of New Film Criticism’, Tallahassee, Fla. ; Gainesville, Fla. : Florida State University Press, 57-72.

  • Thomas Elsaesser (1972) ‘Tales of Sound and Fury: Observations on the Family Melodrama’ in Christine Gledhill (ed.) Home is Where the Heart Is: Studies in Melodrama and the Woman’s Film, London: BFI, 43-69.

  • John Gibbs (2002) ‘Mise-en-scène and Melodrama’ in Mise en Scène: Film Style and Interpretation, London: Wallflower Books, 67-82.

  • Christine Gledhill (ed.) (1987) Home is Where the Heart Is: Studies in Melodrama and the Woman’s Film, London: BFI.

  • Marcia Landy (ed.) (1991) Imitations of Life: A Reader on Film & Television Melodrama, Detroit: Wayne State University Press.

  • John Gibbs and Douglas Pye (2005) ‘Introduction’, in John Gibbs and Douglas Pye (eds.) Style and Meaning: Studies in the Detailed Analysis of Film, Manchester: Manchester University Press, p. 1-15.

  • Andrew Klevan (2005) ‘Notes on Teaching Film Style’, in John Gibbs and Douglas Pye (eds.) Style and Meaning: Studies in the Detailed Analysis of Film, Manchester: Manchester University Press, p.214-227.

  • Douglas Pye (2007) ‘Movies and Tone’ in Close-Up 02, London; New York: Wallflower, 1-80.

  • Andrew Britton (1989) [2009], ‘The Philosophy of the Pigeonhole: Wisconsin Formalism and “The Classical Style”’, Britton on Film: The Complete Film Criticism of Andrew Britton, ed. Barry Keith Grant. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, p. 425-457.

  • Andrew Klevan (2011) ‘Description’, in Alex Clayton and Andrew Klevan (eds.) The Language and Style of Film Criticism, London: Routledge, p. 70-86.

  • Deborah Thomas (2001), Reading Hollywood: Spaces and Meanings in American Film, London; New York: Wallflower.

  • Laura Mulvey (2005), ‘Repetition and Return: Textual Analysis and Douglas Sirk in the Twenty-first Century, in John Gibbs and Douglas Pye (eds.) Style and Meaning: Studies in the Detailed Analysis of Film, Manchester: Manchester University Press, 228-243.

It is also recommended that you take the time to view other films directed by Douglas Sirk in order to better contextualize the film being viewed: Magnificent Obsession (1954); The Tarnished Angels (1957); Written on the Wind (1956); A Time to Love and a Time to Die (1958); Imitation of Life (1959).


Week 8: Film and Textual Analysis 2

See description for week 2. Workshop structure:


10 – 10.30: Introduction

10.30 – 12.30: Screening (Enough Said [2013])

12.30 – 4.00: Group workshop on film and reading
Essential Reading:


  • Alex Clayton and Andrew Klevan (2011) ‘Introduction: The language and style of film criticism’, in Alex Clayton and Andrew Klevan (eds.) The Language and Style of Film Criticism, London: Routledge, p. 1-26.

  • Rachel Lister, ‘The Feature Film as Short Story: The “Little Disturbances” of Nicole Holofcener’ (2012), Scope: An Online Journal of Film and Television Studies 24, available at:

  • .

Further Reading:


  • Claire Perkins (2014) ‘Beyond Indiewood: The Everyday Ethics of Nicole Holofcener’, Camera Obscura: A Journal of Feminism, Culture, and Media Studies 29:85, 137-159.

  • Michele Schreiber (2006) ‘Independence at What Cost? Economics and Desire in Nicole Holofcener’s Friends with Money’, in Feminism at the Movies: Understanding Gender in Contemporary Popular Cinema, Oxon; New York: Routledge, 2011, p. 177-188.

  • V.F Perkins (1990) ‘Must We Say What They Mean? Film Criticism and Interpretation’, Movie 34, p. 1-6.

