FMT-102 Introduction to Film Studies
This course teaches the basic concepts, vocabulary, and critical skills involved in interpreting film. Through readings and lectures, students will become more informed and sophisticated observers of the cinema, key examples of which will be screened weekly. While the focus will be on the form and style of narrative film, documentary and avant-garde practices will be introduced. The class will also touch upon some of the major theoretical approaches in the field.
FMT-103 Talking Pictures: An Introduction to Film
Some of the best feature-length films of the past century have commanded our attention and imagination because of their compelling artistry and the imaginative ways they tell stories visually and verbally. This course closely studies narrative films from around the world, from the silent era to the present, and in the process it introduces students to the basic elements of film form, style, and narration. Some of the films to be considered are: Battleship Potemkin, Citizen Kane, Contempt, The Bicycle Thief, Ugetsu, Rear Window, Woman in the Dunes, The Marriage of Maria Braun, Days of Heaven, and Moulin Rouge!.
FMT-104 Introduction to Media Studies
This course introduces students to the critical study of media, focusing on electronic media, digital technologies, and network cultures. We will analyze the aesthetics, politics, protocols, history, and theory of media, paying attention to the ways they create and erase borders; affect how we form and articulate identities; invade privacy while providing a platform for exploration; foster hate speech and progressive movements alike; and participate in capitalist economies and the acceleration of climate change. While tracing the global flows of media creation, distribution, and consumption, we will also consider the different issues that arise in diverse national and local contexts.
FMT-106 Introduction to Theater
This course offers the student a study and practice of theater as a collaborative art. Course includes the analysis of the dramatic text in terms of the actor; the director; the scenic, costume, lighting, and sound designers; and technicians. Close analytical readings of play texts and critical/theoretical essays will be supplemented by attending theater productions both on and off campus and by staging students' own theatrical projects.
FMT-121 Acting I
This course will focus on basic techniques in realistic acting. Students will be introduced to the seminal work of Stanislavski and engage through concentration, relaxation, objective/action, and beats/scene analysis. Each student will apply these concepts to different texts.
FMT-131 Costume Construction
This course take students through the theatrical process of creating clothing and accessories for the stage. Topics covered are hand sewing techniques, working from commercial patterns, and basic pattern drafting and draping.
FMT-132 Lighting Design I
An introduction to the art and practice of lighting design for the theatre. This course will cover the basics of light, lighting equipment and how to develop a design for a theatrical production. Students will have the opportunity to use the Black Box Light Lab to create their own lighting designs from selected scenes of plays and musicals and learn the basics of programming a computerized lighting board. Students enrolled in this class will automatically be signed up for the Theatre Arts Department Light Prep Crew for the semester, where students learn to hang and focus lights on the Rooke Stage for the department's mainstage productions.
FMT-133 Introduction to Lighting and Sound Design
An introduction to the art and practice of lighting and sound design for the theater. This course will cover the basic tools and techniques of designing light and sound and provide an understanding of the designer's role in the collaborative process of producing a show. Students will have the opportunity to create their own lighting and sound designs in the Black Box classroom and present them to the class. In addition to class time students are required to complete 24 hours of light prep crew -- this is an extension of the class where students will learn how to hang and focus lights, read a light plot, and work as a lighting team on the Theater Department main stage productions.
FMT-137 Introduction to Technical Theater
This course will examine the materials and techniques used in building and operating theatrical scenery. It will include prop building, rigging, and welding for the theater. Students will learn the skills to work in the scene shop interpreting scenic designs for department productions.
FMT-230 Intermediate Courses in History and Theory
FMT-230AG Intermediate Courses in History and Theory: 'American Gothic'
An examination of the gothic -- a world of fear, haunting, claustrophobia, paranoia, and monstrosity -- in U.S. literature and visual culture. Topics include race, slavery, and the gothic; gender, sexuality, and the gothic; regional gothic; the uncanny; cinematic and pictorial gothic; pandemic gothic. Authors, artists, and filmmakers may include Dunbar, Elmer, Faulkner, Gilman, Hitchcock, Jackson, Kubrick, LaValle, Lovecraft, McCullers, Morrison, O'Connor, Parks, Peele, Poe, Polanski, Romero, and Wood.
FMT-230BC Intermediate Courses in History and Theory: 'Bollywood: A Cinema of Interruptions'
Indian popular cinema, known commonly as Bollywood, is usually understood to have weak storylines, interrupted by overblown spectacles and distracting dance numbers. The course explores the narrative structure of Bollywood as what scholar Lalitha Gopalan calls a "constellation of interruptions". We will learn to see Bollywood historically, as a cultural form that brings India's visual and performative traditions into a unique cinematic configuration. We will analyze a selection of feature films, read scholarly articles, participate in debates, write guided assignments, and pursue independent research papers in order to understand Bollywood's uniqueness in relation to world cinema.
FMT-230CC Intermediate Courses in History and Theory: 'Cinema and the City'
This course offers an historical survey of film theory, from the work of its earliest authors and practitioners at the birth of the 20th century (who first struggled to define the medium), to those who are working still to elucidate the place of the cinema in relation to new media in its ever-evolving and ever more complex place in culture. As a way of focusing the discussion of the various theoretical positions, we will watch and discuss films that represent that most modern of phenomena--the city.
