Courses

Students can find and register for courses online at the Johns Hopkins Integrated Student Information System (ISIS), or they can go directly to courses on ISIS.

Spring 2015 Courses

AS.061.141 Introduction to Cinema, 1941-present
Ward
Introduction to Cinema provides an overview of American and international cinema from the post World War II era to the present. Through lectures and discussion, weekly screenings, and intensive visual analysis of individual films, we will explore the aesthetic, cultural, political, and economic forces that have shaped the art and industry of film over the past 70 years. Regular quizzes, writing assignments, class participation required.

AS.061.147 Introduction to Latin American Cinema
Busó-García
This course presents several basic elements of 16mm. film production. These include the use of a light meter, an understanding of camera lenses and how they function, and some basic aesthetic concerns. These aesthetic issues primarily involve shot composition and lighting. You will also learn basic concepts of film editing. You will be assigned readings from classical film theory texts (primarily from Jean Epstein and Sergei Eisenstein). These readings will closely align with specific exercises for each class. This coalescence of the practical with the theoretical is a vital component of the class.

AS.061.150 Introduction to Film Production: Rediscovering Early Cinema
Mann
This course presents several basic elements of 16mm. film production. These include the use of a light meter, an understanding of camera lenses and how they function, and some basic aesthetic concerns. These aesthetic issues primarily involve shot composition and lighting. You will also learn basic concepts of film editing. You will be assigned readings from classical film theory texts (primarily from Jean Epstein and Sergei Eisenstein). These readings will closely align with specific exercises for each class. This coalescence of the practical with the theoretical is a vital component of the class.

AS.061.152 Introduction to Digital Film
Roche
This course introduces students to the world of digital filmmaking. Through screenings, production assignments, and in-class labs, students will develop proficiency in digital cameras, sound recording devices, and software. Students will work individually and in groups to produce several video projects. For their final projects students will pitch an idea and develop a more complex film.

AS.061.205 (W) Introduction to Dramatic Writing: Film
Busó-García
We will explore the basic principles of visual storytelling in narrative film as they apply to the design and execution of a screenplay. During the course of the semester, each student will work on different writing exercises as they search for their specific story and the best way to approach it and execute it. We will study different narrative tools and methods of screenwriting by analyzing specific films to ascertain how they work or fail to do so at script level. Through in-class critiques, group discussions and one-on-one sessions, students will apply these techniques to their own work as they undergo the process of designing, breaking down, outlining and writing a screenplay for a short film. In-class analysis and debate on the strengths and challenges posed by the students' work will help shape the thematic emphasis of the second half of the course.

AS.061.210 Speical Topics: Animation Workshop
Yasinsky
Students will produce several animations using hand-made techniques, including drawing animation, paper puppets and stop-motion. Screenings and readings will provide a historical and conceptual context to the exploration of animation as an experimental technique within both narrative and non-narrative works. Weekly film screenings.

AS.061.229 French New Wave
Roos
An exploration of the major films and directors of the French New Wave that is also designed to help students consolidate their skills in the analysis of film. The course will examine the origins of the French New Wave, looking at the directors as critics and as passionate film fans, along with the institutional and historical context of the films. It will also ask how the French New Wave changed the process of filmmaking, and transformed the way we think about the work of the director--inspiring more vocations in filmmaking than any other movement in cinema history.

AS.061.245 Introduction to Film Theory
Ward
This course offers an introduction to the major paradigms of film theory, with work ranging from Sergei Eisenstein to Andre Bazin. Frequent film screenings are designed to help illustrate film theory concepts. Designed around one operative question, “What is cinema?” the course explores the varied and divergent answers provided by the great thinkers of the cinema in the past century. Students are expected to enter the course ready to engage in discussion.

AS.061.301 Advanced Film Production
Mann
In this course, each student is responsible for the design and production of a short 16mm film. The film may be shot on color and/or black and white negative stock. The format is Super 16mm. The film may include sync and/or non-sync sound. The idea behind the “mongrel” film is for the student to incorporate a variety of genres within this project. These may include stylistic elements typically associated with documentaries, experimental, narrative, animation, and lost and found films. Prerequisites: Introduction to Film Production and Intermediate Film Production.

AS.061.313 (W) Story and character Design for the Screenplay
Bucknell
A workshop devoted to developing dimensional characters and compelling, original stories. Weekly screenings, short written exercises, and a longer final project.

AS.061.328 Gangster Films
Bucknell
The bad guy as hero from Little Caesar to Goodfellas.

AS.061.356 Narrative Productions
Porterfield
This course is designed to immerse students in the creative and practical challenges of narrative production. It is our hope that you will emerge with a greater understanding of the professional structure of a film crew, as well as with an understanding of the collaborative creativity necessary to make a narrative short. We will work hard, but if you are interested in video, film and filmmaking, we guarantee you will learn a great deal. In this course students will be divided into teams, each of which will produce a short narrative film based upon a script written by a fellow student. All films will be fully student produced. From script to casting, production to direction, design, shooting and sound recording, music and editing, students will fill all principal roles. Throughout the course, instructors will expose students to relevant films and film professionals in order to illuminate the key creative roles necessary in the making of any film. Instructors will serve a guiding role in the production of student projects, offering technical information and guidance as to the creative, collaborative nature of the filmmaking process. Students will be evaluated not only on the films they produce, but also on their ability to create and contribute within a team to the collaborative art of filmmaking.

AS.061.374 (W) Kubrick/Malick: The Poetics of Space
DeLibero
Beyond their balding pates, their notorious reclusiveness, and the relative paucity of their output, Stanley Kubrick and Terrence Malick share a mastery of cinematic space. This course will closely examine selected films from their work, with particular emphasis on their visionary manipulation of the epic vastness and lyrical intimacies of screen space. With this primary concern in mind, we will consider the directors’ engagement with philosophies of history and time, their experiments with narrative and generic conventions, and their enduring fascination with the relationship between the
human and natural worlds. Sunday 7:00-9:30 weekly film screenings.