  • Adrian Martin (2014) Mise en scène and Film Style: From Classical Hollywood to New Media Art, Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire; New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

  • Lucy Fife Donaldson (2014), Texture in Film, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

  • George Toles (2011), ‘Writing About Performance: The Film Critic as Actor’ in Alex Clayton and Andrew Klevan (eds.) The Language and Style of Film Criticism, London: Routledge, p. 87-106.

  • Noël Carroll (2009) On Criticism, London: Routledge.

  • Susan Sontag (1966) ‘Against Interpretation’ and ‘On Style’ in Against Interpretation and Other Essays. London: Penguin, 2009, p. 3-38.

  • Robert Stam (2000) ‘Interpretation and its Discontents’ in Film Theory: An Introduction, Malden, Mass.: Blackwell, 192-200.

  • Andrew Britton (1986) [2009] ‘In Defense of Criticism’ Britton on Film: The Complete Film Criticism of Andrew Britton, ed. Barry Keith Grant. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, p. 373-377.

  • Robin Wood (2006), Personal Views: Explorations in Film (Revised Edition), Detroit: Wayne State University Press, p. 1-98.

  • V.F Perkins, ‘The Limits of Criticism’, in in Film as Film: Understanding and Judging Movies (Second edition), New York: Da Capo Press, p. 187-194.

It is also recommended that you take the time to view other films directed by Nicole Holofcener in order to better contextualize the film being viewed: Walking and Talking (1996); Lovely and Amazing (2001); Friends with Money (2006); Please Give (2010). She has also directed episodes of Sex & the City (1998-2004), Parks and Recreation (2009-2015), Orange is the New Black (2013-), Enlightened (2011-2013) and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (2015-), amongst others.



Weeks 9 and 10: Aspects of Film Style and History (Tiago de Luca)

These two weeks of the module will focus on aspects of film style in relation to theoretical and historiographical issues. They are designed to help students situate the film text within its specific context but also in relation to how it can be variously reconstituted in a variety of critical and filmic discourses over time and across different cultures.


Week 9

Screening: Tokyo Story (Yasujiro Ozu, 1953)

Additional viewings: Late Spring (Yasujiro Ozu, 1949); Late Autumn (Yasujiro Ozu, 1960)
The film chosen for this exercise in the first week is Tokyo Story (1953), by Yasujiro Ozu. Considered ‘too Japanese’ at home but then revered in the West, Ozu’s cinema is a fruitful case study to demonstrate how a certain style can be differently negotiated within an array of historically situated and culturally specific theoretical frameworks: as ‘transcendental’ (Schrader), ‘parametric’ (Bordwell), ‘uniquely Japanese’ (Burch) and ‘anti-cinema’ (Yoshida).
[Please note: in week 9 the class will be divided into four groups, each of which will be assigned one of the critical approaches above and asked to deliver a short (5-10 minutes) presentation summarising it during the Week 10 workshop. Students are encouraged to use any visual sources and other relevant materials as they wish for their presentation.]
Essential reading:


    • David Bordwell (1988) Ozu and the Poetics of Cinema. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Chapters 5 & 6.

    • Paul Schrader (1972) Transcendental Style in Film: Ozu, Bresson, Dreyer. Da Capo Press. Chapter on Ozu.

    • Noel Burch (1979) To the Distant Observer: Form and Meaning in the Japanese Cinema. University of California Press. Chapter 16.

    • Yoshishige Yoshida (2003) Ozu’s Anti-Cinema. University of Michigan Press. Introduction.


Further reading:

    • Abé Mark Nornes (1997) ‘The Riddle of the Vase: Ozu Yasujiro’s Late Spring (1949)’ in Alastair Philips & Julian Stringer (eds) Japanese Cinema: Texts and Contexts. Oxon: Routledge.

    • Catherine Russell (2011) Classical Japanese Cinema Revisited. Bloomsbury. Chapters 1 and 2.

    • David Desser (ed.) (1997) Ozu’s Tokyo Story. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Introduction, pp. 1-24.

