Cinema Studies Undergraduate Courses
Listed below are descriptions of courses offered by the Department of Cinema Studies. Browse the UO Class Schedule to find out which courses are offered in the coming terms.
For students interested in exploring the major, the courses noted with a projector symbol () are open to all majors. For students who have already declared the cinema studies major, please read the degree requirements page to determine which courses below satisfy the cinema studies major requirements.
CINE 110M: Intro to Film & Media > 1 (4 credits)
People respond to movies in different ways, and there are many reasons for this. We have all stood in the lobby of a theater and heard conflicting opinions from people who have just seen the same film. Some loved it, some hated it, some found it just OK. Perhaps we've thought, "What do they know? Maybe they just don't get it." Disagreements and controversies, however, can reveal a great deal about the assumptions underlying these various responses. If we explore these assumptions, we can ask questions about how sound they are. Questioning our own assumptions, and those of others, is a good way to start thinking about movies. In this course, we will see that there are many productive ways of thinking about movies and many approaches we can use to analyze them. These approaches include the study of narrative structure, cinematic form, authorship, genre, stars, reception and categories of social identity. Overall, the goal of this course is to introduce you to the basic skills necessary for a critical knowledge of the movies as art and culture.
This course will satisfy the Arts and Letters group requirement because it introduces students to modes of inquiry that have defined the discipline of film studies. These include such diverse approaches as studying narrative structure, authorship, genre, and reception. By requiring students to analyze and interpret examples of film and media using these approaches, the course will promote open inquiry into cinematic texts and contexts from a variety of perspectives. Previously taught as ENG 110; not repeatable.
With the rise of viewing practices like “binge-watching,” the increased respectability of “quality” television, new content producers like Netflix and Amazon, and technology that allows you to watch your favorite programs on anything from a 5-inch smart phone to a 50-in HDTV, how we watch television is rapidly changing. It’s easy to get swept up in these changes, but one thing will always remain the same: the need for media literate viewers who can talk, think, and write intelligently about what they see on-screen. This course will teach you how to be a critical and informed television viewer, even as the very concept of television is being redefined. In doing so, you will deepen your understanding of specific television texts by using formal and ideological analysis and you will learn to situate those texts within different contexts of history, industry, technology, and reception.
This course is a survey of Korean national cinema, from the earliest days of the medium to the present. By exploring a range of issues that have come to define the concept of Korean national cinema, this course will not only serve as an introduction to Korean cinema, but more importantly as an in-depth case study that challenges and expands the discussions of national cinema. Films will be screened with English subtitles. No specific knowledge of Korea/Korean or prerequisite is required. Previously taught as KRN 151; not repeatable.
CINE 198: Workshop: Post Production Workflow (1 credit)
In this four-week workshop, for both beginners and more experienced editors, we will explore nonlinear editing with a focus on Media Management and Workflow. We will examine strategies for media organization and selection, how to efficiently use the tools within the editing software, and methods to efficiently review and refine your work. We will primarily be working in Adobe Premiere, but we will also look at other NLEs such as Final Cut Pro X and Avid Media Composer. By the end of the workshop, with either tutorial media or your own, you will have created and refined a short edit highlighting what you’ve learned in the class. Note: Because this course has special meeting dates, regular academic deadlines do not apply. Please contact the academic department for more information.
CINE 230: Remix Cultures >1 (4 credits)
In "Remix Cultures," students learn the historical, practical, and critical views of "intellectual property" (IP) by analyzing everything from the UO mascot to Jay-Z. The course highlights how “ideas” are part of a remix continuum: new ideas often remix the great ideas that preceded them and will themselves be remixed in the future. Students will deconstruct the relationship between politics and economics and interrogate the everyday ways that their lives are governed by (and often break) IP laws. As a group-satisfying Arts and Letters course, Remix Cultures provides students with a broad yet fundamental knowledge of how "IP" and "innovation" impact their lives: students of all majors engage with intellectual properties daily and may seek professions in fields that valorize intellectual property. By asking all students to actively and critically engage consumer media culture as intellectual property, the course provides a better understanding of how collaborative efforts are governed by laws that typically value and reward a singular author/genius.
CINE 260M: Media Aesthetics (4 credits)
This course explores the fundamentals of film and media aesthetics, including narrative, mise-en-scène, cinematography, editing, and sound. By learning how to analyze film and utilize proper cinematic language, students will begin to critically understand film as an art form and a product of culture. By the end of the course, students will see all aesthetic elements in a film as a series of choices made through the complex collaboration of artists and craftspeople. Students will also gain the key tools and concepts that they will implement in their own creative work. Previously taught as ENG 260; not repeatable
CINE 265 (Previously ENG 265) is the first in a three-part chronological survey of the evolution of cinema as an institution and an art form. CINE 265 moves from the origins of cinema in the late 19th century through World War II. The primary texts for the course are the films themselves, but supplementary readings will also be assigned. The aim of the course is to develop interpretive skills relevant to the study of film by examining the history of major movements in Hollywood and world cinema. As a broad introduction to interpretive, theoretical, and institutional issues that are central to the study of film, CINE 265 satisfies the university's Group Requirement in the Arts and Letters category. The courses in motion picture history, CINE 265, 266, and 267 may be taken individually or as parts of an integrated sequence. Previously taught as ENG 265; not repeatable.
CINE 266 (previously ENG 266) is the second in a three-part chronological survey of the evolution of cinema as an institution and an art form. CINE 266 covers the post-World War II period through the 1950s. The primary texts for the course are the films themselves, but supplementary readings will also be assigned. The aim of the course is to develop interpretive skills relevant to the study of film by examining the history of major movements in Hollywood and world cinema. As a broad introduction to interpretive, theoretical, and institutional issues that are central to the study of film, CINE 266 satisfies the university's Group Requirement in the Arts and Letters category. The courses in motion picture history, CINE 265, 266, and 267 may be taken individually or as parts of an integrated series. Previously taught as ENG 266; not repeatable.