AS.061.375 Surrealism and Film
Yasinsky
We will define Surrealism through primary texts, including those of Andre Breton, Antonin Artaud and Rene Daumal and other works that defined and influenced the movement in the early part of
the 20th century. Using an understanding of the practice of surrealism found in the readings, as well as in surrealist games and automatic writing, we'll study a diverse group of filmmakers influenced by the practice, including Luis Buñuel, Joseph Cornell, Raul Ruiz and contemporary artists such as David Lynch. Assignments include weekly papers and one final creative project. Weekly film screenings

AS.061.376 (W) Arts and Culture Journalism: Interactive Media, Online Publishing
Ober
Students will participate in the ongoing creation of BmoreArt.com, an online arts and culture publication that serves the Baltimore community. In conjunction with visiting professionals, students will investigate the Baltimore cultural community and create different types of editorial content using interactive media including film, video, sound, and writing. Students will produce creative content utilizing their individual areas of expertise - such as visual art, art history, music, literary arts, film, and theater - while working together as a professional organization. A strong emphasis will be placed on the student’s collaborative participation and creative experimentation. Students with differing backgrounds in media will approach this project from unique perspectives, which will be valued and cultivated. Students with previous experience in journalism are welcome. An introductory writing or film course is suggested as a prerequisite.

AS.061.396 (W) Modern Paris on Film
Mason
This course uses French film to examine the Credits Limit Day/Time history of twentieth-century Paris. We will consider how filmmakers interpreted the social, political, and technological transformations that shaped Paris in the modern era, treating movies as expressions of change and means by which filmmakers comment on it. Taught in English. Cross-listed with History.

AS.061.403 Sound on Film II
Dolby
This course continues the explorations in sound and music for film begun in AS.061.381. This 3 -credit upper-level course, sponsored by the Film and Media Studies Program at JHU and the program in Recording Arts and Sciences at the Peabody Institute, offers undergraduates and faculty/staff from both institutions an unprecedented opportunity to collaborate on all aspects of designing soundtracks for film. Classic and contemporary film scores are screened and analyzed. Then, using their own short films, students from the Film and Media Studies program work with Peabody students to create soundtracks, from the initial phases of 'spotting,' composition and scoring, through the interim stages of studio recording and sound syncing, and on to final mixing of music with dialog and sound effects using industry-standard Digidesign ProTools. Students work in small teams in a lab setting to create their soundtracks, exploring a variety of scenarios, including the implications of image-driven music vs music-driven images, and the various uses of acoustic and electronic sound. The course also touches on the logistics of music budget, licensing and
copyright. Lab work is supplemented by guest lectures and faculty presentations on various aspects - practical and theoretical - of applying sound to film. Guest lecturers may include sound designers and engineers, composers, editors, and filmmakers working in live action, documentary or animated film. Screenings are provided on Wednesdays from 7:30-10:00 PM.

AS.061.404 (W) Advanced Dramatic Writing: Film
Busó-García
Intensive workshop course where students will write both a first draft and a full revision of a feature length screenplay. Classes will be designed and centered on the specific challenges of the students’ works-in-progress, with an emphasis on exploring and discussing different narrative approaches and solutions that will enhance their writing and revision processes. Select films will be screened and analyzed as they pertain to the students’ scripts. Students will aim to have a polished draft of their screenplay to be submitted to industry-recognized screenwriting labs at the end of the semester.

AS.061.421 (W) History & Film
Mason
How do films inform, shape, or fundamentally alter our sense of the past? What are the strengths and limitations of cine-history? This course pairs traditional and avant-garde fiction films and documentaries with essays about history, historiography, memory and the political uses of the past to investigate fast-changing relationships between image and text, film and history.

Course Descriptions

The following courses are offered in the Film and Media Studies Program on a rotating basis. Check the current schedule of classes to determine which are being offered next semester.

Browse by level: 100 - 200 - 300 - 400/Independent Study - 500/Independent Study

061.140 Introduction to Cinema, from 1892-1941
Faculty
This course teaches the fundamentals of film analysis while leading students through the first half of the first century of movies. We will focus on the basic elements of film form, as well as their manipulation and use in films across the globe, from the turn of the century until the start of World War II. Movements discussed include the silent comedy of Charles Chaplin and Buster Keaton, German Expressionism, Surrealism, Soviet Montage, French poetic realism, Pre-Production Code Cinema, and, of course, classical Hollywood.

061.141 Introduction to Cinema, 1941-present
Faculty
Introduction to Cinema II provides an overview of American and international cinema from the post World War II era to the present. Through lectures and discussion, weekly screenings, and intensive visual analysis of individual films, we will explore the aesthetic, cultural, political, and economic forces that have shaped the art and industry of film over the past 60 years. Regular quizzes, writing assignments, and class participation are required.

061.145 Introduction to Visual Language
Yasinsky
This course is a study of the visual language used to create a moving picture. Through screenings and discussion of films, videos, and related readings, students will develop a visual critical facility and will demonstrate this facility in the creation of several videos. The course will focus on image construction, including composition, framing and use of light. Students will learn to be attentive to rhythm and tempo in picture editing and sound. Students unfamiliar with Final Cut Pro or Premiere and DVD authoring are required to attend workshops on those skills at the DMC. We will also have a few in-class video assignments that students will work on in small groups of three.

061.150 Introduction to Film Production
Mann, Porterfield
This course introduces students to the basic considerations of shooting 16mm film. Through lectures, the course approaches the basics of light meter readings, basic camera operations and shot composition. Each week students, working in groups of three, shoot film exercises that provide a general overview of film production. For the final project, each student shoots and edits (physical edits) a short (3-5 minutes) film on 16mm black and white reversal film stock.

AS.061.151 Introduction to Animation
Students will produce several animations using hand-made, stop-motion techniques, including drawing animation, collage-based and puppet animation. Work will be shot digitally. Screenings and readings will provide a historical and conceptual context.

AS.061.152 Introduction to Digital Film
Roche
This course introduces students to the world of digital filmmaking. Through screenings, production assignments, and in-class labs, students will develop proficiency in digital cameras, sound recording devices, and software. Students will work individually and in groups to produce several video projects. For their final projects students will pitch an idea and develop a more complex film.