    • David Desser ‘A Filmmaker for All Seasons’ in Dimitris Elefetheriotis & Gary Needham (eds) Asian Cinemas: A Reader and Guide. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, pp. 17-26.

    • Donald Richie (1977) Ozu. Berkeley, Los Angeles and London: University of California Press.

    • Yasujiro Ozu & Kogo Noda (2003) Tokyo Story: The Ozu/Noda Screenplay, translated by Donald Richie & Eric Klestadt. Stone Bridge Press.


Week 10
Screening: Café Lumière (Hou Hsiao-hsien, 2003)

Further viewing: Tokyo-Ga (Win Wenders, 1985); Mystery Train (Jim Jarmusch, 1989, USA); Five Dedicated to Ozu (Abbas Kiarostami, 2003); 35 Shots of Rum (Claire Denis, 2008); Still Walking (Kore-eda Hirokazu, 2008, Japan)


[Please note: students are expected to watch AT LEAST one additional viewing in their own time in preparation for this week]
The second week will look at the ways in which Ozu has influenced global film culture at large by considering a range of films made in the last 30 years that openly pays homage to the director, particularly Café Lumière, by Taiwanese filmmaker Hou Hsiao-hsien. It will further examine how Ozu has been recently rehabilitated in critical discourses surrounding the notion of ‘slow cinema’ and consider aspects of film style in relation to narrative pace and speed.

Essential Reading:


    • David Bordwell (2013) ‘Watch Again! Look well! Look! (For Ozu)’, blog entry, Observations on Film Art, http://www.davidbordwell.net/blog/2013/12/12/watch-again-look-well-look-for-ozu/

    • Wayne Stein and Marc DiPaolo (eds) (2015) Ozu International: Essays on the Global Influences of a Japanese Auteur. London and New York: Bloomsbury. Introduction, pp. 1-10.

    • Jonathan Rosenbaum (2000), ‘Is Ozu Slow?’, Senses of Cinema, 4, http://sensesofcinema.com/2000/feature-articles/ozu-2/

    • Wu, I-fen (2008) ‘Remapping Ozu’s Tokyo? The Interplay between History and Memory in Hou Hsiao-Hsien's Café Lumière’ in Asian Cinema 19: 1, pp. 172-181.


Further reading:


    • Alexander Graf (2002) The Cinema of Wim Wenders: The Celluloid Highway. London and New York: Wallflower Press. Chapter 3, esp. section on Tokyo-Ga, pp. 105-112.

    • James Udden (2009) No Man an Island: The Cinema of Hou Hsiao-hsien. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press. Conclusion: Hou in the New Millenium, pp. 163-186, especially section on Café Lumière.

    • Justin Remes (2015) ‘The Sleeping Spectator: Non-human Aesthetics in Abbas Kiarostami’s Five Dedicated to Ozu’ in Tiago de Luca & Nuno Barradas Jorge (eds) Slow Cinema. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, pp. 231-244.

    • Lúcia Nagib (2015) ‘The Politics of Slowness and the Traps of Modernity’ in Tiago de Luca & Nuno Barradas Jorge (eds) Slow Cinema. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, pp. 25-46.

    • Michelle Royer and Miriam Thompson ‘Mobility and Exile in Claire Denis’s 35 Rhums’ in Michael Gott & Thibaut Schilt (eds) Open Roads, Closed Borders: The Contemporary French-Language Road Movie. Bristol and Chicago: Intellect, pp. 187-203.

    • Song Hwee Lim, (2016) ‘Domesticating Time: Gendered Temporalities in Hou Hsiao-hsien’s Café Lumière’ in Frontiers of Literary Studies in China 10: 1, pp. 36-57.

    • Song Hwee Lim (2011) ‘Transnational Trajectories in Contemporary East Asian Cinemas’ in Vivian P. Y. Lee (ed) East Asian Cinemas: Regional Flows and Global Transformations. New York: Palgrave.

    • Tiago de Luca & Nuno Barradas Jorge ‘Introduction: From Slow Cinema to Slow Cinemas’ in Tiago de Luca & Nuno Barradas Jorge (eds) Slow Cinema. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, pp. 1-24.