FMT-230CN Intermediate Courses in History and Theory: 'Latin American Cinema'
This course offers a broad introduction to the history, politics and aesthetics of Latin American cinema through some of its most influential films. We address the revolutionary styles of agit-prop, Neo-Realism and Third Cinema, as well as Hollywood-style melodrama. The course also familiarizes students with the basic terminology, concepts and approaches of film studies.
FMT-230CW Intermediate Courses in History and Theory: 'Androgyny and Gender Negotiation in Contemporary Chinese Women's Theater'
Yue Opera, an all-female art that flourished in Shanghai in 1923, resulted from China's social changes and the women's movement. Combining traditional with modern forms and Chinese with Western cultures, Yue Opera today attracts loyal and enthusiastic audiences despite pop arts crazes. We will focus on how audiences, particularly women, are fascinated by gender renegotiations as well as by the all-female cast. The class will read and watch classics of this theater, including Romance of the Western Bower, Peony Pavilion, and Butterfly Lovers. Students will also learn the basics of traditional Chinese opera.
FMT-230EF Intermediate Courses in History and Theory: 'Ethnographic Film'
Anthropologists have made films since the origins of the discipline and have long debated the role of film in the production of knowledge about others. This course explores the history, evolution, critiques, and contemporary practices of ethnographic film. We will consider key works that have defined the genre, and the innovations (and controversies) associated with them; we will engage documentary, observational, reflexive, and experimental cinema; and we will consider Indigenous media as both social activism and cultural reproduction. We will learn about film as a signifying practice, and grapple with the ethical and political concerns raised by cross-cultural representation.
FMT-230HP Intermediate Courses in History and Theory: 'Histories of Performance I'
A survey of world performance history, including: the evolution of human language and consciousness; the rise of oral, ritual, and shamanic performance; religious and civic festivals; and imperial theater practices that position the stage at the dangerous intersection of religious worship, public taste, royal patronage, and government censure. Understanding performance as both artistic practice and social institution, this course emphasizes the role performance has played in changing audiences and as a cultural and political force in various societies. We explore not only how performances were created--in terms of design, dramaturgy, architecture, and acting--but also for whom, and why.
FMT-230HR Intermediate Courses in History and Theory: 'Histories of Performance II'
A historical survey of dramatic texts and world performance traditions from the seventeenth to the twentieth centuries, with attention given to: the influence of print culture on early modern theatrical movements; the rise of nationalism and the creation of dramatic genres; and the effects of industry and technology on experimental modernist forms. Understanding performance as both artistic practice and social institution, this course emphasizes the role performance has played in changing audiences and as a cultural and political force. As such, we explore not only how performances are created--in terms of design, dramaturgy, architecture, and acting--but for whom, and why.
FMT-230LA Intermediate Courses in History and Theory: 'Latin American Film History'
This course offers an overview of the history of sound cinema in Latin America, from its Golden Age to the contemporary period. We address key cinematic movements and aesthetic traditions, including Golden Age Mexican Cinema, Cinema Novo, Third Cinema, and New Latin American Cinema. The course also explores significant political, cultural, and economic changes that have altered the Latin American cinematic landscape in recent decades.
FMT-230LX Intermediate Courses in History and Theory: 'Latinx Media'
This course explores the recent history of Latinx media production and representation in the United States, linking the varying meanings of Latinidad to critical shifts in US and Latin American media landscapes. The course highlights vital exchanges across national and linguistic markets which inform the production of media by and about Latinxs.
FMT-230MA Intermediate Courses in History and Theory: 'Music and Animation'
This course offers a critical introductory survey of music and animation from the silent era to the digital age. After establishing a joint vocabulary for describing music and animated film, we will explore their interaction in shorts and feature films by studios like Disney, Pixar, and Ghibli, television shows, video games, music videos, and experimental animation. Our focus will be on audio-visual media that thematizes music, such as the Silly Symphonies short "Music Land," Hayao Miyazaki's "Mimi wo Sumaseba" (Whisper of the Heart), and the video game Guitar Hero. Final projects can range from critical-analytical papers and video essays to original audio-visual creative work.
FMT-230MC Intermediate Courses in History and Theory: 'The Musical Film'
This course explores the American Musical Film from its first appearance in the late 1920s in early experiments with sound, through the films of Busby Berkeley and the MCM Musicals to its more recent revival in films such as Baz Luhrmann's 'Moulin Rouge.' The course also examines musical films from other national cinemas that either comment self-reflexively on the genre and its American context and/or expand common definitions of the genre.
FMT-230MU Intermediate Courses in History and Theory: 'Music and Film'
This course is for all who stay to the end of the credits, purchase soundtracks, and argue over who should have won the Oscar for Best Score, along with anyone else interested in the undervalued importance of music to the general effect of a motion picture. We will explore and discuss the myriad ways in which these two media interact. The course will focus on classic scores by Herrmann, Morricone, and Williams, as well as the uses of pre-existing music in films of Kubrick and Tarantino.