061.160 Lights, Camera, Action: Hollywood Film
Bucknell
An introduction to Hollywood film and the basics of film analysis. Classic and contemporary films considered. Emphasis on discussion over lecture. This one credit course will be graded pass/fail.

AS.061.161 Auteur 101: Short Filmmaking Laboratory
Rorison
Students write and direct short films using digital camera equipment, sound recording devices and film editing software programs. We will watch a variety of films in class; hold readings and discussions based on assigned text, take technical workshops on sound, lighting and 16mm. We will take trips to film screenings outside of class and have the opportunity to meet with visiting Baltimore filmmakers in class. We will study the history of filmmaking, with a strong focus on the avant-garde and experimental genres. We will also learn about the current film and media movements and trends that have developed throughout the world. Students will finish the course with a greater understanding of the lineage of cinema and will have learned a range of techniques to create, discover and develop their own language of visual storytelling. We will discuss, engage, explore and most of all have fun! No prior experience with film or video required.

061.162 Lights, Camera, Action: Independent Film
Bucknell
An introduction to the basics of film analysis, focusing on independent crime films.  In-class screenings and emphasis on discussion over lecture.

AS.061.163 Lights, Camera, Action: Screwball Comedy
Bucknell
An introduction to the basics of film analysis through a sampling of Hollywood screwball comedies from the thirties. In-class screenings and short written assignments. Emphasis on discussion over lecture. No prior experience in film studies required.

AS.061.164 Lights, Camera, Action: Woody Allen
Bucknell
An introduction to the basics of film analysis, focusing on the work of the highly individual independent filmmaker Woody Allen.

061.202 Personal Filmmaking – The Essay Film
Mann
In this course students will consider variations of the personal essay film, wherein filmmakers explore their own experiences, both real and imagined. These films constitute dialogues between filmmaker and world using subjective approaches, including but not limited to first person narration. Students will make a short (4-6 minutes) 16mm film from original and possibly archival footage, their own filmic essays based upon personal experiences. We will look at the works of several essay filmmakers including Ross McElwee, Jean Luc Godard, Chris Marker and Su Friedrich.

AS.061.203 (W) American Contemporary Classics
Bucknell
An introduction to the basics of film analysis through the close examination of notable American films from 1980 to the present, including works by Woody Allen, the Coen Brothers, Courtney Hunt, Spike Lee, and Martin Scorsese. No prior experience in film studies required. In-class screenings and emphasis on discussion over lecture. Each student will write regular film responses, give an oral presentation, and write a short essay, 8-10pp., with an optional revision.

AS.061.204 Intermediate Digital Film Production
Roche
This course is designed to further the filmmaking skills students have begun to develop in previous production courses. Students will acquire a more robust proficiency in directing, editing, and cinematography. The first part of the semester students will be presented with several “challenges” designed to allow them to hone their creative vision while also solving problems behind the camera and in editing. The second half of the course will allow each student time to produce a 6-12min digital film project that is either narrative, documentary, or experimental.

AS.061.205 (W) Introduction to Dramatic Writing: Film
Busó-García
An examination of the screenplay as a literary text and blue print for production. Professional screenplays will be critically analyzed, with focus on character, dialogue, plot development, conflict, pacing, dramatic foreshadowing, the element of surprise, text and subtext, and visual story-telling. Students write one complete script. Cross-listed with Writing Seminars.

AS.061.208 Special Topics: Experimental Video
Yasinsky
This course has been modified to fall under the FMS major's "special topics" 200-level requirement. An introduction to experimental video from the 1960s to present. Understanding "experimental" as an operative to change existing forms of video using aesthetic and ideological innovation. With four video projects. Lab fee: $40

AS.061.209 Special Topics: Surrealism and Film
Yasinsky
We will define Surrealism through readings, including those of Andre Breton and Rene Daumal and texts that influenced the movement in the early part of the 20th c. Using an understanding of the practice of surrealism found in the readings as well as surrealist games and writing, we'll study a diverse group of filmmakers influenced by the practice including Joseph Cornell, Rene Clair, Luis Bunuel and contemporary artists such as Jack Chambers and David Lynch. Assignments include weekly papers and one final creative project.

AS.061.220 (W) Special Topics: Silent Classics
Bucknell
A survey of silent era masterpieces. From Murnau's horror film Nosferatu to Keaton's slapstick comedy Sherlock Jr to Dreyer's great tragedy The Passion of Joan of Arc, these are films of exceptional beauty and artistry. Chaplin, Eisenstein, von Sternberg, and others also considered.

061.221 (W) Special Topics: Reading Film
Bucknell
The critical analysis of film with particular attention to the writing of analytical essays.

AS.061.221 Special Topics: Producing the Independent Film
Porterfield
This course will walk students through the process of producing an independent film in the United States, from financing and development, through production, post-production, marketing and exhibition.

AS.061.222 Analyzing Popular Culture
Ward
This course provides an introduction to the critical analysis of popular culture through the major theoretical paradigms of media and cultural theory. The teaching method uses a combination of media studies and sociology to explore popular culture and is designed to encourage students to become more active critics. The course presents a range of media from contemporary popular music to film and television. Smaller subjects include the teen "pop" love song, the politics of representation, and the forming of subcultures.

AS.061.223 Special Topics: Performance Art and Video
Barber
This course will explore the history and current state of video and performance art, two of the most important movements in contemporary art. How have they influenced each other and how have they affected mainstream media and cultural notions of art? Students will view significant works and their presentation in galleries, museums, and public spaces, and will create individual and collaborative performance pieces of their own.

061.224 Special Topics: The Business of Film
Tyler
Law and economics shape the movie business. This course surveys the legal doctrine and financial concepts of film production and distribution, providing both an overview of one particular industry (i.e., Hollywood) as well as an introduction to fundamental principles applicable to any industry.