CINE 267 is the third in a three-part chronological survey of the evolution of cinema as an institution and as an art form from its origin, covers the time period from the "end" of the studio system in the 1960s to the present day. It may be taken individually or as part of a series (with CINE 265 and 266) designed to provide a broad introduction to interpretive, theoretical, and institutional issues central to the study of film and media. The aim of the course is to develop interpretive and critical skills relevant to the study of film by examining the history of both Hollywood and world cinema. Like the other two courses in the series, CINE 267 enables students to engage with major issues within the field, including star studies, the film industry, and censorship and satisfies the university's Group Requirement in the Arts and Letters category. The courses in motion picture history, CINE 265, 266, and 267, may be taken individually or as parts of an integrated series. Previously taught as ENG 267; not repeatable.
CINE 268: U.S. Television History >1 (4 credits)
This Arts & Letters course analyzes the history of television, spanning from its roots in radio broadcasting to the latest developments in digital television. To assess the many changes across this historical period, the course addresses why the U.S. television industry developed as a commercial medium (compared to television industries across the globe), how television programming has both reflected and influenced cultural ideologies through the decades, and how historical patterns of television consumption have shifted due to new technologies and social changes. By studying the historical development of television and assessing the industrial, technological, political, aesthetic and cultural systems out of which they emerged, this course helps you better understand the catalysts responsible for shaping this highly influential medium into what you view today. In this process, students will gain a basic understanding of various approaches used to analyze television history, including industrial history, technological history, formal history, reception history, and social/cultural history.
This class focuses on learning the basics of film production. We will explore the processes of pre-production, production, and post-production. The first part of the course will introduce film grammar, equipment, set protocol, and editing. In the second part of the class, we will put the concepts we learned in the first few weeks into practice by rotating different crew positions on multiple film shoots. Throughout the course, students will develop the relationship between theory and practice by viewing selected film clips as case studies, practicing film grammar and techniques, and critiquing the exercises of peers. All the film shooting will be done in class, but there’s significant work required outside of class. Previously taught as ENG 270 Intro Narrat Cine Prod; not repeatable.
This course examines screenwriting for short films. In order to learn the craft of writing for film, we will explore visual storytelling, structure, characterization, dramatization, dialogue, and screenplay formatting. The class will combine analytical and practical approaches. Through the analysis of internationally acclaimed short films and published screenplays, we will identify the elements that make a successful script. Building upon these insights, students will develop their own screenplays through writing exercises and the process of generating multiple revisions that will be critiqued by peers. By the end of the course, students will complete a polished script for a short film, develop the skills to give and receive productive feedback, and acquire an understanding of the scriptwriting process. Previously taught as CINE 399 & ENG 411 Begin Screenwriting; not repeatable.
This course probes the evolution of film and media arts festivals and their efforts to create a more active and participatory public sphere for the appreciation and discussion of media. Festivals will also be explored as centers of innovation for the entertainment and arts industries. The course surveys the histories of film festivals in relation to their forms, functions, operations, marketing, curatorial missions, and social impacts.
This course explores how audiences make sense of movies—particularly in relation to the way that movies are shown or exhibited—and how we historically have consumed movies in relation to their surrounding contexts, including the environment in which we see a film (at a movie theater, in a classroom, at home, or on an airplane with an iPad). Both films and how they’re exhibited have changed over the history of cinema; how and where we watch movies has also affected our interpretations of films over time. We will explore why this is and how it relates to other factors in a film’s reception—social class, gender, race, politics, national identity, and other cultural values audiences might hold. Within this context, we will focus specifically on how this has played out in Oregon’s towns and cities to examine how local film histories align and diverge from dominant histories of American cinema.
This course examines the development of production practices and the lived realities of film and television production workers. Our particular focus is not on the production of culture but rather on the culture of production and the ways that production work itself is a meaningful cultural practice. Special emphasis will be placed on analyzing the imagery and rhetoric of production found in making-of documentaries and trade stories. Using various case studies, students will consider not only “above-the-line” personnel, namely film directors and TV showrunners, but also "below-the-line" workers, such as casting agents and camera crews. Throughout, we will take up a range of issues that impact production work, including labor, gender, craft practices, and technological change.
In this Arts & Letters course, we examine how and why stars are produced and marketed by the entertainment industries, the ways in which they “signify” within media narratives and how they relate to a spectator’s fantasies and desires. What does a star bring to a movie or a TV show? How can understanding stars help us to think about the relation between media, ideology, society and individuality? During the course, we will examine the emergence of the star system, its development and contemporary examples of stardom and celebrity.
The discipline of Cinema Studies—encompassing film, television, and new media—provides rigorous and multifaceted opportunities for students to analyze visual culture from a variety of perspectives. While this course will use gender and sexuality in European cinema and media as its scholarly focus, each class will necessarily utilize a range of critical approaches to analyze the material—including questions about culture, technology, industry, politics, finance, etc. The screening, analysis, and writing skills developed in this course will exercise and sharpen the critical thinking skills of all majors across the university while exposing them to a cinematic culture they may not have access to otherwise.
This course asks students to explore the construction and evolution of gender and sexuality in European cinema. To better contextualize the history of these representational traditions, the course begins with silent film and progresses towards contemporary representations of gender and sexuality in (mainstream) European media.
In this course, students will understand European Cinema in three key ways. First, they will learn how to understand representations of gender and sexuality using formal cinematic analysis. They will also contextualize such representations within a specific European culture and cinema. Finally, they will develop analytical writing about European film that considers: the role of actors/filmmakers in promoting or challenging certain ideas of gender and sexuality; how theoretical traditions—such as feminism, queer, gay liberation—have informed and critiqued the construction of gender and sexuality; and/or the social and political contexts within which representations of gender and sexuality have circulated.
