Film History II

Enjoy the Summer!
Enjoy the Summer!

Welcome to Film History II, a required course for AQB Media Studies Majors.

 

An important point made in our textbook, Film, Form and Culture by Robert Kolker, is that all films are constructed. Furthermore that if we understand how these constructions work we can better understand why they do (or do not) have such a strong impact on an audience. 

 

The syllabus and any additional hand-outs will be on-line or available as downloads. If you missed important notes from the whiteboard they are often posted here. 

 

Part of this course is the weekly blog posting which will usually pertain to the weekly reading assignment. The blog posts are due 24 hours before our weekly class meetings. If a strike or any other problem occurs that prevents class from meeting always check here for a new blog question or assignment.

 

Get your free scary movie sound effects here!

The reading about our next film, Stanley Kubrick's The Shining, is here. Please be sure to watch the trailer for Room 237 and explore the links on this page. These will become important resources as we approach the end of this semester. A new blog question is posted below the Diane Arbus photograph.

 

The reading assignment about Alfred Hitchcock is here.

 

If you would like to refresh your memory the film is here.

DIANE ARBUS - Identical Twins, Roselle NJ 1967
DIANE ARBUS - Identical Twins, Roselle NJ 1967

Sat

19

Apr

2014

Kubrick & Hitchcock: A Semiotic Puzzle

A Quote From The Shining
A Quote From The Shining

The reading for this week states that The Shining is "a semiotic puzzle." So too is Hitchcock's film Psycho. First of all what does the term "semiotic puzzle" mean? Second, how does Hitchcock use this idea? Hint: the reading from last week mentions his ability to give "attribution of symbolic power to inanimate objects."

20 Comments

Fri

11

Apr

2014

Alfred Hitchcock, Suspense & Terror

Norman Bates Has a Hobby
Norman Bates Has a Hobby

Using the assigned reading as a resource, identify a scene or even a single shot in Psycho. Describe the scene or shot in detail and why it may (or may not) support the auteur theory. Remember that Hitchcock worked with many collaborators such as the composer Bernard Hermann and the graphic designer Saul Bass. And of course he also worked with some very talented actors. 

19 Comments

Thu

20

Mar

2014

From Screen to Screen to Screen

Poltergeist: The Ghosts in the Machines
Poltergeist: The Ghosts in the Machines

The current reading suggests several ways that moving picture storytelling changed when it moved from the cinema to television. Give an example from the textbook and from your own experience. How is the experience of watching a film in the movie theater different from watching a TV show? 

17 Comments

Sat

15

Mar

2014

The Pessimistic Auteur

In the reading assigned two weeks ago, Auteurism Today, the author writes "Auteurism at least gives power to the film critic." What does he mean? Be sure to support your response with evidence. In other words, I am not asking solely for your opinion. 

19 Comments

Thu

06

Feb

2014

The Melodramatic Simulacrum

Bela Lugosi as Dracula
Bela Lugosi as Dracula

Many horror films, especially early horror films, contain elements of melodrama. For example, this photograph of Bela Lugosi as Dracula is in essence a depiction of a corrupt man preying on an innocent woman. What other melodramatic story elements can you identify in the horror movie genre? 

 

For those of you who read the Baudrillard, Simulacra and Simulations, what are some of the ways that fans of the horror genre perpetrate "pure simulacrum?" I suggest browsing some "remixed" horror films on Youtube. 

23 Comments

The still frame from the original film and the reproduction on the right are an example of what process? 

The "Tools"
The "Tools"
Remember the "Tools"
Remember the "Tools"
Some Generic Conventions of the Horror Genre
Some Generic Conventions of the Horror Genre
Nosferatu
Nosferatu