FMT-230NC Intermediate Courses in History and Theory: 'Social Media: Networked Cultures'
Social media connect communities, inform us about friends' lives, and give us a platform on which to share ideas and form identities. Beyond that, social media play an increasingly conspicuous role in national and transnational politics, from Arab Spring to the viral spread of fake news around the 2016 US election. While social media connect people across the globe to an unprecedented degree, this course will explore how they also reveal divisions and borders, as well as alarming transgressions of borders, that complicate any utopian visions of a "global village." Throughout, we will be attuned to how corporate and governmental interests shape and are shaped by social media communities.
FMT-230SK Intermediate Courses in History and Theory: 'Shakespeare'
A study of some of Shakespeare's plays emphasizing the poetic and dramatic aspects of his art, with attention to the historical context and close, careful reading of the language. Eight or nine plays.
FMT-230TV Intermediate Courses in History and Theory: 'History of U.S. Television'
This course traces the history of television in the United States from its invention to the present, including how U.S.-based television has circulated globally. In addition to looking at how the medium was developed and regulated as a technology, we will analyze the aesthetic and thematic content of television across the medium's history and within particular genres (sitcom, drama, reality, etc.), exploring how television has represented aspects of U.S. society including race, gender, sexuality, and socioeconomic class. We will give particular attention to how television has reflected and influenced moments of political and social change, including the Civil Rights Movement, the Vietnam War, and 9/11. Students will conduct historical research and produce written and audiovisual content presenting their work.
FMT-230TW Intermediate Courses in History and Theory: 'Twentieth-Century Fashion'
The course is on the development of fashion and wearable art from the end of the nineteenth century to the year 2000. The course provides an overview of styles and a closerlook at the work of individual artists including Charles Frederick Worth, Paul Poiret, Mario Fortuny, Elsa Schiaparelli, Coco Chanel, Cristobal Balenciaga, Emilio Pucci, Mary Quant, Rudi Gurenreich, Alix Gres, Yves Saint Laurent, Christian LaCroix, Issey Miyake, Hussein Chalayan, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Anna Sui, and Vivienne Westwood, most of whom have also designed iconic costumes for theater or film. Lectures will be accompanied by PowerPoint presentation and where possible original examples of clothing will be shown.
FMT-230WC Intermediate Courses in History and Theory: 'History of World Cinema Through 1960'
This course offers an historical survey of the cinema as a developing art form and a means of communication. We will examine the history of this international medium from its 19th-century beginnings through the mid-20th century. The national and thematic focus of the course shifts through the semester. For example, we will focus on U.S. film in studying the earliest developments in film technology and narrative, and on Soviet and French films to study the formal and social experimentation of the 1920s. The course provides a background for understanding film history and pursuing further studies in the field.
FMT-230WF Intermediate Courses in History and Theory: 'Global Film and Media After 1960'
This course examines films and topics central to the study of global cinema since 1960. We will begin with the New Waves of France, Italy, England, and Japan, and Direct Cinema of the '60s and '70s in the U.S. We will explore films of Third Cinema in Latin America, Asia and Africa in the late '60s and '70s, and examine films of New Zealand and Australia from the '70s to the current moment, with an emphasis on stories that center indigenous peoples. We also will focus on significant film movements of the last three decades, such as New Queer Cinema in the U.S. and New Cinema of East and Southeast Asia. Analysis will focus on formal and stylistic techniques within a political and social context.
FMT-230WM Intermediate Courses in History and Theory: 'History of World Media'
This course looks at the history of global broadcast media from 1945 to 2010. We will focus on radio and television, with consideration of the role digital technologies have played in increasing global connectivity and the convergence of previously separate media formats. Students will learn how global media infrastructures came into existence over the airwaves, via undersea cables and via satellite networks. We will study the circulation of television shows and formats across national boundaries. We will also trace and analyze evolving representations of race, gender, and sexuality on television and in the creative responses of audiences and fan communities.
FMT-240 Intermediate Courses in Production and Practice
FMT-240AT Intermediate Courses in Production and Practice: 'Acting II'
A continuation of techniques developed in Acting I. Concentration is on scene work with 'classic' and contemporary realist playwrights, i.e., Chekhov, Ibsen, Williams, Churchill, Kane, etc. Students will perform at least four scenes using the Stanislavski method as their base. Practical tools explored in class are intended to offer the student greater vocal, physical, and imaginative freedom and clarity, as well as text analysis skills.
FMT-240AU Intermediate Courses in Production and Practice: 'Audition Techniques'
The purpose of this course is to prepare students for the challenges that accompany auditioning for film and theater. During the semester students will be asked to work on a series of monologues (between four and six) that range from classical to contemporary in style. Time will also be spent on cold readings, taped auditions, resume and headshot workshops, and singing auditions. The pace will be brisk and students will be required to perform or present material almost every week.