As a Cinema Studies course, “Gender and Sexuality in European Cinema” satisfies the criteria for group status in Arts and Letters in that it incorporates a range of critical approaches to analyze its material—including questions about culture, technology, industry, politics, finance, etc. The screening, analysis, and writing skills developed in this course will exercise and sharpen the critical thinking skills of all majors across the university while exposing them to a cinematic culture they may not have access to otherwise. By focusing on gender and sexuality through European media, students will be able to think more globally about issues of representation while learning how national identities shape—and are shaped by—films, television, and new media in terms of gender and sexuality.
What is cinema? Is it an art form or a medium? What distinguishes cinema from other arts? Does cinema inherently favor certain kinds of content and modes of expression? How can we describe its relationship to reality? What are the social and cultural effects or functions of cinema? What is cinema’s future in the age of new media? This Arts & Letters group-satisfying course introduces students to some of the key authors, debates, and concepts that have motivated cinema scholarship since the early twentieth century. By applying the writings of groundbreaking theorists to films from across the globe, students will explore cinema as an art, ideology, social/cultural institution, and as a technological mediation of "reality."
The course "Contemporary Korean Film" is interdisciplinary in nature as it aims to help students acquire vocabularies to address and inquire into some of the key issues across multiple disciplines such as cultural studies, media studies, and regional/global studies. In particular, this course will endeavor to train students to think both within and beyond the concept of a national culture and help them cope with increasingly globalizing popular culture. The content of the course covers recent South Korean political, economic, and cultural histories and the impact of economic modernization as well as South Korea’s entry into the global marketplace on the production of local cultures. It introduces students to South Korean and, by extension, global popular culture as a serious object of cultural, aesthetic, economic, and political analysis. The ultimate goal of the course is to have students understand basic (trans)national terms and conditions through which border crossing in global media has been configured. Hence the course will provide students a critical methodology for understanding a wide range of global film and media (through lectures, visual analyses, screenings, and readings) and the practical application of that methodology (through written assignments and discussion) that will lead to an ability to analyze and evaluate cultural texts.
What is cinema in digital age? This class examines the impact of digital media technologies on diverse dimensions of cinematic experience encompassing the production, delivery, and reception. Through the readings and screenings, we will explore the way in which cinema as cultural institution has both shaped and reflected the formal and institutional development of diverse digital media technologies – computer-generated imagery, digital video, games, DVDs, portable screen interfaces, and social media, etc. Themes of the class will include but are not limited to: discourse of digitality, digital production/reception, digital aesthetics, digital visual effects and spectacle, media convergence, expanded cinema and digital arts, web/mobile cinemas and participatory digital culture.
Narrative Production II builds on Intro to Production (Narrative Production I) and provides students with a deeper understanding of the creative choices and effects of camera lenses, composition, editing, sound, rhythm, and narrative. Through a series of short film exercises and in-class critiques, students will explore the expressive possibilities of cinema to better realize their vision. They will study readings and films that illustrate particular techniques, put into practice these techniques, and then critique each others’ work to integrate theory into practice. By the end of this course, students will have learned problem-solving strategies. Ultimately, they will acquire the skills to express themselves cinematically and impact viewers.
This course studies works of film and media as aesthetic objects that engage with communities identified by class, gender, race, ethnicity, and sexuality. It considers both the effects of prejudice, intolerance and discrimination on media and filmmaking practices and modes of reception that promote cultural pluralism and tolerance. It historicizes traditions of representation in film and media and analyzes works of contemporary film and media to explore the impact and evolution of these practices. Classroom discussion will be organized around course readings, screenings and publicity (interviews, trailers, etc). Assignments will supplement these discussions by providing opportunities to develop critical /analytical /evaluative dialogues and essays about cinematic representation. CINE 381M satisfies the Arts and Letters group requirement by actively engaging students in the ways the discipline of film and media studies has been shaped by the study of a broad range of identity categories, including gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, and class. By requiring students to analyze and interpret cinematic representation from these perspectives, the course will promote an understanding of film as an art form that exists in relation to its various social contexts. CINE 381M also satisfies the Identity, Pluralism, and Tolerance multicultural requirement by enabling students to develop scholarly insight into the construction of collective identities in the mass media forms of film and television. It will study the effects of prejudice, intolerance and discrimination on mainstream media. Students will study the ways representational conventions, such as stereotypes, have resulted from filmmaking traditions that have excluded voices from varying social and cultural standpoints. The course will also consider filmmaking practices and modes of reception that promote cultural pluralism and tolerance. Previously taught as ENG 381; not repeatable.
Topics courses change each term. Refer to the term course list for current topics courses being offered for a particular term. Recent examples of topics courses include:
- African Cinema (4 credits): Are you interested in other countries and cultures? Curious about media production in Africa? Are you a cinephile hungry for new and interesting directors and filmmaking styles? African cinemas provide a wealth of diverse, fascinating, politically engaging, and beautiful films to watch and discuss. In this introductory course, students will learn about the history, aesthetics, and politics of films made in Africa. Diverse modes of production and styles will be addressed, including documentary, art, popular, and educational films. No previous knowledge of African history or filmmaking required.
- Cinema & Power (4 credits): This course focuses on the specific power dynamics that have historically shaped cinema (film, television, and emerging media) as an industry, representational art form, and academic discipline. Using historical and contemporary case studies and building from the Cinema Studies curriculum, students will learn key terms and interdisciplinary methods for studying media in a variety of historical contexts; by the end of this course, students will be able to identify, analyze, and articulate how cinema and its study in the U.S. have been shaped by larger, systematic power dynamics around race, gender, sexuality, class, etc. The course will include regular team-based work, with students identifying, researching, and analyzing case studies as part of the class discussion. While the course content focuses on the #MeToo moment as a period when students, scholars, and practitioners are collectively re-examining how media and its fields of study are shaped, the research project-based methods of this class will sharpen skills that go beyond the classroom.