061.225 Special Topics: Introduction to Animation
Yasinsky
Animation will be studied from a formal perspective, emphasizing the primacy of the single frame. Students will experiment with different techniques and materials, including drawing, collage, light and photo-based frames. Three short projects will be completed. Screenings will include the work of Otto Messmer, the Fleischer Brothers, Robert Breer, Norman McLaren, Len Lye, Lotte Reininger, Larry Jordan, Frank Mouris and others. Students should have a good knowledge of video editing (Final Cut).

061.226 (W) Special Topics: Writing About Film
DeLibero
A workshop focusing on the critical analysis of film, with particular attention to the writing of short analytical and critical essays on a range of movies—recent and classic—using a variety of approaches. Students are required to participate in weekly critiques and discussions of each other’s writings.

AS.061.227 Going "On the Road": The Road Movie and American Cultural Identity
This course explores the road film, one of the most popular thematic constructs in American film. Although the journey narrative has its roots in literature, the road film presents a unique variation of stories of wanderlust. Perhaps this is because cinema's very nature lends itself to the form; the art form entails the creation of space and motion in time. We will follow the road movie from classical cinema to the present, concentrating on its position as a central trope in American mythology but also looking at the ways filmmakers in other cultures have made use of it. Lab fee: $40

061.230 Intermediate Film Production
Mann, Porterfield
This course continues the work of the Introduction to Film Production course. The course also introduces the use and design of sound through the incorporation of non-sync voice(s) and effects. Each student is responsible for the complete production of a short (4-6 minutes) film, from treatment to shooting script to final edit. The films are shot on 16mm color and/or black and white negative film stock and transferred to digital video. All editing for the films is with non-linear software, generally Final Cut Pro.

061.244 Film Genres
Bucknell
A survey of American genres: the Western, the Gangster Film, Science Fiction, Horror, Comedy, Melodrama, and others.

AS.061.245 Introduction to Film Theory
Ward
This course offers an introduction to the major paradigms of film theory, with work ranging from Sergei Eisenstein to Andre Bazin. Frequent film screenings are designed to help illustrate film theory concepts. Designed around one operative question, “What is cinema?” the course explores the varied and divergent answers provided by the great thinkers of the cinema in the past century. Students are expected to enter the course ready to engage in discussion.

AS.061.248 (W) American Masterpieces
Bucknell
An introduction to Hollywood cinema and the basics of film analysis through the close reading of selected 20th century American classics including Citizen Kane, On the Waterfront, Annie Hall, and others. Emphasis on discussion over lecture. Several short film responses and an essay with optional revision.

AS.061.251 (W) American Comedy Classics
Bucknell
A survey of 20th century American comedy from the films of Charlie Chaplin and the Marx Brothers to Dr. Strangelove and Annie Hall. The course will provide an introduction to the basics of film analysis. No prior experience in film studies required. In-class screenings and emphasis on discussion over lecture. Each student will write regular film responses, give an oral presentation, and write a short essay, 8-10pp., with an optional revision.

AS.061.252 (W) School Daze
Bucknell
Teen angst and togas in comedies of American youth from The Graduate to Animal House to Lost in Translation. Course will provide an introduction to the basics of film analysis with an emphasis on discussion over lecture. Several short film responses and an essay with optional revision. No prior experience in the subject required.

AS.061.254 (W) Watching the Detectives
Bucknell
Films of surveillance and detection from the Humphrey Bogart/Howard Hawks classic The Big Sleep, to Polanski’s Chinatown with Jack Nicholson, and David Simon's HBO series The Wire. The course will offer an introduction to the basics of film analysis. No prior experience in film studies required. In-class screenings and emphasis on discussion over lecture. Each student will write regular film responses, give an oral presentation, and write a short essay, 8-10pp., with an optional revision.

061.255 Special Topics: Theorizing Popular Culture
Ward
This course explores the changing role of popular culture via the major paradigms through which it has been considered. Presents a range of media from contemporary popular music to film and television.

AS.061.257 I Want To Be Humphrey Bogart
A close look at the Hollywood titan Humphrey Bogart in classics including Casablanca, To Have and Have Not, and The Big Sleep. In-class screenings and discussions are emphasized over lecture. No prior experience in film studies required.

061.259 Baltimore Filmmakers
Roche
Baltimore Filmmakers seeks to explore the unique personal narrative of the Media Artist within contemporary society, fourteen Filmmakers/Video Artists from Baltimore will visit the classroom to give talks.

AS.061.261 Moving Pictures: Looney Toons and Beyond
This course offers an overview of American and European animated films These films range from Looney Toons and early Warner Brothers films to European films including the works of the Brothers Quay and Jan Svankmayer. Along with in-class screenings, each student will create a very short animated 16mm. film. Using permanent markers, dyes, and bleach, students will work with black and clear 16mm. leader to create these films. Absolutely no drawing skills are required for this course.

061.270 (W) Writing for the Screen
Bucknell
An introduction to dramatic writing for film. Weekly film screenings. Several short, written exercises in story, scene, and character design, and a final complete script for a short film. Introduction to Fiction and Poetry recommended.



061.301 Advanced Film Production
Mann
This course continues the work accomplished in the Intermediate Film Production course. The course also introduces the use and design of sync sound (voice/effects). Each student is responsible for the complete production of a short (4-8 minutes) film, from treatment to shooting script to final edit. The films are shot on 16mm color and/or black and white negative film stock and transferred to digital video. All editing for the films is with non-linear software, generally Final Cut Pro.

AS.061.307 In the City
Bucknell
Glittering or gritty, rich with opportunity or "pestilential to the morals, the health, and the liberties of man": the city in popular film from the silent era to the present.

061.308 Experimental Video
Yasinsky
An introduction to experimental video from the 1960s to the present. The course explores the concept of "experimental" as an operative to change existing forms of video using aesthetic and ideological innovation. In class screenings we will study different ways of structuring video, such as loops, action/performance based work, multi-channel (screen) works and sound driven video. Screenings will include early video artists such as Bruce Nauman, Vito Acconci, William Wegman and the contemporary artists Matthew Barney and the collectives Forcefield and Paper Rad. With four video projects.

061.309 Film and Haiku
Mann
Explores similarities between a filmmaker's approach to the natural world and a haiku writer's. Along with film screenings and readings, students shoot short films exploring filmmaking as a meditative process.