FMT-240AX Intermediate Courses in Production and Practice: 'Acting for Film and Media'
This course builds on the techniques and skills covered in Acting I and Acting II and applies them to acting for the camera. Through a series of classroom exercises and scene study, students will focus on expanding their range of emotional, intellectual, physical, and vocal expressiveness for the camera. Students will learn camera acting techniques by being in front of the camera as much as possible, as well as serving as "crew" for their classmates' scenes. The class will include extensive scene memorization, class discussions, and written and discussion-based performance critique.
FMT-240CD Intermediate Courses in Production and Practice: 'Costume Design'
An introduction to the art and work of the costume designer in the performing arts. Students will learn how a costume designer analyzes a script, approaches research, renders costume sketches, and helps to shape a production.
FMT-240CM Intermediate Courses in Production and Practice: 'Stage Combat'
The purpose of this course is to help the actor discover a full awareness of their body so it can be used as an effective tool in creating and performing stage combat. Through a series of classroom exercises and performances this course will focus on giving students a strong foundation in stage combat techniques, including basic martial training, unarmed combat, quarterstaff, and sword and dagger/shield work. Students must be comfortable analyzing scenes of violence from contemporary film and stage and be prepared to work in a highly physical setting.
FMT-240CP Intermediate Courses in Production and Practice: 'Creative Process'
This is a space where students can explore their own creative impulses, develop ideas, and generate material. Here, we will stretch beyond the boundaries of any particular creative practice as it may be defined within disciplinary limits. We will engage in contemplative practices while using writing, movement, theater games, and time-based media in order to germinate seeds for projects -- projects we might explore further and possibly complete either within or beyond the bounds of the class itself. More importantly, we will begin to identify our own inner rhythms as makers, create patterns that support our creative process, and develop the capacity to listen deeply to what speaks to us. We will turn to makers and writers of all kinds for inspiration and guidance as we develop a vocabulary for process, including but not limited to: Judi Bari, Lynda Barry, CA Conrad, Louise Erdrich, Jozen Tamori Gibson, Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Bernadette Mayer, Dori Midnight, Pauline Oliveros, Yoko Ono and Rainer Maria Rilke.
FMT-240DF Intermediate Courses in Production and Practice: 'Costume Design for Stage and Film'
This course introduces students to the history, art, and techniques of designing costumes for stage and narrative film. Students will learn how a designer approaches a script, how the designer's work supports the actors' and the director's vision and how it illuminates a production for the audience. Students will have the opportunity to develop their visual imaginations through the creation of designs for stage and film scripts. They will engage in play analysis, research, collaborative discussion, sketching, drawing, rendering, and other related techniques and methodologies.
FMT-240DR Intermediate Courses in Production and Practice: 'Directing'
This course is designed to be an introduction to the fundamental theories and principles of directing for the stage. Visual theory, text analysis, collaborative techniques, and organizational strategies are examined and applied in class exercises, including the direction of a major scene. Each student will be required to cast, rehearse, and present to the public a fully realized scene by the end of term. Directing is a complicated activity that requires you to do and be many things, and this course will help you lay the foundation to discovering your own process.
FMT-240MH Intermediate Courses in Production and Practice: 'Stage Makeup and Hair'
Using basic painting and three-dimensional techniques, students will learn the fundamentals of stage and film makeup design and application. Included in the course are units on enhancement makeup, aging techniques, realistic and fantasy character makeup, facial prosthetics, hair, and facial hair. Along with learning the fundamentals of makeup and hair design, students will be exposed to designing for a variety of hair textures and skin tones. This class is geared to those who are interested in pursuing makeup and hair design and for guiding performers with their own application.
FMT-240MP Intermediate Courses in Production and Practice: 'Movement for Performance'
This course introduces students to a range of physical techniques for creative expression in performance. Through a series of classroom exercises, readings and performances, students develop a process for reducing habitual tensions, enabling them to find maximum effect with minimum effort, connect their movement to imagery and text and increase the strength, flexibility and dynamic qualities of their physical expression. Techniques are drawn from a wide variety of movement pedagogies including, but not limited to, Zarrilli, Feldenkrais, Oida and Pisk. This course will require outside rehearsals for class performances as well as one research project on a major movement practitioner.
FMT-240PE Intermediate Courses in Production and Practice: 'African Performance Aesthetics'
This class explores African approaches to performance, premised on the interdisciplinarity of theater in many African societies. We take our inspiration from centuries of apprentice-style artist training in some indigenous West African societies. The evolution of oral and popular performance traditions into literary theater has also necessitated a similar trend in the training of the modern actor. The primary object of this class is to be able to embody a plethora of idiomatic expressions. Thus, we will move to the energy of the drums, we will train the ears to transmit the complex musicality of several sonic elements and raise our voices in song and apply them in scene explorations. Ultimately, we intend to unlock new ways of using our minds, bodies, and voices as conduits of exciting storytelling.
FMT-240PW Intermediate Courses in Production and Practice: 'Playwriting'
This course offers practice in the fundamentals of dramatic structure and technique. Weekly reading assignments will examine the unique nature of writing for the theater, nuts and bolts of format, tools of the craft, and the playwright's process from formulating a dramatic idea to rewriting. Weekly writing assignments will include scene work, adaptation, and journaling. The course will culminate in a significant writing project. Each class meeting will incorporate reading student work aloud with feedback from the instructor and the class. Students will listen, critique, and develop the vocabulary to discuss plays, structure, story, and content.