- Cult TV (4 credits): This class examines the history, production, and consumption of cult TV, drawing on examples from network era programming through to the current surge in “quality” television production. Historically, the term “cult” has been used to describe media objects attracting a passionate and devoted fan-base, often outside of the mainstream. In recent years, however, this cult mode of engagement has become an increasingly visible and widely accepted part of television and production and consumption. This class will explore these changing definitions by considering how cult television functions textually, industrially, and culturally, across a variety of historical and social contexts.
- Defining Film Melodrama (4 Credits): When people hear the word “melodrama” it’s often in the sense of “Stop being so melodramatic!” The term conjures up simplistic emotions and a kind of lowbrow overacting. This course, Defining Film Melodrama, takes a closer look at the assumptions underlying the term’s pejorative valance while also indulging fully in the pleasures of melodrama’s highs and lows. The course surveys ways in which film scholars have attempted to define melodrama (as genre, style, sensibility and mode), and highlights melodrama’s potential for societal critique, particularly in relation to gender, class, and race. Screenings will range from the silent era to contemporary cinema and will draw from Hollywood and world cinema traditions.
- Environmental Media (4 Credits): Introduces students to the study of Environmental Media. Environmental Media Studies is a rapidly growing interdisciplinary research field led by students, scholars, activists, and media artists in response to our global environmental crisis. In this class, you will watch, discuss, and analyze a wide variety of narrative films, documentaries, television shows, video games, interactive media, digital apps, websites, and other types of media. You will explore the ecological life-cycle of screen technologies like cameras, projectors, and computers from manufacturing through disposal and the workers involved in this process. You will learn how media industries around the world are encouraging and tracking sustainable production methods and learn how to green your own creative projects. Group learning and project-based assignments will enable you to collaborate with classmates, conduct independent research, and explore your own interests and ideas related to the course themes.
- Film Style and Technology (4 credits): The development of film style, or film aesthetics, is tied with the development of technology in cinematography, production design, editing, and sound. Technology has an enormous impact on movies' looks and sounds, from the adoption of carbon arc lighting fixtures in the silent era to the recent experimentation with LED walls that project 3D environments in real-time behind actors, as demonstrated by Disney's production of The Mandalorian series. In this course, we will explore this interplay between filmmaking technology and film style by tracing the development of film style through the lens of technological invention and innovation historically. Simultaneously, we will look toward the future and project probable scenarios about the effect of current filmmaking technology on the evolution of film style.
- Global Mobile Media (4 credits): This class will investigate various aspects of cultural practices and uses of mobile media - such as mobile phone, IPod, tablet PCs, and mobile gaming devices, etc., and particularly examine their significance as multimedia platforms in the context of convergent culture. As one of the most convergent digital media devices, the mobile phone, in particular, represents the paradigm of media convergence by challenging the simple definition of medium specificity as well as conventional binary concepts such as private and public in regards to media uses. We will look at discourse, productions, representation and uses of mobile media technologies in order to investigate various theoretical issues raised by current developments in digital transmedia. Particularly, we will examine how the ideals of ‘mobility’ and ‘personal media’ are constituted and at the same time challenged through diverse forms of appropriations in culturally specific contexts. The heterogeneous formations of global mobile media culture will inform us of the inter-relations between technology, medium, and culture defying the techno-deterministic assumption on the mobile media as universal technologies.
Hip/Hop Screens (4 credits): This course examines how hip hop culture—DJing, MCing, b-boyin’/b-girlin’, and graffiti writing— has been represented visually over the last 35 years. The class looks at the culture historically and through the lens of documentary film. In addition, we will explore how elements of the culture have been (mis)represented in narrative productions, music videos, video games, and television programs, to deconstruct the power dynamics between these cultural industries and hip hop. Thus, we ask, how has hip hop culture changed these industries and vice versa? Most importantly, how have these (mis)representations of hip hop over time changed our (consumer) ideas about what hip hop is?
CINE 399: Horror Films (4 credits): This course critically examines horror films, which, while popular, are frequently maligned and misunderstood. We will study these films as an industrial logic, a set of narrative conventions, and as a powerful tool for creating affective screen relationships. We will watch a wide variety of films, and analyze them through various critical lenses, including race, sexuality, gender, and class, and reflect on our own experiences with the genre.
South Park and Society (4 Credits): This class uses the animated cartoon as the launch point for understanding the representation of social issues in the media and critical cultural and social theories. In this course we will examine how South Park has represented or parodied labor/class, race, religion, capitalism, the media, gender, sexuality, patriotism, politics/democracy, celebrity, censorship, PC culture, etc. Because each episode was made the week before it was aired, we will also use the cartoon to examine the specific historical moment and social issues of that time in order to better understand the significance of each episode and its social critique.
Third Cinema (4 credits): This course introduces students to the history and theory of Third Cinema, a radical, revolutionary film practice including New Latin American Cinema movements of the 1960s and 70s, politically engaged African cinema, and affiliated films from South and Southeast Asia. The course will be structured around watching and discussing founding films of Third Cinema, such as Death of a Bureaucrat (Cuba), Hour of the Furnaces (Argentina), and Black Girl (Senegal), as well as more recent works in the spirit of Third Cinema, including City of God (Brazil). Anyone interested in expanding their filmmaking practice or understanding culture through cinema will enjoy learning about the important, exciting innovations of Third Cinema issues and aesthetics. No prior knowledge of the subject is expected.