061.312 (W) Writing the Screenplay
Roper
Course is a rigorous introduction to writing in screenplay form, based on writing exercises, the reading of scripts, and the screening of popular films.

061.313 (W) Story and Character Design for the Screenplay
Bucknell
A workshop devoted to developing dimensional characters and compelling and original stories. Weekly screenings and short written exercises and a longer final project.

061.314 (W) Sketching the Scene: Image as Narrative Tool
Porterfield
Departing from traditional screenwriting technique, this course will promote precise visual image as a foundation for developing scene, character, and story. Students will explore narrative from the inside out.

061.315 (W) Screenwriting by Genre
Bucknell
Story design for the screenplay with special attention to the genres of comedy, horror, melodrama, and adventure. Regular workshops, short written exercises, and a longer final project.

061.316 (W) Characters for the Screenplay
Bucknell
A workshop devoted to creating complex characters for the screen.  Students will examine memorable characters in the films of Murnau, Ford, Hitchcock, Woody Allen, the Cohen brothers, and others, with attention to how these characters are revealed through both the drama and the mise en scène.  Weekly screenings.  Short critical and creative written exercises and a longer, creative final project.

AS.061.317 Anti-Cinema: Topics in Film Poetics and Theory
This course will focus on the aesthetic, ideological and philosophical objections raised against the make-believe ontology of traditional storytelling in the movies. We will discuss the visionary art of Buster Keaton, the transcendental empiricism of auteurs like Tarkovsky and Bresson, and will not stop at the mind boggling experiments by Lars van Trier and Abbas Kiarostami, to name but a few. Our analysis of complex film art will be accompanied by reading relevant cultural and film theories, ranging from Walter Benjamin and Bertold Brecht to Roland Barthes and Gilles Deleuze. Juniors and Seniors Only.

AS.061.318 Noir Film, Noir Culture: American Film and Its Contexts, 1946-1959
Emerging from the profound changes wrought by World War II, American noir film in the postwar period shared a sensibility with a number of contemporaneous aesthetic movements in art, photography, music, and literature. This course will explore the concerns and themes common to both film noir and the art and popular culture of its time: engagement with extremes of subjectivity and psychological dissonance; existentialism and the crisis of meaning; the malleability of identity; the impact of mass forms of culture on selfhood; the use of visceral and explicit imagery. Artists whose work will be considered include Orson Welles, Fritz Lang, Otto Preminger, Robert Aldrich, Nicholas Ray, Robert Frank, William Klein, Jackson Pollock, Robert Rauschenberg, Mark Rothko, Allen Ginsburg, Norman Mailer, Art Pepper, and Miles Davis.

061.320 Silent Masterpieces
Bucknell
Chaplin, Griffith, Keaton, Lang, Murnau, Von Sternberg, and others.

061.321 The Uses of Difference
Bucknell 
Representations of African Americans, Native Americans, Asians, Hispanics, and other "others" in Hollywood film.

061.322 Women in Hollywood Film
Bucknell
Female beauty, villainy, and humanity in popular film from the silent era to the present.

061.323 Masculinities
Bucknell
From tap dancer to gangster, assassin to anguished teen, versions of the male in film from the silent era to the present.

061.324 The Decadent Black and White
Roper
This course studies some of the most alluring films made under the old Hollywood system. As black-and-white was disappearing, a brilliant "final" burst of effort yielded some of the richest American filmed stories. Class will view movies, study scripts and try to comprehend the historical moment (roughly 1958-63).

061.325 The Westerns of Ford, Leone, and Peckinpah
Bucknell
A study of three masters – John Ford, Sergio Leone, and Sam Peckinpah – their impact on the genre and on each other.

061.326 The Western
Bucknell
A survey of films by Boetticher, Ford, Hawks, Leone, Mann, Peckinpah, and others.

061.328 Gangster Films
Bucknell
The bad guy as hero from Little Caesar to Goodfellas.

061.334 Technology in Hollywood Film
Bucknell
Representations of technology in narrative film (itself a highly technological medium) reflect the modern world's ambivalence toward its machines: from the Iron Horse to HAL, tommy-guns to the Atomic Bomb.

061.335 Monster Films
Bucknell
Monstrous others and monstrous selves in classic 20th century horror.

061.336 American Landscapes in Film
Bucknell
American setting and identity: the frontier, the city, the highway, the sea, the small town, and outer space in the films of Ford, Wellman, Siegel, Leone, Allen, Spielberg, and others.

061.337 Films of the Fifties
Bucknell
Cultural, social, and political concerns of the decade as reflected in the films of Lang, Sirk, Ray, Fuller, Kazan, and others.

061.338 Russian Cinema from Avant-Garde to Socialist Realism
Eakin Moss
Examines the origins and development of Russian cinema to the 1930s: pre-Revolution silent era, 1920s montage, the advent of sound, Formalism, Socialist Realism, Stalinism, the role of ideology, censorship and the state. Conducted in English.

061.339 A Cinema of Anxiety
Bucknell
Postwar film noir: Fuller, Huston, Lang, Mann, Tourneur, and others.

061.341 The Wilderness Within and Without
Bucknell
Savage landscapes and savage states of mind in films by Ford, Herzog, Boorman, Weir, and others.

AS.061.342 Going “On the Road”: The Road Movie
DeLibero, Ward
This course explores the road film, one of the most popular thematic constructs in American film. Although the journey narrative has its roots in literature, the road film presents a unique variation of stories of wanderlust. Perhaps this is because cinema's very nature lends itself to the form; the art form entails the creation of space and motion in time. We will follow the road movie from classical cinema to the present, concentrating on its position as a central trope in American mythology but also looking at the ways filmmakers in other cultures have made use of it. 

AS.061.343 Deadwood and American Justice
Gonzalez
The course aims at generating well-grounded discussion on issues of justice and social fairness in the wilderness of American westward colonization and spoliation. Issues such as the rule of foul language, chattel sex work, grassroots democracy, gun justice, and other basic elements of the American ethos of conquest and populist sovereignty.