FMT-240SD Intermediate Courses in Production and Practice: 'Scene Design for Theater and Film'
The purpose of this course is to introduce the history, art, and techniques of designing sets for theater and film. Students will learn how sets have been created in the past, how a designer approaches a script, how a designer's work supports the director's vision, how it illuminates a production for the audience, and what methods and techniques are used in the execution of the process. Students will have the opportunity to exercise their visual imaginations, through the creation of designs for a script. They will engage in script analysis, research, collaborative discussion, sketching, technical drawing, model building, and related techniques and methodologies.
FMT-240SG Intermediate Courses in Production and Practice: 'Stage Management'
This course is designed to provide students with an overview of what a stage manager does and why a stage manager is integral to any theatrical production. Students will understand the technical and artistic skills required of a stage manager, and will examine a dramatic text from a stage manager's perspective. Through group activities and in-class projects, students will use the text to execute stage management duties during the pre-production, rehearsal, and performance process. This will include creating paperwork, taping out a ground plan, notating blocking, prompting, running a tech rehearsal, creating a prompt book, and calling cues.
FMT-240SP Intermediate Courses in Production and Practice: 'Solo Performance from Live Art to Livestream'
This course traces solo performance traditions from the stages of Off-Broadway theaters in the 1960s through digital platforms such as Twitch and TikTok today. Across this history, we will explore how artists under-represented in mainstream theater and media, including people of color, women, queer and trans people, have pioneered experimental performance sites and storytelling practices. The course will combine critical analysis of key works in media and performance history with hands-on experimentation in both live and digital forms of solo performance.
FMT-240VP Intermediate Courses in Production and Practice: 'Introduction to Video Production'
This course provides a foundation in the principles, techniques, and equipment involved in video production. Students will make several short videos over the course of the term as well as one final piece. We will develop our own voices while learning the vocabulary of moving images and gaining production and post-production skills. In addition to technical training, classes will include critiques, screenings, readings, and discussion.
FMT-282 Theater Practicum
Fall 2022 Productions: Sweet Science (section 01) and Short Eyes (section 02)
This course is open to any student cast in a mainstage production or serving as a stage manager, assistant stage manager, or assistant director. The student is expected to attend all rehearsals and performances under the supervision of the director. Rehearsals include table reads, blocking and staging, scene work, run-throughs, dress rehearsals, technical rehearsals, invited dress, which culminates in performances for the public. Outside work includes line memorization, character work, and scene preparation. Total contact hours range anywhere from 75-125 over the course of the production.
FMT-284 Theater Practicum: Costumes
The practicum covers crew for hair and makeup or wardrobe on a production. The student fulfilling a run crew must be present for all technical rehearsals and performances plus a training session scheduled before the start of tech. No previous experience is necessary for any of these positions; training will be provided as part of the practicum.
FMT-286 Theater Practicum: Lighting and Sound
This course is for students interested in the production crew positions listed below. No previous experience is necessary for any of these positions; training will be provided as part of the practicum. The student will need to be present for all technical rehearsals and performances and a training session scheduled before the start of tech. Light Board Operator: Program and run the light control board under the guidance of the Lighting Designer and Stage Manager. Sound Board Operator: Program and run the sound board and sound computer under the guidance of the Sound Designer and Stage Manager. Follow Spot Operator: Operate a follow spot under the guidance of the Lighting Designer and Stage Manager. Must be comfortable with heights. Projection Operator: Program and run the projection equipment and computer under the guidance of the Projection Designer and Stage Manager.
FMT-288 Theater Practicum: Scenic Run Crew
This course is for students interested in working on Scenic Run Crew. No previous experience is required for this position; training will be provided as part of the practicum. Students will need to be present at all technical rehearsals and performances and will need to help with the strike of the set for the final performances.
FMT-295 Independent Study
FMT-330 Advanced Courses in History and Theory
FMT-330AD Advanced Courses in History and Theory: 'Adaptation: A Study in Form'
The Oxford English Dictionary defines "adaptation" as "the bringing of two things together so as to effect a change in the nature of the objects." Rather than studying adaptation as a project that attempts to reproduce an original work in another medium, our course considers the complex relationship between narratives and their retellings and revisions. In particular, we will focus on how such retellings permanently alter their so-called "source" material and how each incarnation of a given narrative offers us insight into and commentary upon a particular historical moment and its unique political and ideological challenges. We will also consider the ways in which literary and visual representations differ in their communicative and affective mechanisms, and challenge where we draw the line between "art," "history," and "entertainment.
FMT-330AT Advanced Courses in History and Theory: 'African Theater'
This course introduces the oral traditions, important playwrights, and aesthetic innovations in postcolonial literary theater in some African societies. The oral theater traditions of Africa are an example of the innate human quest to perform and will eventually be the basis for understanding some of the innovations made in African literary theater. We shall also focus on writings by African writers and writers of African descent who deal with the post-colonial conditions of Black Africa and the African Diaspora. This class is designed to serve as a window into the continent of Africa: its people, its ideas, triumphs, struggles, and the complex histories emerging from its vastness and diversity.