U.S. Indie Cinema (4 credits): What is “independent” cinema? This course explores what independent cinema means through a study of the art and industry of contemporary indie film in the United States. After establishing the historical precedent of independent production, we survey a range of work, starting from the “Sundance-Miramax” era of the 1990s to the present day, as indie filmmakers are increasingly moving into cable and streaming TV. Along the way, we consider how independent cinema has served as both an alternative to Hollywood and a subdivision of it in terms of production, distribution, and exhibition. We examine key filmmakers and movie companies, as well as organizations such as the Sundance Institute. We also study the innovations that indie filmmakers have brought to storytelling, style, and representation. Ultimately, students will gain a better understanding of how independent cinema works by combining industrial, cultural, and aesthetic perspectives.
Repeatable for a maximum of 12 credits; only 4 credits may count toward the cinema studies major.
CINE 408: The Art of Producing (4 Credits)
What exactly does a producer do? Why are producers significant, especially for independent cinema? This class examines the ways in which a producer serves as an essential force behind a film by shaping creative decisions, logistics, and methods of finance. In this course, we will have an award-winning producer guest teach four classes. The producer will share their approach to film producing with students. Through practical projects and an analysis of the producer's body of work, students will learn how to transform a project from script to screen, support a director’s vision, and utilize different funding models. In the end, this course seeks to empower students to produce their own projects and create more ethical and collaborative production communities. Prerequisites apply: One from J 201; CINE 260M or ENG 260M; One from ARTD 256, CINE 270, J 208; and two from CINE 265, 266, 267. This course can only be registered for through approval of submitted application. Instructor approval is required to register.
Topics courses change each term. Refer to the term course list for current topics courses being offered for a particular term. Recent examples of topics courses include:
- Creating a Reel (2 Credits): This two-day workshop will focus on the craft of building and refining resume reels. We will explore various ways of creating reels by looking at different editing workflows in both Final Cut Pro X and Adobe Premiere. We will evaluate different editing styles such as montage and linear editing and how and when to use each one. We will also review and critique professional reels along with reels created by the class. By the end of the course students will have either created several reels of their own work, or prepared themselves to edit their own reels in the future by creating sample reels from tutorial media.
Avid Post-Production (4 Credits): This course, taught by one of our Avid Certified Instructors, will train students in the industry standard non-linear editing software, Avid Media Composer. The course follows Avid’s curriculum along with additional content focusing on editing theory and practice to give students a complete understanding of the software’s workflow and operations. The class will also strengthen students’ overall editing technique and help them to become proficient in the art form of non-linear editing. In this course, we will focus on media organization, beginning and refining an edit using a variety of tools, and also on numerous effects, including tracking, color correcting, and multilayer effects. Additionally, at the end of the term students will take Avid’s Certification Exam with the opportunity to become Avid Certified Users. Previously taught as CINE 425 CINE Prod AVID, CINE 399 Cine Prod AVID, and CINE 408 Wrk Avid; not repeatable.
The Art of Music Video (4 credits): This class explores the creative process of making music videos and examines how a filmmaker’s vision/concept goes from treatment to final product. In this course, an active music video practitioner will guest teach four classes and share their approach to the art form. We will analyze our guest practitioner’s body of work and complete filmmaking projects that teach students techniques in the art of music video production. By the end of the class, students will learn how to: transform an idea into a written treatment and pitch; work with musicians/record labels; deal with legal logistics of production; use cameras/lenses and other creative tools efficiently and effectively; understand techniques for post-production (including primary and secondary color correction); and make music videos (independently and in teams). By developing techniques and analyzing music videos formand functions, students will be empowered to express their creative voice through this medium.
Experimental courses change each term. Refer to the term course list for current experimental courses being offered for a particular term. Recent examples of experimental courses include:
- Cinema Careers (4 credits): This course bridges the gap between education and employment by helping students identify the various career paths possible with a Cinema Studies degree. Students will learn how to make informed decisions about internships, jobs, and/or graduate school while producing resumes, cover letters, and/or portfolios of their scholarly and creative work. Previously taught as CINE 399 Sp St Internship Devel, CINE 399 Sp St Intern/Job Srch, and as 4 credits; not repeatable. Also previously taught as CINE 415 Cinema Careers (2 credits); not repeatable.
- Cinema and Censorship (4 credits): In this course, we will explore the connections between the histories, practices, and policies of cinema censorship, and in particular the role that sex and sexualities have played in those histories, practices, and policies. This course will examine significant events in media history as they pertain to these topics—including the development of various technologies; the regulatory responses both internal and external to the film industry; the various laws and court decisions that have defined the legal landscape central to this history; and the changing depictions and representations created by the film industry. We will consider how the film industry has both created and participated in various dynamics of power and privilege, and how those in regulatory positions have exercised their own power and privilege. Topics will include LGBTQ histories and representations, pornography, censorship, feminism, queer theory and media, and the intersections of race, sex, and sexualities. We will also examine historical debates and controversies surrounding these issues, as well as the defining theories and movements within the various academic fields associated with these topics.
- Cinematography History/Theory (4 credits): Vittorio Storaro, one of history’s great cinematographers, once defined cinematography as ‘...writing with light in movement. Cinematographers,’ he went on to say, ‘are authors of photography, not directors of photography. We are not merely using technology to tell someone else’s though, because we are also using our own emotion, our culture, and our inner being.’ For Storaro and many others, cinematography is an expressive art. This admittedly romantic definition of cinematography, must be contextualized as it is, after all, an industrial craft, made within a system based on hierarchy, mass-production, and the commercial imperative. Keeping both sides of cinematography in mind, this course will explore the story of cinematography in American cinema, working out how a complex art and craft changed across the decades, from hand-cranked cameras to digital work flows. The course will be a bit of a theory & practice mashup, utilizing both historical research and aesthetic analysis, as well as some low-fi creative exercises and the occasional industry guest speaker on all things camera and lighting.