AS.061.344 The Viewers in the Dark: One Hundred Years of Cinephilia, from Lumiere to Tsai Ming-Liang
Ward
The movies have attracted a devoted following in their first hundred and twenty years. Here, we discuss the act of moviegoing itself, exploring the ways that film fans have traditionally considered themselves in relation to the silver screen, the movie house, and film culture, from the silent era, with its first moments of illuminated wonder at moving pictures, through early cine-clubs in the 1920s and the enthusiastic movements of film critics-turned-filmmakers with the French New Wave in the 1960s, up through the video store boom and bust. How does the way we literally engage with cinema affect the way that we love movies? With our culture now engaging with the rise of the home theater, we consider where we have come from as moviegoers as part of a genealogy of watchers in the dark, and how theorists have positioned themselves as regards the activity. This course also involves a practicum to enable students to think through questions of moviegoing in acts of moviegoing itself, and reflection on the experience. Thinking through how we have felt and thought about movies, we come to some conclusions about both the nature of film art and its most loyal spectator, the cinephile.

061.345 Primitive Film
Mann
Primitive Film explores pre-cinematic and early cinematic devices and spectatorship. The course offers readings as well as production techniques. Students construct a zoetrope and use it to make a short film.

061.346 Drawing Animation
Yasinsky
A hands-on drawing animation course. Work shot digitally and scanned. No specific drawing skills are necessary but a strong interest in hand drawn animation and substantial time commitment to drawing are required.

061.347 Writing with Light
Plow
Writing with Light explores the stylistic applications of lighting for film. The course will include readings and class projects emphasizing various lighting modes.

AS.061.351 Camera-less Filmmaking
Camera-less Filmmaking will use various filmmaking techniques that do not involve the camera. Using 16mm clear leader and black leader students will make films with permanent markers, bleach and other ingredients.We will also view films from this genre and discuss how this approach provides a unique opportunity to explore the filmic frame. Drawing skills are not a prerequisite for the course.

061.352 Media Workshop: Theory and Practice
Porterfield & Ward
This course mixes the theory and practice of media-making. It is designed to enable students to explore their craft while grappling with some of the major issues in film theory. Students will read the work of filmmaker theorists (Vertov, Eisenstein, Bresson, Brakhage, Deren, and Godard) and produce creative work informed by the texts.

061.353 Documentary Film Production: Cities and Fields
Mann
Expanding the parameters of city films and nature films, each student produces a short documentary film exploring the development of a subjective voice with emphasis on extreme close-ups, time-lapse, and slow-motion.

AS.061.356 Narrative Productions
Porterfield
This course is designed to immerse students in the creative and practical challenges of narrative production. It is our hope that you will emerge with a greater understanding of the professional structure of a film crew, as well as with an understanding of the collaborative creativity necessary to make a narrative short. We will work hard, but if you are interested in video, film and filmmaking, we guarantee you will learn a great deal. In this course students will be divided into teams, each of which will produce a short narrative film based upon a script written by a fellow student. All films will be fully student produced. From script to casting, production to direction, design, shooting and sound recording, music and editing, students will fill all principal roles. Throughout the course, instructors will expose students to relevant films and film professionals in order to illuminate the key creative roles necessary in the making of any film. Instructors will serve a guiding role in the production of student projects, offering technical information and guidance as to the creative, collaborative nature of the filmmaking process. Students will be evaluated not only on the films they produce, but also on their ability to create and contribute within a team to the collaborative art of filmmaking.

AS.061.357 Seminar on Narrative Productions
Porterfield
Through a series of workshops and lectures on production design, directing, cinematography, and art direction, students will be guided through the process of making a feature film for Narrative Production (061.356). The art and craft of fiction filmmaking—how and why we tell stories through cinema—will be the underlying theme of the course. We will also discuss effective strategies for completing a successful film. Required screenings and workshops with visiting filmmakers, as well as regular readings and assignments, will augment class lectures and discussions.

061.358 Directing Actors
Porterfield
This class, intended for students of film, will explore the theory, practice, and ethics of directing actors for the screen. Texts, screenings, production and performance exercises will be combined over the course of the semester. The goal of this workshop is to inspire young directors and enhance their ability to communicate with their cast with confidence and empathy.

061.359 Documentary Film
Wegenstein
This overview of the history of the documentary film format and its attempt to tell the "truth" examines documentaries from different historical moments and cultures, and asks theoretical and philosophical questions about the construction of argument, and the use of reality, ethnography, and storytelling.  

061.361 Documentary Film Theory: The Work of Documentary in the Age of Reality Reproduction
Mann
This course explores contemporary documentaries with an emphasis on theoretical implications suggested by their work. We will look at a variety of philosophical and political issues emerging from these films.

061.362 American and European Experimental Film
Mann
Exploration of aesthetic and theoretical development of experimental films. Emphasis placed on contemporary films and filmmakers.

061.363 The Short Film
Mann
An inquiry into what makes the short film a unique and possibly provocative art form. The course primarily will concentrate on narrative films.

061.364 Hitchcock and Film Theory
DeLibero
Close examinations of Hitchcock's films from The Lodger to Frenzy. Special attention to the vast array of theoretical and critical responses to his work.

061.365 The New Hollywood: American Films of the Seventies
DeLibero
Films of Altman, Peckinpah, Coppola, Penn, Scorsese, and others. Intensive examination of the films and their cultural/political context.

061.367 Bresson & Ophuls: Two Masters of Form
Roos
Close examinations of the major works of these two very different filmmakers, Robert Bresson and Max Ophuls; secondary focus on their influence on film theorists and other filmmakers.

061.368 Influence and Interpretation
Yasinsky
Short stories, poetry, novels and films will provide a starting point for students' original short video productions. We'll study work by video artists and filmmakers that was inspired by the work of other artists, filmmakers and writers. Texts will include Harold Bloom's Anxiety of Influence.

061.370 Theorizing Popular Culture
Ward
This course explores the changing role of popular culture via the major paradigms through which it has been considered. Presents a range of media from contemporary popular music to film and television.