FMT-330AV Advanced Courses in History and Theory: 'Artists vs. Audiences'
Usually, an artist produces a work, and then an audience experiences that work. However, sometimes audiences influence what a work means and even how an ongoing story unfolds. This course focuses on works of popular, serialized art in which the possibilities for artist/audience interaction are great, and so is the potential for conflict. We look at serial novels, film series, television shows, and new media (such as TikTok), among others. What are the rights of artists to control their works? What rights do audiences have to alter or create new works based on an existing work? What should we do when these rights conflict? What makes a "bad fan" bad? When do audiences become artists?
FMT-330CM Advanced Courses in History and Theory: 'Cinematic Masculinities in Contemporary American Film, 1970-present'
Film critics Manohla Dargis and A.O. Scott contend that "movies may be male dominated, but images of men are surprisingly narrow." This course both explores various constructs of postmodern American masculinity as they are portrayed and disseminated through contemporary film, and seeks to understand some of what is at stake (culturally, ideologically, economically) in perpetuating certain cinematic archetypes. Of particular relevance to our investigation are the ways in which film yokes masculinity to race, gender, and class. Films include Full Metal Jacket, No Country for Old Men, The Big Lebowski, Boyz in the Hood, Paris is Burning, Fight Club, and Moonlight.
FMT-330EA Advanced Courses in History and Theory: 'Envisioning Apocalypse'
With ever more dire news about our planetary future hitting the headlines regularly, what better time to look at how human beings past and present have envisioned the demise of the earth or our species? In this course we will study representations of apocalyptic futures from illuminated manuscripts, from illustrated poetry, and from science fiction films that waver between hope for escape and doomsday scenarios. Along the way we will also take seriously nonfiction representations of global crises, analyzing how phenomena like climate change and galactic collision are represented across media forms, including infographics, visual models, digital memes, and documentary films
FMT-330EX Advanced Courses in History and Theory: 'Women Experimental Filmmakers'
This seminar examines experimental cinema made by women from the early 1950s, during the earliest years of the movement known as the American Avant-Garde, through the 1990s. While the class will read feminist film theory and see the work of such well-known filmmakers as Yvonne Rainer, Sally Potter, and Chantal Akerman, we will also examine the less familiar but highly influential films of women working in the home movie or diary mode, with particular emphasis on the work of Marie Menken.
FMT-330GH Advanced Courses in History and Theory: 'Ghosts, Specters, and Hauntings: Mediating the Dead'
The course considers the connections between media as channels for communication and expression, on the one hand, and mediums as those who claim to have contact with the dead, on the other. Students will study the ways communication and performance media, from Shakespearian theater, to films and photographs of deceased loved ones, to legacy accounts on Facebook, have served as conduits of the dead and even spawned occult practices. The course will address: how do theater, film, and other media bridge us to what has been lost and animate our connections to those who have died? How do ghostly media ask us to confront a past that has been buried?
FMT-330HA Advanced Courses in History and Theory: 'Hitchcock and After'
This course will examine the films of Alfred Hitchcock and the afterlife of Hitchcock in contemporary U.S. culture. We will interpret Hitchcock films in a variety of theoretical frames, including feminist and queer theories, and in shifting historical contexts, including the Cold War. We will also devote substantial attention to the legacy of Hitchcock in remakes, imitations, and parodies. Hitchcock films may include Spellbound, Strangers on a Train, Rear Window, Vertigo, North by Northwest, Psycho, The Man Who Knew Too Much, Marnie, and The Birds; additional works by Brooks, Craven, and De Palma. Readings in film and cultural theory; screenings at least weekly.
FMT-330MT Advanced Courses in History and Theory: 'Digital Intimacies'
Drawing on intersectional feminist theories of gender, sexuality, and affect, this course looks at digital modes of interpersonal communication that inform emerging senses of intimacy. We will examine digital performances of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, ability and disability, with attention to the technical infrastructures and industrial policies that shape access and engagement in digital worlds. Our study will address digital representations of the body, tensions between anonymity and authenticity, socially networked surveillance, and the personal and political sensibilities that digital intimacies inspire.
FMT-330PA Advanced Courses in History and Theory: 'Natural's Not in It: Pedro Almodóvar'
This course studies the films of Pedro Almodóvar, European cinema's favorite bad boy turned acclaimed auteur. On the one hand, students learn to situate films within the context of contemporary Spanish history (the transition to democracy, the advent of globalization, etc.) in order to consider the local contours of postmodern aesthetics. On the other hand, the films provide a springboard to reflect on larger theoretical and ethical debates related to gender, sexuality, consumer culture, authenticity, and authorship.
FMT-330PE Advanced Courses in History and Theory: 'Media and Performance'
Red-curtained theatrical stages, rock concert arenas, and avant-garde galleries all use media technologies to stage acts of live performance. At the same time, live performance frequently plays a role in media exhibition practices, from film screenings to Instagram feeds. Across sites ostensibly devoted to "media" or "performance," thi course examines their intersections. Combining theoretical perspectives from media studies and performance studies, we will explore critical approaches to mediation and liveness, production and reception, and performance's digital directions.