Cross-Border Hollywood (4 credits): This course explores the film, television, and media exchanges that have taken place between Hollywood and the Mexican media industry from the past to the present. Using a transnational perspective, we will examine moments of collaboration and conflict between the two industries. We will consider Hollywood films and TV shows that have been shot in Mexico. We will look at Mexican and Chicanx talent who have flourished on both sides of the border, from Golden Age movie stars such as Dolores del Río and Cantinflas to more recent filmmakers like Robert Rodriguez and Alfonso Cuarón. We will also analyze media co-productions between the United States and Mexico, as well as transnational film and TV remakes. Throughout, we will investigate how this work shapes perceptions of the border, globalization, immigration, outsourcing, and violence.
Directing Actors for the Screen (4 credits): This course explores the process of performance and directing actors for camera for narrative production. Through discussions, exercises, scene breakdown, and on-camera presentation of scenes, you will analyze and apply the directorial skills required to communicate effectively with actors and inspire amazing performances. Promotes the process of collaboration by both performers and directors.
Hollywood Film Style (4 credits): This course explores the history of Hollywood aesthetics by studying how changes in the industry and film technology shaped style, storytelling, and representation. To research this history, students will create video essays using edited clips and scripted voice-overs that examine the ways that Hollywood filmmakers have discovered creative solutions to technical challenges while telling engaging stories. By blending analysis and practice, students will gain insight into the expressive possibilities of lighting, camera movement, widescreen, and the blocking of actors.
Transnational Cinematography (4 credits): How does cinematography work as an art and a craft in various cinematic contexts: traditions, movements, and eras? In this course, we will explore this primary question with the ultimate goal to obtain a more in-depth insight into cinematography (lighting, camera movement, framing, and color) as a means of visual storytelling and expression with its set of conventions, aesthetic functions and effects, and capacities to produce associative meanings. An equally important goal of this course is to gain insight into the role of cinematographers as creative practitioners in developing and advancing cinematography as an artistic field. We employ a transnational approach to cinematography in this course. This means that we will survey and discuss cinematographic works from a variety of filmproducing contexts such as Germany, Japan, Hong Kong, and the United States. By doing so, we will get a sense of how specific cinematographic techniques develop across industries, nations, and cultures. Through the assigned readings, viewings, discussions, and a final research paper, you will come away with a critical understanding of cinematography's artistry beyond the technical dimension that it is typically perceived. In other words, you will discover the realm of aesthetic possibilities that cinematography offers and the creativity of the cinematographers working across the spectrum of filmmaking and industrial contexts by engaging with the course material. In essence, this course aims to show you that there is more to cinematography than merely a matter of cameras, lenses, and technical wizardry.
Warner Bros Studio (4 credits): This course looks at the history of the American film industry not just as a sum of its products (films designed for mass consumption) but as a complex business and entertainment system that produces complex cultural products. This course is about the Hollywood film and its relationship to the American film industry, and about the ways in which Hollywood has historically responded to conditions and challenges, whether social, industrial, legal or technological. In attempt to narrow our field of study, we will focus on the development and history of the Warner Brothers Studio, its producers, directors, stars and genres, particularly from the 1920s until the late 1960s. Independent primary research will be required for successful completion of the course.
This course traces the past and present of the U.S. film industry. We examine key moments in the development of Hollywood, including the consolidation and restructuring of the major movie studios, the film industry’s relationship to TV and the Internet, the constant need to innovate through new technologies, and the eventual conglomerates that now rule the circulation of film and media. The course mixes lectures and discussions of critical events with screenings of films to reveal the impact of industry strategies on creative decisions. Throughout, we will consider concepts such as ownership, regulation, and standardization vs. innovation to understand one of the most powerful media industries in the world. Previously taught as J 412 Top US Film Industry; not repeatable.
This course bridges the gap between education and employment by helping students identify the various career paths possible with a Cinema Studies degree. Students will learn how to make informed decisions about internships, jobs, and/or graduate school while producing resumes, cover letters, and/or portfolios of their scholarly and creative work. Previously taught as CINE 399 Sp St Internship Devel, CINE 399 Sp St Intern/Job Srch, and as 4 credits; not repeatable.
This course is designed to take students through the process of developing a feature film screenplay. The class will combine analytical and practical approaches. We will read critically acclaimed feature scripts to analyze the various techniques used by screenwriters to engage an audience. Building on these insights, students will write a detailed outline of a feature script and the first act of the screenplay. By the end of the course, students will learn how to evaluate story ideas, develop compelling characters, create engaging plots, and hone the skills to give and receive feedback. This class is aimed at students who have completed Beginning Screenwriting and who have written a successful short film script.
Topics courses change each term. Refer to the term course list for current topics courses being offered for a particular term. Recent examples of topics courses include:
- Cinema Production (4 Credits): Exploration of intermediate to advanced techniques used in cinema production—from music videos to digital sound recording to 16-millimeter film. Topics include Directing, Digital Single-Lens Reflex Camera Production, Music Video Production. Repeatable three times for a maximum of 16 credits when topic changes.
Making Music Video (4 Credits): Students will explore various ways of telling stories and promoting songs/artists through music videos by engaging in the creative process. The main focus of the course is on the pre-production and production of music videos: from writing and pitching treatments and presenting storyboards to on-location filmmaking techniques and post-production skills (both editing and primary/secondary color correction). We will also look at the process of creation of iconic music videos and the work of auteur directors.