061.371 (W) Unrealities: The Fantastic in Film & Fiction
Bucknell
The fantastic, the absurd, the blackly comic in films by Cocteau, Hitchcock, and others; and in the short fiction of Barthelme, Cortázar, Hrabal, and others. Several short creative exercises and a longer final project.

AS.061.372 French Crime Films, Thrillers, and Noirs
Roos
An exploration of French films about crime with a particular focus on the reciprocal relations between French and American cinema: how did the French tradition of poetic realism influence the American film noir--and why is our name for the genre one invented by French critics? How did French directors respond to American genre movies, and to the films of Hitchcock. Screenings will include films by Melville, Godard, Clément, Clouzot, Audiard, and Haneke.

AS.061.373 (W) Intermediate Dramatic Writing: Film
Busó-García
An intensive workshop focusing on methodology: enhancing original characterization, plot development, conflict, story, pacing, dramatic foreshadowing, the element of surprise, text and subtext, act structure, and visual storytelling. Each student is expected to present sections of his/her "screenplay-in-progress" to the class for discussion. The screenplay Chinatown will be used as a basic text. Cross-listed with Writing Seminars.

061.381 Sound on Film
Yasinsky
This 3-credit upper-level course, sponsored by the Film and Media Studies Program at JHU and the program in Recording Arts and Sciences at the Peabody Institute, will offer undergraduates and faculty/staff from both institutions an unprecedented opportunity to collaborate on all aspects of designing soundtracks for film. Utilizing in-progress and completed film projects, student filmmakers from the Film and Media Studies program will work with Peabody students to create soundtracks, from the initial phases of composition and scoring to the final stages of recording and sound syncing. Students will work in small teams in a lab setting to create their soundtracks, exploring a variety of scenarios, including the implications of image-driven music vs music-driven images, and the various uses of acoustic and electronic sound. The final products will be mastered for DVD and online format. Lab work will be supplemented by guest lectures and faculty presentations on various aspects—practical, theoretical, and historical—of applying sound to film. Guest lecturers will include sound designers and engineers, composers, editors, historians of film sound, and filmmakers working in both live action and animated film

AS.061.387 Practicum in Advanced Documentary Filmmaking
DeLibero
In this course, film students from JHU and MICA will research, shoot, and edit a 30-minute documentary on JHU's Baltimore Scholars Program under the supervision of professional filmmakers. Students will learn the techniques of filmmaking and of building a narrative for documentary film. In the process of conducting interviews and research for the film, they will also explore the historical and current relationship between Johns Hopkins University and the Baltimore community.

AS.061.389 Women Making Movies (Europe)
Mason
Whether speaking of short narratives by Alice Guy Blaché, Leni Riefenstahl’s propaganda for Hitler, or the films of Agnes Varda, Lina Wertmuller, Sally Potter, Margarethe von Trotta, Agnieszka Holland and Marjane Satrapi– to name but a few– women have been a dynamic and integral presence in European film history from its earliest days. What has gender meant to them? Does that category, alone or in combination with feminist film criticism, illuminate how we understand their films? Does the fact of being female shape a director’s choice of subject, how she represents it, or how she works? How has a particular director’s work been shaped by other political, social, and historical circumstances? Does an enhanced appreciation of films directed by women change our sense of the canon or of what it means to be an auteur? We will address these and similar questions as we explore a few of the movies made by women over the past 100+ years.

061.390 The Actor in Hollywood
DeLibero
This course examines the intersection of performance, stardom, and masculinity in the films of actors whose work reflects changing approaches to acting, from the studio era to the present.

061.391 Love and Film
Ward
In this course, we explore different understandings of "love" and the way that film has dealt with the concept as a medium. We explore a variety of approaches to the question of "love" - from the agapic to the familial to the romantic - through a series of interdisciplinary readings ranging from philosophy to anthropology. We will also explore the question of how film has engaged with the question of love as a concept, and what depictions of human affection - from the general to the personal - it has offered us. Screenings are required for this course.

061.392 Cinematic Truth Value: Traditions of Realism
Porterfield
From the films of Robert Flaherty, Luchino Visconti, and Robert Bresson, through the work of the Dardenne brothers and contemporary neo-realists Pedro Costa, Abbas Kiarostami, Robert Gardner, and Kelly Reichardt, this course will explore the dominant techniques, the aberrations, and the virtues and limitations of cinematic realism.

061.393 Violent Attractions
Bucknell
Violence, ritualized and anarchic, celebrated and deplored in popular film from silent era melodrama and slapstick comedy to contemporary sports, crime, and combat films.

061.394 Renoir, Vigo, Carné: French Cinema of the 1930s
Roos
An exploration of French cinema of the 1930s and the movement that produced some of the most influential masterworks of world cinema. Focus on close analysis of films. Conducted in English.

AS.061.395 Film Programming
Ward
This course is run in close conjunction with the Johns Hopkins Film Society. Half of the work you will be doing in this class will be geared toward the Film Society’s 2011 Film Festival in its programming, marketing, budgeting, organization, scheduling, and interaction with both filmmakers and the community. In this class, you will learn to program, execute, and run a film series and gain the tools to create and run a Film Festival. You will, then, learn how to do historical and aesthetic research to craft a project proposal, hone it so it is the best possible version of your idea, market it so that it succeeds, project its films on 35mm, introduce its films with short lectures to an audience, answer a Q&A about your films, interact with audiences, make connections with filmmakers and "curate" a film of your choice, and, essentially make the entire thing come off without a hitch. We focus, then, on a set of interlocking skill sets: film programming and projection, series organization and planning, and audience outreach as well as event management.

061.396 Modern Paris on Film
Mason
This course uses French film to examine the history of twentieth-century Paris. We will consider how filmmakers interpreted the social, political, and technological transformations that shaped Paris in the modern era, treating movies as expressions of change and means by which filmmakers comment on it. Taught in English. Cross-listed with History.

061.397 French Masculinities
Mason
Examines changing ideals of masculinity in France after 1960 as they found expression on film, rooting the work of iconic stars and directors in their cultural, political and historical contexts.

