Cinema Studies Program
Courses of Study
CI142fs Introduction to Cinema Studies An introduction to the discipline of cinema studies, its history, and dominant approaches. Functions as a gateway to the minor and serves as a prerequisite for the required film theory course. Four credit hours. A. Wessels
CI215j The Image of Women and Men in American Film How Hollywood films of "the Sixties" (1958-1978) reflected and helped determine the vast social and psychological changes that women, men, and the country were experiencing—or were denying experiencing—during a tumultuous period of U.S. history. Topics include gender roles, race, genre, directorial style, historical background, the effects of camera placement, movement and lighting, and the function of narrative—how to "read" a film. A few additional required screenings will be scheduled and some class meetings may be extended for longer films or double features. Three credit hours. Eisen
[CI241] Cameraless Film We explore the practice of cameraless filmmaking — making movies without the use of a camera or other image capture, or making movies by hand. Drawing and painting on celluloid, scratching, bleaching, dyeing, and otherwise distressing pre-existing footage, physically splicing strips of 16mm film, operating analogue projectors — these will be our primary activities as we also read about, screen, and discuss examples of cameraless cinema. Students will learn some techniques of experimental cinema, some of the history of alternative cinema, and gain an understanding of the mechanics and aesthetics of analogue cinema. Three credit hours.
[CI243] Narrative Film Production Students will learn the essential skills required to produce a compelling narrative short film through development of preproduction skills from initial idea, to writing a script, to storyboarding, to creating a shot list. We will learn the basics of cinematography, casting, and directing. Finally, students will learn how to edit and manage a postproduction workflow. Previously offered as Cinema Studies 297 (2014). Three credit hours.
CI245f Documentary Video Production: An Editor's Perspective Students will produce and edit short documentaries about Allen Island and mid-coast Maine. Topics may include art, the environment, food production, or island life. Students will learn the basics of video production, although the focus will be on video editing. Students will learn the art of revision, as well as technical skills such as using a camera, shooting a scene, and interviewing subjects. Students' videos will be informed by best practices in the documentary genre. One overnight trip to Allen Island is required. Four credit hours. Murphy
[CI248] Digital Publishing: Telling Stories Online Explores the many methods and tools available for creating digital stories. Students learn the basic skills of multimedia production and develop strategies for conceiving original and creative projects. They explore the potential uses of digital storytelling, including promoting nonprofits, marketing a new business, and developing social justice campaigns. Projects include the creation of animated .gifs, photo manipulations, audio soundscapes, digital video mash-ups, and promotional web videos. Students also become fluent in a variety of programs, including Photoshop, Audacity, and Final Cut X, and engage with a variety of publishing platforms including Vine, Flickr, WordPress, Vimeo, and Tumblr. Previously listed as Cinema Studies 298. Four credit hours. A.
CI251f History of International Cinema I The first of a two-semester survey of the history of global cinema, providing a broad overview of the development of cinema as an art form from the beginning of cinema (c. 1890) to 1945. Students will develop an understanding of the historical, national, economic, aesthetic, and cultural contexts of films produced and received by international audiences in the first half of cinema history. They will also gain proficiency in written and oral communication and develop their skills in critical thinking. Four credit hours. A. Wessels
CI252s History of International Cinema II The second of a two-semester survey of the history of global cinema. Provides students with a broad overview of the development of cinema as an art form from the midpoint of cinema's history (1945) to the present. Students will develop an understanding of the historical, national, economic, aesthetic, and cultural contexts of films produced and received by international audiences in the second half of cinema history. They will also gain proficiency in written and oral communication and develop skills in critical thinking. Four credit hours. A. Wurtzler
CI280s Topics in Global Cinema: The Global Western Examines the western genre from a global perspective in order to consider how ideas of form, space, violence, and politics are reconfigured in different contexts. Beginning with questions of genre more broadly, we will trace the evolution of a global genre from early cinema to contemporary examples. Through screening films and reading texts drawn from Latin America, Europe, Australia, and East Asia, we will consider the interrelation of national and global factors that have led to the emergence and the adoption of the western as a popular genre. Prerequisite: Cinema Studies 142 or English 142. Four credit hours. Wessels
CI284f Documentary Film: History and Theory Examines documentary cinema through historical and theoretical perspectives. We explore the dominant aesthetic approaches to global nonfiction filmmaking and how they changed over time. Students will encounter different theoretical perspectives on the relationships between cinema, reality, ideology, and power, and we will consider the social and ethical issues raised by documentary film. Through writing assignments (both short informal writings and longer argumentative papers) and class discussions, students will critically and creatively engage with an important category of cinema. Prerequisite: Cinema Studies 142. Four credit hours. Wurtzler
CI285s Experimental Cinema Explores the international history of experimental cinema from the European modernists of the 1920s to contemporary practices. We focus on cinema's relationship to the other arts (poetry, painting, photography, dance) and the aesthetic approaches of a variety of films that are more comfortable in an art gallery than in a multiplex. Through writing assignments (both short informal writing and longer argumentative papers) and class discussions, students will critically and creatively engage with this important category of global cinema. Prerequisite: Cinema Studies 142. Four credit hours. Wurtzler
CI298As Visual Storytelling: Found Materials and the Archive In the past century, humans have created (and lost) so many visual objects — from 16mm films of vacations, to snapshots of graduations and birthdays, to scrapbooks from childhood, to postcards from abroad. More recently we have created and forgotten about Snapchats, Facebook posts, and digital videos. We will take these ephemeral materials and bring them back to life through the art of visual storytelling. We will use materials from our own lives, from the Colby archive in Special Collections, and from the Northeast Historic Film archive to tell new and compelling stories. Students will also learn how to shoot and edit digital video. Origins humanities lab. Four credit hours. Murphy
CI298Bs Advanced Documentary Production Students will deepen their documentary filmmaking practice by planning, shooting, and editing their own documentary short. They will choose their subject and spend substantial time researching and planning the film before shooting and editing. They will become more familiar with various modes of documentary storytelling in order to develop their own creative process. They will also be required to assist their peers on shoots and to give high-quality feedback on works-in-progress. Prerequisite: Cinema Studies 245. Four credit hours. Murphy
CI321Af Topics in Film Theory: Cinema/Landscape Individual courses offered under the rubric of Topics in Film Theory will change in specific focus but keep consistent the rigorous engagement with a theoretical issue central to cinema studies. Students collaboratively engage with a set of questions regarding the nature of cinema and its relationships with power. Through both informal and formal analytical writing as well as class discussions and formal presentations, students not only develop a greater understanding of cinema but also enhance their written, critical, and verbal skills. Prerequisite: Cinema Studies 142 or equivalent. Four credit hours. Wurtzler
CI321Bs Topics in Film Theory: Mainely Cinema: Film and the Archive Focuses on the study of local cinema production and reception, as well as how images of a particular location (Maine) develop meaning. Provides both a theoretical framework for archival research and practical experience engaging with archival materials. Students will take a research trip to the Northeast Historic Film archives in Bucksport, develop their own research projects related to film in Maine, and create a website to share their findings publicly. Origins humanities lab. Prerequisite: Cinema Studies 142 or equivalent. Four credit hours. Wessels
CI491f, 492s Independent Study Individual topics in areas where the student has demonstrated the interest and competence necessary for independent work. One to four credit hours. Faculty