English 4950/5950: Film, Fall 2015

TR 3:30-4:45PM, Arts & Sciences 368

Film Availability

This chart provides links to our class's required films that are available from Apple (digital purchase or rental), Amazon (digital purchase, rental, or streaming), Internet Archive (free download or streaming), Netflix (streaming), or GCSU Library (4 hour reserves). Check Can I Stream It?, a clearinghouse of film and television streaming sites, for availability to purchase films from Amazon, rented on disc from Netflix, or stream on services like Cinemax, Crackle, Encore, Epix, HBO, Hulu, Google Play, Showtime, Starz, Vudu, and XBox, XFinity Streampix, and YouTube. Use the available screenplays and transcripts as a helpful reference for dialogue; however, if you write about the movie, you should verify dialogue from the film itself.


Film Availability

2001: A Space Odyssey

Apple | Amazon | GCSU | Script

The Act of Killing (Theatrical Cut)

Apple | Amazon | GCSU | Netflix

Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat



Apple | Amazon | GCSU | Script


Apple | Amazon | GCSU | Script

Un Chien Andalou

Archive | GCSU

Citizen Kane

Apple | Amazon | GCSU | Script

Do the Right Thing

Apple | Amazon | GCSU | Script

Employees Leaving the Lumière Factory


A Fistful of Dollars

Apple | Amazon | GCSU

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Apple | Amazon | GCSU

The Kiss


The Kiss in the Tunnel


Man with a Movie Camera

Amazon | Archive | GCSU | Netflix

Modern Times

Amazon | GCSU


Apple | Amazon | GCSU

Out of the Past

Apple | Amazon | Script

The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Apple | Amazon | GCSU | Script



A Trip to the Moon

Apple | Amazon | Archive | Netflix


Apple | Amazon | GCSU | Script

Presentation Schedule

Undergraduate students sign up for 1 Article Summary (AS) and 1 Scene Analysis (CA).

Graduate students sign up for 1 Presentation (P).


Written Date Presentation Date Assignment Student
M, 8-24
T, 8-25
Article Summary: Baudry AS1 Mikaela LaFave
W, 8-26
R, 8-27
Article Summary: Metz AS2 Lesley Trapnell
M, 8-31
T, 9-1
Article Summary: Balázs, Kuleshov, or Deren AS3
R, 9-3
R, 9-3
Scene Analysis: Citizen Kane SA1
R, 9-3
R, 9-3
Presentation: Citizen Kane P1
M, 9-7
T, 9-8
Article Summary: Eisenstein AS4 Ciera Reeves
Article Summary: Bazin AS5 Lindsey Poe
R, 9-10
R, 9-10
Scene Analysis: Casablanca SA3 Nick Landon
SA4 Lesley Trapnell
Andrew Podo
R, 9-10
R, 9-10
Presentation: Casablanca P2
M, 9-14
T, 9-15
Article Summary: Sarris, Wollen, or Christensen AS6 Leah Benton
R, 9-17
R, 9-17
Scene Analysis: Out of the Past SA5
R, 9-17
R, 9-17
Presentation: Out of the Past P3
M, 9-21
T, 9-22
Article Summary: De Lauretis AS7 Teddi Strassburger
Article Summary: Mulvey AS8 Sarah Beth Gilbert
R, 9-24
R, 9-24
Scene Analysis: Vertigo SA7 Millie Wiltshire-Kelly
SA8 Lindsey Poe
R, 9-24
R, 9-24
Presentation: Vertigo P4 Tess Lyle
M, 9-28
T, 9-29
Article Summary: Modleski or Comolli and Narboni AS9 Andrew Podo
R, 10-1
R, 10-1
Scene Analysis: Breathless SA9
R, 10-1
R, 10-1
Presentation: Breathless P5
M, 10-5
T, 10-6
Article Summary: Schatz or Altman AS10 Nick Landon
R, 10-8
R, 10-8
Scene Analysis: A Fistful of Dollars [Exam Due 10-15] SA11
R, 10-8
R, 10-8
Presentation: A Fistful of Dollars [Paper Due 10-15] P6
R, 10-15
R, 10-15
Scene Analysis: Suspiria SA13 Thomas Davis
SA14 Whitney Dickson
M, 10-19
T, 10-20
Article Summary: Elsaesser or Clover AS11 Millie Wiltshire-Kelly
R, 10-22
R, 10-22
Scene Analysis: 2001: A Space Odyssey SA15 Sarah Beth Gilbert
SA16 Leah Benton
R, 10-22
R, 10-22
Presentation: 2001: A Space Odyssey P7
M, 10-26
T, 10-27
Article Summary: Dyer or Rich AS12
R, 10-29
R, 10-29
Scene Analysis: The Rocky Horror Picture Show SA17 Mikaela LaFave
SA18 Teddi Strassburger
R, 10-29
R, 10-29
Presentation: The Rocky Horror Picture Show P8 Catherine Bowlin
M, 11-2
T, 11-3
Article Summary: Stam or Bordwell AS13 Thomas Davis
T, 11-10
T, 11-10
Scene Analysis: Orlando SA19
W, 11-11
R, 11-12
Article Summary: Shohat and Stam or Dyer AS14
T, 11-17
T, 11-17
Scene Analysis: Do the Right Thing SA21
SA22 Ceria Reeves
T, 11-17
T, 11-17
Presentation: Do the Right Thing P9 Anthony Boynton
W, 11-18
R, 11-19
Article Summary: Nichols or Minh-Ha AS15 Whitney Dickson