061.398 Godard
Roos
An intensive study of the most important films of this seminal and influential director.

061.399 Stop-Motion Puppet Animation
Yasinsky
Students will create their own stop-motion models (puppets) based on a wire armature model. In small groups, students will design and create a simple set and make a short stop-motion movie using a DSLR camera. The question of "why animate" will be explored in student's projects and responses to screenings. We will study the history of stop motion puppet animation from Starewicz to Svankmajer to Nick Park.
 

061.401 Dance for the Camera
Mann
This course is a collaborative effort between Film and Media Studies students from JHU and student choreographers from Towson University. Dance for the Camera is an emerging genre with several national and international festivals devoted solely to these works. The course will be team taught by John Mann (FMS) and Susan Mann, a dance professor from Towson University. The course will include an overview of recent works and discussions related to these works. One student from the FMS program will work with one student choreographer on several small exercises during the semester. The final project for each pair of students will be a short (3-6 minute) project. All exercises and the final project will be shot on 16mm negative film stock.

061.402 (W) Critical Approaches to Contemporary Film
DeLibero 
A workshop wherein students submit short critical essays each week about recent films. Discussion of the history of criticism and the changing nature of film discourse in the 21st century.

061.412 Kubrick and His Critics
DeLibero
Intensive examination of Stanley Kubrick's films, as well as the history of their critical reception.

061.413 Lost and Found Film
Mann
This course explores various elements of film production and filmic expression through a somewhat nebulous field typically described as lost films. Lost films (or as they are sometimes described "orphan" films) can be generally described as films that have, for a variety of reasons, fallen out of the public view. They frequently come from educational, scientific, medical, or industrial films from the 1950s and 1960s. Using these films as source materials, lost film filmmakers explore and expose cultural conventions, visual icons, and historical value materials. Each week, students are responsible for re-editing sources found on an internet archive site. The assignments follow thematic concerns related to film editing. Students complete a final project (4-8 minutes). All editing for the course is accomplished with non-linear software, generally Final Cut Pro.

061.420 The French New Wave
Roos
Study of the major films of the French New Wave, their origins, context, and afterlife.

AS.061.421 (W) History & Film
Mason
How do films inform, shape, or fundamentally alter our sense of the past? What are the strengths and limitations of cine-history? This course pairs traditional and avant-garde fiction films and documentaries with essays about history, historiography, memory and the political uses of the past to investigate fast-changing relationships between image and text, film and history.

Independent Study, Senior Project, and Internships
Students may take up to 3 credits of independent study, senior project, and/or internship work per semester, to a maximum of 6 credits per academic year (summer through following spring). An undergraduate student can earn a maximum of 24 of these credits in pursuing his/her degree.

061.440-441 Senior Project in Film Production
Mann  Lab fee: $100

061.442-443 Senior Project in Digital Video Production
Staff
 

061.501-502 Independent Study in Film and Media Studies
Staff 

061.503-504 Independent Study in Film Production
Mann  Lab fee: $100

061.505-506 Internship in Film and Media
DeLibero  S/U only

Cross-Listed Courses

Contact the primary department for more information about the following courses.

The Humanities Center
300.312 Imagining Revolution and Utopia
Instructor: Eakin Moss.

300.324 Cinema of the 1930s: Communist and Capitalist Fantasies 
Instructor: Eakin Moss.

300.326 Living in Doubts: Skepticism in Philosophy, Literature, and Film
Instructor: Fenno

300.333 The Dramatic Event
Instructor: Macksey

300.337 Thinking Films
Instructor: Marrati

300.341 East Asian Cinema
Instructor: Rhee

300.349 The Cinema of Andrei Tarkovsky
Instructor: Eakin Moss

300.352 Philosophical and Theological Paradoxes in French Literature and Film
Instructor: Geroulanos

300.356 From Literature to Film- The Case of Israeli Cinema
Instructor: Stahl.

300.366 Avant-Garde Cinema
Instructor: Eakin Moss
 

German and Romance Languages and Literatures
090.305 Wireless Imagination: Introduction to Media Theory
Instructor: Niebisch

090.395 Literature and Photography
Instructor: Tobias

090.403 Visions of Cinema: Explorations in Weimar Film
Instructor: Gold

090.420 The Human and the Machine in German Literature and Film
Instructor: Pahl

211.360 Women and Film
Instructor: Staff

211.409 La Nouvelle Vague
Instructor: Roos

212.309 Forever Godard
Instructor: Reymond

211.412 Political Cinema
Instructor: Roos

212.352 Narration and Text in Film
Instructor: Gonzalez

212.451 Films of Almodovar
Instructor: Gonzalez

212.601 Word and Image: An Introduction to the Languages and Literatures of Cinema
Instructor: Forni and Wegenstein

213.317 Berlin at the Crossroads of the 20th Century
Instructor: Caplan.

213.335 Technology and Sexuality in Berlin
Instructor: Kolarov

212.349 Weimar Cinema
Instructor: Strowick

213.367 Contemporary German Film
Instructor: Strowick.

215.452 Che Guevara and Magical Realism
Instructor: Gonzalez

Center for Africana Studies
362.374 Black Cinema
Instructor: DeLibero, Robbins

Program for Women, Gender, and Sexuality
360.262 Gender, Sexuality, and Identities in Mass Media, 1950-2004
Instructor: Hijar

Peabody Conservatory
PY 260.249 Film History: Sound and Scores
Instructor: Robbins

The Writing Seminars
220.336 (W) Art of the Screenplay
Instructor: Lapadula

220.337 (W) Advanced Screenwriting
Instructor: Lapadula

Summer Courses

The following courses are offered on a rotating basis. For more information, contact Summer Programs by phone (410.516.4548, 800.548.0548), email or their website.

American Comedy Classics (W), Bucknell
American Contemporary Classics (W), Bucknell
American Masterpieces (W), Bucknell
Analyzing Popular Culture, Ward
Camera-less Filmmaking, Mann
How the Kids Stole Hollywood, Ward
Latino Film, DeLibero
Moving Pictures: Looney Toons and Beyond, Mann
School Daze (W), Bucknell
Teens on Screen, DeLibero
Watching the Detectives (W), Bucknell