Students will be given the opportunity to be creative and spend the whole term developing, executing, and refining a content-legal music video. While much of our time will be devoted to writing treatments and pitching ideas, creating a lookbook, shotlists, etc. students will be tasked creating a music video in small groups (if possible, depending on who is in Eugene and if you want to/feel safe) or as a solo project and with whatever means you have access to.
Sound for Screens (4 Credits): In this class, you’ll learn how to hear, listen, make, and think about sound and audio for film, television, and video games. You will study acoustics and sound physics and apply that knowledge to field recording, Foley work, ADR, sound effect production, and mixing. Students will learn about recording techniques for cinematic production, specifically booming and mixing on location, as well as multiple mic and plant mic techniques on set. In the course, we will also consider sound theory and analysis by deconstructing examples of cinematic sound design in order to enhance actual production skills.
This class focuses on the building blocks to develop a narrative director’s voice. Students will explore how to create compelling characters and use the power of cinematic language to affect audiences. An award-winning filmmaker will guest teach four classes, sharing their approach to directing and providing feedback on a specific film exercise. We will view and discuss films that have influenced their work, investigate narrative tools and aesthetics, and critique classmates’ work as a way to integrate theory into practice. By the end, students will be empowered to generate strategies to create personal, original films. Instructor approval required to register. Repeatable twice for a maximum of 12 credits.
Explores cinematic traditions, artistic styles and industrial practices in specific national and regional contexts as well as cinema’s global development. Also examines issues of transnationalism, globalization, and diaspora. Repeatable twice for a maximum of 12 credits. Topics courses change each term. Refer to the term course list for current topics courses being offered for a particular term. Examples of topics include:
- Canadian Cinema >GP >IC: This course offers a survey of Canadian cinema history with an emphasis on its relationship to politics, culture, aesthetics, and media industries. We will explore the role of cinema in defining national identity, both locally and internationally, while also highlighting approaches to Canadian cinema that capture the diversity of the nation and its cultures. In doing so, we will discuss English language, French Canadian, Indigenous, and diasporic cinema, and examine the transnational relationship between Canadian and US media cultures.
- Contemporary Global Art Cinema >GP>IC (4 credits): What is art cinema? How does it differ from commercial film practices such as Hollywood cinema? To answer these questions, this course explores the form, style, and industry of contemporary art cinema from around the globe. We focus on the concept of national cinemas, acclaimed international filmmakers, and the role of film festivals in supporting art cinema. The course follows a global approach as we compare art movies from a rich array of film-producing cultures in Asia, Europe, Latin America, and even the United States. In the end, students will come away with an understanding of how art cinema can serve as a viable model for alternative storytelling, production, distribution, and exhibition strategies.
Mediterranean Film and Media (4 credits): This course focuses on contemporary documentaries, fiction films and video art from North Africa, the Middle East and Southern Europe. In the current era of mass migration and increased border policing, the Mediterranean is frequently described as the troubling ‘blue frontier’ of Europe. This course appraises the ways in which a number of filmmakers, activists and industry professionals have come to imagine and practice the Mediterranean as a shared transnational space of media cooperation, one in which it may be possible to contest dominant Western narratives about citizenship, identity and mobility. Students will examine the media infrastructures of cultural production and circulation supporting these practitioners and their work including film festivals and activist media networks.
Southeast Asian Cinema >GP >IC (4 credits): This course is a survey of the cinematic arts from film producing countries in Southeast Asia. You will be introduced to the themes, narratives, styles, and popular genres explored by filmmakers in Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia. The course will do so in three ways: Firstly, by showing you a selection of films made within a spectrum of production and distribution context—from the big-budget studio-financed movies to independently produced festival films; secondly, by showcasing the works of women and LGBTQ filmmakers; thirdly, by making you engaged with the scholarly literature produced in the field of Southeast Asian cinema studies. While the course title includes the label "Southeast Asia," we will examine the concept of regional
cinema through our discussion of the films and readings with the goal for us to be able to answer the question: Is there such a thing as Southeast Asian cinema? All films will have English subtitles. No specific prior knowledge of cultures, languages, and countries in Southeast Asia or prerequisite is required.
- Transnational Asian Film & Media >GP >IC (4 credits): This course explores border crossing in the Asia Pacific across a diverse range of popular media – film, television, animation, pop music, gaming and new media. Particularly, we will be focusing on films and popular media from East Asian countries. Throughout history, the major East Asian cinemas and popular media of Japan, China (Hong Kong, P.R.C.,Taiwan), and South Korea have long engaged in intra-regional and transnational exchanges—of personnel, capital, and influence. Shared cultural values, intertwined histories, and new communication technologies have led to what is called as Trans-Asian cinema and popular culture. First of all, we will examine the diverse aspects of transnational dynamics in the production, circulation, and reception of popular films and media from East Asia since the mid twentieth century. But we will also explore their links to popular media of Southeast Asia (here, Thailand, the Philippines and Singapore) and the wider context of the Asia Pacific. A closer examination of transnational dimensions will illuminate the complex and heterogeneous ways in which the concept of ‘national cinema and media’ is challenged and the relationship between the global and the local is reconfigured.
Transnational Women Filmmakers (4 credits): This course will focus on cinema from multiple international locations - France, Argentina, India, Lebanon, China and Iran - in both fiction and non-fiction that have transnational modes of production and exhibition. We will explore the concept of women's cinema as world cinema and ask why women filmmakers enact such powerful critiques of national film infrastructures.
Examines how war has impacted film cultures across the globe and the relation between film industries and war. Develops analytical skills within a historical and national context. Repeatable twice for a maximum of 12 credits when the topic changes. Topics courses change each term. Refer to the term course list for current topics courses being offered for a particular term.
Study of emerging media forms and techniques, such as digital cinema, video games, viral videos, and interactive media. Offered alternate years. Repeatable twice for a maximum of 12 credits. Multilisted with ENG 486M. Topics courses change each term. Refer to the term course list for current topics courses being offered for a particular term.