In Class Activities

1. Analyzing Modern Times

We've analyzed selected scenes from Un Chien Andalou and Man with the Movie Camera, but without looking for specific film elements. Today, we'll prepare for the undergraduate scene analysis paper by examining particular film techniques in two select scenes from Modern Times. Break into six groups and discuss the following issues from the Film Analysis handout, one topic per group.

  1. mise en scène: the staging of the film
  2. characterization
  3. cinematography: film stock, lighting, and the camera
  4. editing
  5. sound
  6. narrative

2. TBA


Article Summary

GeorgiaVIEW Post

You will write an article summary and post it to GeorgiaVIEW > Course Work > Dropbox > Article Summary on the day before we are scheduled to discuss the article so I have time to read your response before class. Here is the presentation schedule.


The article summary, which will summarize a particular theorist's essay, should

Informal Presentation

You will also be responsible for a brief, informal presentation. The article summary presentation should introduce the essay by defining key points and terms (without simply reading your written summary) and broaching issues for class discussion.

Due Dates

  1. Your written assignment will be due in GeorgiaVIEW > Course Work > Dropbox > Article Summary on the day before we are scheduled to discuss an article. Summaries will be penalized one letter grade for each day, not class period, that they are turned in late. It is your responsibility to check the sign up schedule and complete the assignment on time.
  2. Your brief, informal presentation will be due on the day we discuss the essay in class. This date is approximate for we will sometimes fall a day behind. Failing to present the article to the class without providing a valid absence excuse will result in a one letter grade penalty.
  3. I will return your graded assignment to you in GeorgiaVIEW > Course Work > Dropbox > Article Summary approximately one week after we discuss the article in class. Due to GeorgiaVIEW limitations, I am unable to return graded assignments to you unless and until you submit them to the Dropbox.
  4. For example, we are scheduled to discuss Baudry on Tuesday, 8-25. Therefore, someone's summary will be due in GeorgiaVIEW on Monday, 8-24. In class on Tuesday, 8-25, that student will informally present the main ideas of Baudry's essay. I will return the graded article summary to her the following week in GeorgiaVIEW > Course Work > Dropbox > Article Summary. Due to GeorgiaVIEW limitations, I cannot return your graded paper unless and until you upload it to the Dropbox. Here's how to calculate your course grade.