    • William Brown (2014) ‘Complexity and Simplicity in Inception and Five Dedicated to Ozu’ in Warren Buckland (ed) Hollywood Puzzle Films. New York and London: Routledge.

Assessments

The assessment for this module consists of a portfolio of three pieces of work of 2,000 words in length, each relating to the three sections of the module. Each essay should be submitted to the graduate secretary, Lynsey Willmore, in the office by midday on the day of the deadline. Please submit your essay in duplicate, and identified only by your student number. The questions and deadlines are given below; please consult the Postgraduate Handbook for guidelines on presenting and submitting assessed work.


Assessment One: Theorising the Film and Television Text, 2000 words

Deadline: Wednesday, Week 6 (Wednesday 9 November) 12.00 noon


 The aim of this assignment is to test your ability to use close textual analysis skills in the light of theoretical and critical ideas you’ve been introduced to.
Either:
Working with the Zapruder film and ONE OTHER extract of no more than 5 minutes in length taken from Week 2, consider whether it is appropriate to discuss factual footage (especially live or accidental material) in terms of its textual elements (camera, sound, colour, framing etc) as one might a fictional film or piece of television.
Or:
Select a particular costume or sequence in Plein Soleil and examine the ways in which costume can construct narrative meaning, not merely reflect it as created via narrative or character, for example.

Assessment Two: Textual Analysis (2000 words)

Deadline: Wednesday, Week 9 (Wednesday 30th November) 12.00 noon


For this exercise, you may choose to write on either film or television
If you wish to write on film, you should answer the following question:
Synthesis […], where there is no distinction between how and what, content and form, is what interests us if we are interested in film as film.' (Perkins, Film as Film [1972], 133) Evaluate the relationship between 'how' and 'what' in ONE shot OR short sequence from ONE of the following films: M, All that Heaven Allows, Enough Said. Please do not analyse a shot or sequence shown to the group during teaching. Please append precise timings for when the shot or sequence occurs on the DVD above the title of your work.

If you wish to write on television, you should answer the following question:


Write a textual analysis of a short piece of television, of no more than 5 minutes in length. A title sequence from a television sequence would work well, but you can choose any piece of television. In writing your textual analysis, you should reflect on the ways that the critical literature on television’s specificity as a medium helps to explain your chosen clip’s form and style.
It may be helpful to offer some graphic representation of elements of your chosen sequence using ICT; try to use these to demonstrate the significance of the points you make, rather than simply as illustration. Please append a DVD of or link to your chosen extract, with precise timings.
Assessment Three: Historiography; Aspects of Film Style and History (2000 words)

Deadline: Week 1 Spring Term (Wednesday 11 January) 12.00 noon


For this exercise, you may choose to write on either film or television
Following on from Tiago’s workshops on film style and history in Weeks 9 and 10, in writing this essay you should:


  • make use of AT LEAST one theoretical concept formulated in relation to Ozu’s cinema. You are expected to critically engage with this concept and situate it both historically and geographically, and you are encouraged to illustrate your discussion with reference to one (or more) of the films studied in class, but you may keep your discussion at a broader lever if you wish.


OR


  • make use of AT LEAST one film studied during Weeks 9 and 10. You are expected to critically engage with this film and situate it both historically and geographically, and you are encouraged to base your discussion around at least one theoretical concept formulated in relation to Ozu’s cinema and studied in class.

If you wish to write on television, you should answer the following question:


Following on from the television historiography workshop in Week 5, in writing this essay you should make use of EITHER the Radio Times and TV Times archives held in the University library OR Asa Briggs' volumes of The History of Broadcasting in the United Kingdom to reflect upon the usefulness of your chosen resource for the television historian. You may choose to focus your discussion around a particular television programme or 'moment' in British television history, or to keep your discussion at a broader level.

Module tutors will be available for essay preparation tutorials during advice and feedback hours (which are posted on or by their office doors).



Professor Stella Bruzzi, October 2016


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