FMT-330RC Advanced Courses in History and Theory: 'Reflexivity in the Cinema'
Some of the most compelling films in the history of the moving image have been those that make the viewer aware of the processes of their own production. Breaking away from the tradition of what Robert Stam calls the "art of enchantment," they call attention to themselves for reasons that range from the playful to the philosophical to the political. Some of the directors whom we will consider include: Chantal Akerman, Wes Anderson, Julie Dash, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Federico Fellini, Jean-Luc Godard, William Greaves, Buster Keaton, Spike Lee, David Lynch, Fanta Régina Nacro, and Preston Sturges.
FMT-330RE Advanced Courses in History and Theory: 'Revenge on Stage and Screen'
Revenge plots display an enduring popularity. We will examine plays and films that show the range of possibilities, exploring: narratives focused on gender, race, and class; the place of family in revenge plots; the "underdog" tale; the importance of religion to ideas of justice; and the way in which genre influences notions of vengeance. Films and plays include the following: Euripides' Medea, Shakespeare's Hamlet, Ji Junxiang's The Orphan of Zhao, Suzan-Lori Parks's Fucking A, Fritz Lang's The Big Heat, Damián Szifron's Wild Tales, Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill, and Emerald Fennell's Promising Young Woman. Students will design their own final research projects.
FMT-330SF Advanced Courses in History and Theory: 'Shakespeare and Film'
We will read plays by Shakespeare, watch films based on those plays, and study the plays, the films, and the plays-as-films. "Shakespeare" comes first, of course, both historically and as the source/inspiration for the films. Yet each film has its own existence, to be understood not just as an "adaptation," but also as the product of linked artistic, technical, and economic choices. Considering Shakespeare's plays as pre-texts (rather than pre-scriptions), we will look at early and recent films, both those that follow closely conventionalized conceptualizations of "Shakespeare," and those that tend to erase or emend their Shakespearean sources.
FMT-330SP Advanced Courses in History and Theory: 'Shakespeare in Performance'
To what purpose(s) have Shakespeare's plays been staged, and how has staging practice changed and developed? Our focus will be broad, covering such matters as acting, directing, set and costume design, and criticism and dramaturgy. Units will include period and modern dress productions, realistic staging and the reaction against it, changing acting styles, "historically accurate" productions, global and decolonized Shakespeare, topical and political productions, and gender and race in casting. Several key plays will form the core, including A Midsummer Night's Dream and Macbeth. Includes a research project of the student's devising.
FMT-330SV Advanced Courses in History and Theory: 'Media and Surveillance'
With corporations using our data to anticipate our desires and counterterrorism units tapping into our communications, we are increasingly embedded in a surveillance society. This course considers practices of surveillance across media platforms, from smartphones, fitness trackers, and baby monitors to the biometric technologies that determine who may cross borders. We will explore how different governments, corporations, and individuals use new media to surveil others, as well as the ways racism and transphobia are inscribed in surveillance practices. We will also discuss and try out protective measures and various subversive practices of "sousveillance.
FMT-330VM Advanced Courses in History and Theory: 'Viral Media'
This course will explore the idea of virality and contagion in the media, from early film to social media today, attending to the conceptual and historical links between globalization and the spread of biological and digital viruses. We will study the history of "hygiene films" used to educate publics about contagion and sanitation; explore how cinematic narratives of epidemics both real and imagined have shaped ideas about who spreads disease and how; analyze visualizations of viruses and epidemics; and interrogate the idea of "going viral" and the ways certain kinds of information -- and misinformation -- circulate in online media.
FMT-330WD Advanced Courses in History and Theory: 'Women in Design'
This course will discuss women who have made a substantial contribution, through the arts of design and material culture, to the way we see and experience the visual world. It will introduce students to seminal contemporary and historical designers in the fields of performing arts, film, fashion, architecture, exterior and interior design. Students will research designers, write papers and make visual presentations on their life and work.
FMT-340 Advanced Courses in Production and Practice:
FMT-340AU Advanced Courses in Production and Practice: 'Audition Techniques'
The purpose of this course is to prepare students for the challenges that accompany auditioning for film and theater. During the semester students will be asked to work on a series of monologues (4-6) that range from classical to contemporary in style. Time will also be spent on cold readings, taped auditions, resume and headshot workshops, and singing auditions. This is an advanced level course and is intended for students interested in pursuing audition both at Mount Holyoke College and outside of academic institutions. The pace will be brisk and students will be required to perform or present material every week.
FMT-340AY Advanced Courses in Production and Practice: 'Acting III: Styles'
This performance-intensive course will focus on specific styles, ranging from the Greek, to Shakespeare, to non-realism. Through a series of classroom explorations, students will learn how to craft a believable character, using the gesture, vocal, and physical language of certain styles including but not limited to: chorus work, soliloquies, and scenes.