Scene Analysis

Sign up in pairs to analyze a 2-3 minute scene in a formal 5-6 page paper and formal 7-10 minute presentation which includes screening the scene. Your essay and presentation should 1) address at least three elements of film (such as mise en scène, characterization, cinematography, editing, sound, narrative) from Dick's Anatomy of Film and our course film analysis handout and 2) interpret how the scene broaches the core conflict and overall theme of the film. Your single, collaboratively written essay should be driven by a thesis that argues the work's theme and logically organized by close reading of the text: unpack the tension and conflict, connotation and diction, idea and theme. Your well-organized presentation should clearly convey your ideas to the class, and each member should speak during the presentation.


(Sub)Genre Paper

While the exam required you to discuss film realism, representation, and ideology as well as film techniques, for the (sub)genre essay you will 1) research either a genre we have not covered or a subgenre of one of the films we have covered, 2) compose an essay that defines the (sub)genre's traits, and 3) analyzes an exemplary film of the genre or subgenre and argues how the film not only fits but also redefines the genre or subgenre. Your essay must utilize 3-6 sources to help you define the (sub)genre. At least 2 of the sources must be scholarly journal articles or book chapters, and the other sources may include non-academic audience periodicals. Here's how to conduct research at GCSU.


As a class, we'll brainstorm genre and subgenres on Thursday, October 22.


Some genres not covered in this class include but are not limited to:

Subgenres of genres covered in this class include but are not limited to:



In the take home exam, you will write two or three thesis-driven comparison/contrast two essays of your choice from a selection of four to six questions. Do not write on articles or films written about previously in the scene analysis paper and presentation.


Not all works are appropriate for all essays. Choose works which afford adequate material to address the issue at hand. Do not use a work to answer more than one essay.


Organize essays by argument and analysis. Have a controlling idea, an interpretation, a thesis that bridges the works. Support your points with textual evidence (quotations) when necessary and warranted; avoid plot summary. Make connections and distinctions among the texts; in other words, compare and contrast the works' key ideas.


Research Paper

Undergraduate Students

Research either 1) the meaning of one film or 2) a film issue (thematic, theoretical, technical, or aesthetic) across two or three films (subject to professor approval if any of the films are outside of class), and write an 8-10 page paper that applies 2-3 theoretical articles covered in class and incorporates 3-4 scholarly criticisms researched specifically for the paper. On Tuesday, December 1, you will present a paragraph explaining your topic, research question (or thesis), and theoretical framework (what theoretical articles your paper will use). Here's how to conduct research at GCSU.

Graduate Students

You will write a 12-15 page research paper that enters, engages, and advances the scholarly discourse of a film or film issue either discussed in class or selected by you and approved by the professor. First, you will compose a 250 word paper proposal following the suggestions by Owl. Your final essay should be worthy of being presented at a conference, integrate at least 4 interpretive sources and apply at least 4 theoretical articles on film. Here's how to conduct research at GCSU. The week before your final paper is due, you will be given 15 minutes to present your paper in progress in class; then you will participate in a question and answer session with the class and can incorporate feedback into your final paper.


Theoretical Paper

While the book review requires you to summarize and evaluate a monograph on criticism, the theoretical paper compels you to either compare and contrast two theoretical articles covered in class (what key idea do they share and how does that same idea set them apart) or summarize and evaluate a monograph on film theory by a scholar covered in class (appreciate and interrogate a book).


Book Review

While the annotated bibliography and presentation require you to research, evaluate, and teach a film, the book review compels you to read and evaluate an entire book of fim theory or criticism. After consulting with the professor on a suitable book (for instance a book from which our class is reading an excerpt, or another of your choosing), write a 8-10 page essay that summarizes the book's overall theoretical or critical claim and then evaluates the thesis and methodology. Your essay should both appreciate and interrogate the book. The GeorgiaVIEW course packet contains book reviews by Laura Quinn, Kevin Sweeney, and Eric Whedbee; and you can find more examples using GALILEO.


Annotated Bibliography and Presentation

Graduates students will research a film, compose an annotated bibliography of at least 10 scholarly sources interpreting the work, and teach the film to the class, i.e., lecture and moderate class discussion, with some help from one of the articles on the work. One week before the presentation/teaching demonstration, graduate students must meet with the professor to go over their lesson plan. The citations in the annotated bibliography should be formatted to MLA style, each annotation should be approximately 100 words long.