Aesthetic, historical, and theoretical analysis of films, video, and television. Repeatable twice for a maximum of 12 credits when the topic changes. Topics courses change each term. Refer to the term course list for current topics courses being offered for a particular term.
- The Films of Ang Lee (4 credits): This course will examine the films of Ang Lee whose influence go beyond national, industrial and cultural boundaries. Due to his work’s global appeal and the incongruity across his films, Ang Lee is often labeled as a “transcendent,” “transnational” or “postmodern” filmmaker whose work raises new critical questions for many theories of film studies. In this class we will inquire into Ang Lee’s films with the theoretical framework of film authorship. The course will begin with tracing the origin and development of the theory of film authorship and the role it played in shaping the field of film studies. While employing different approaches and theorizations of film authorship in analyzing formal elements, narrative strategies and subject-matters that define Lee’s work, we will also try to expand our sense of film authors by examining them not simply as “authors” who deftly encode their artistic visions into their works but as cultural “signifiers” that influence film and culture industries and circulate across the national boundaries.
- Exploitation Cinemas (4 credits): The genre known as exploitation cinema has historically been a site of intersecting cultural interests, where moral, legal, and regulatory discourses exist alongside fan activities, cult interest, and ritualized movie-going habits. The wide-ranging content in this genre often deliberately offends its audience even as it entertains it, leading to a paradoxical set of anxiety-ridden circumstances somewhat unique in film history. This course examines American exploitation films beginning in the 1930s and continuing to the present day from perspectives of the industry, the audience, and the film texts. Particular attention will be paid to recurring themes of youth, family, race, class, and sexuality, and the anxiety and fascination accompanying them, as well as issues of taste, fandom, and judgment. Ultimately this course works toward a fuller understanding of mainstream cinemas, which have often copied or reflected exploitation cinemas even as they have maintained an anxious distance.
Global Auteurs (4 credits): The word “auteur” (French for author) emerged in the late 1950s and early 1960s to ascribe to film director’s idiosyncratic vision a creative role of authorship and critique comparable to the expressive autonomy claimed by literary authors. No longer a mere agent among other agents producing a film, film director as auteur was granted a creative agency whose unique view was expressed in the film. However, auteurism was later on challenged by shifting critical attention to the role of the production conditions, constructivist contexts, and deconstructive intertexts. As we shall see, these alternative theories challenged auteur theory by emphasizing the collective role of various agents in filmmaking, by highlighting the role of the nonhuman elements of genre and language in preconditioning of plots and characters, and by considering films as sites of contradictory expressions which must be determined by the authorial role of spectator rather than director. However, the view of the film director as auteur has thus far survived this critical shift to the spectator, with the director’s name consistently utilized for both commercial and, in particular, art- house cinema. In this course, we will examine these critical debates alongside the films of global auteurs to review the key features of contemporary auteur cinema, but also to explore the ways in which auteur theory reveals the complex relations between aesthetics, politics, and philosophy in film form.
- Global Blockbusters (4 credits): This course explores one of the most visible, yet least critically discussed forms of popular culture: the movie blockbuster. We will endeavor to evaluate or re-evaluate the cultural significance of this often easily dismissed cultural phenomenon by positioning it at the intersections of such discourses as globalization, transnationalism, film historiography and genre. At the same time we will trace the genealogy of the movie blockbuster and examine its shifting definitions and generic conventions. In particular, challenging a myopic perception that blockbusters are the exclusive products of Hollywood, this class will survey the global dissemination of the movie blockbuster and focus on blockbusters, spectacles or “event movies” from Asia, including, but not limited to, China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, and India. In addition to looking into the formal, aesthetic, and industrial elements of blockbusters across nations, the analysis of films will lead us to interrogate cinematic and cultural constructions of history, nation, gender and sexuality.
- Slapstick Comedy (4 credits): In this course, we will study why a well thrown pie to the face is funny. That is, this course is about slapstick, an important (and often hilarious) subgenre of comedy that has been around since the fifteenth century, but which arguably found its fullest form in American cinema. In particular, this course will focus on slapstick’s practitioners; from well- known actors like Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton and Laurel & Hardy to other important, but now lesser-known performers, such as Mabel Normand, Carole Lombard and Monty Banks. We will concentrate on the form and its stars' importance in the silent era, but trace the genre’s popularity from 19th century vaudeville all the way through Something About Mary.
Transnational Film Genres (4 credits): Genres are constantly changing, whether it is to adapt, understand or challenge new social and political environments. Genre films have been important cultural texts that continually mediate complicated relations of power. With all of this in mind, what can we gain by thinking of genre not just in terms of conventions and expectations, but in relation to national context and transnational influences?
Though perceived as "the most American film genre," if we follow the paths of the Western genre starting in the United States, it will lead us to Italy, to Japan, to India, to Mexico, and to East Germany. The recent trend of remaking Asian melodramas, gangster films and horror movies in Hollywood obviously reverses the presumed flow of influence from Hollywood to other national and regional cinemas. This course examines the transnational dissemination of genre films across nations and explores the ways in which genre conventions are constituted, redefined and transformed within these processes of global exchange.
In this course, we will primarily consider westerns and then melodramas that have traditionally been coded as a “female” genre (to the “male” western). In addition to exploring the formal and industrial elements of cinema across nations, the analysis of westerns and melodramas will lead us to interrogate cinematic and cultural constructions of violence, family, gender, sexuality, and territory across seemingly opposed genres.
Academic and Career Advising
Whether you are a current undergraduate, prospective undergraduate, or post-baccalaureate student, the Media, Arts & Expression (MAE) Flight Path advisors and coordinator within the Tykeson Hall College and Career Advising Team is your primary resource for guidance and information.