FMT-340CR Advanced Courses in Production and Practice: 'Creative Incubator'
The Creative Incubator is a transdisciplinary laboratory of creative explorations. The fundamental objective of this class is to democratize the creative process. As such we shall collectively engage with a wide variety of art forms and artistic processes that will hopefully serve as inspiration for our own creative agency. The class also adopts a highly collaborative approach which deemphasizes the idea of the "disciplinary expert." As a theme-driven and project-based lab, each semester we shall nurture ideas from their inception until they culminate into events. Each project will be approached with a desire for inquiry and risk taking, and a desire to attain the ultimate collective goal.
FMT-340CS Advanced Courses in Production and Practice: 'Capstone Seminar'
This is a projects-based course, taught by faculty in film/video production, theater, and media, which builds towards a final presentation of one large-scale project involving all members of the class. The course will draw on and build skills students have developed in their respective foci in the FMT major. For example, students might create a film in multiple parts, a multi-media performance which could include live performance, projected image, and interactive sound, or a hybrid play with projected images. Students collaborate with faculty on every phase of the project from pre-production -- including dramaturgy, directing, acting, production management, and scenic, lighting, sound, and video design -- to post-production.
FMT-340DA Advanced Courses in Production and Practice: 'Directing Actors for the Screen'
Intended for advanced film/video production students, this course will focus on the cinematic directorial skills needed for a successful collaboration with actors. Through discussions, exercises, film director workshops and audition/casting sessions, students will cast, rehearse and shoot short scenes (both original and adapted) from an array of cinematic genres. We will build upon our skills of script and character analysis and creating dramatic conflict. Though we will be collaborating with theater student actors, all students in the class will be expected to direct as well as act.
FMT-340DC Advanced Courses in Production and Practice: 'Advanced Projects in Video Production: Documentary'
Intended for advanced film/video production students, this course will explore creative documentary practice through readings, weekly screenings and production assignments. Each student will complete a series of projects working both as a single maker and in collaboration with other members of the class.
FMT-340DT Advanced Courses in Production and Practice: 'Digital Cinematography'
This intensive technical and hands-on course is intended for advanced film production students. We will gain the skills needed to create high quality moving images through the exploration of the frame and lighting as well as story subtext. We will use advanced cinema cameras and lenses to expand our basic knowledge of cinematography gained in Introduction to Video Production. We will focus on camera placement, lens selection, movement, composition, and advanced lighting and exposure techniques. Camera rigs and dollies will be used for both studio and location-based work. Projects will include shooting 4K digital video, advanced color grading and some editing.
FMT-340SP Advanced Courses in Production and Practice: 'Advanced Performance Studio'
This course is designed for students with a strong grasp of acting, directing, design, film production, and anything in between. This course will focus on creating one major performance, using the talents and interests of all members of the class. The platform for performance will depend on whether we are on campus, remote, or a combination of the two. This will be a fast-paced course meant for students serious about theater, media and film, and who are passionate about working in a collaborative environment to create a unified whole.
FMT-340SW Advanced Courses in Production and Practice: 'Screenwriting'
Description: The screenplay is a unique and ephemeral form that exists as a blueprint for something else: a finished film. How do you convey on the page a story that will take shape within an audio-visual medium? The screenwriter must have an understanding of both the language of narrative film as well as the general shape and mechanics of film stories. This advanced course will cover dialogue, characterization, plot, story arc, genre, and cinematic structure. We will analyze scenes from fictional narrative films -- both short and feature length -- and read the scripts that accompany these films. By the end of this course, each student will have written two original short films. In workshop style, the class will serve as practice audience for table readings of drafts and writing exercises.
FMT-340TV Advanced Courses in Production and Practice: 'Advanced Projects in Video Production: Short-Form Narrative'
Intended for advanced Film Media Theater students, this course will explore scripted television series production through an immersive hands-on process. We will work as a class to write and produce an original limited scripted television series, modeling the industry by creating our own "writers' room" and shooting/editing four short episodes. In addition to weekly screenings of popular scripted television series within an array of genres, this class will consist of lectures on advanced filmmaking techniques, working with actors, table readings of scripts, and critiques of footage and various cuts.
FMT-340VN Advanced Courses in Production and Practice: 'En Garde, A Study of Stage and Screen Violence'
All Drama is Conflict. This course investigates how dramatic conflict is represented in theater, television and film and examines its effect on the audience. Through a series of readings, class discussions, and viewings including, but not limited to, Romeo & Juliet, The Duelists, and Fight Club, students will attempt to answer the question: what is it about human nature that makes us fascinated by violence as a form of entertainment?
FMT-340VP Advanced Courses in Production and Practice: 'Advanced Projects in Video Production: Short-Form Narrative'
Intended for advanced Film, Media, Theater students, this course will explore fictional narrative filmmaking through a rigorous script-to-screen process. Students will write, shoot and edit a short fictional narrative film in small groups. In addition to weekly screenings of short and feature narrative films, the class will consist of lectures on advanced narrative filmmaking techniques, working with actors, film discussions, script readings and critiques of footage and various cuts.
FMT-395 Independent Study