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Fall 2013:

FLS 150 Introduction to Film Studies
This course offers an overview of cinema as an artistic, industrial, ideological and social force. Students will become familiar with the aesthetic elements of cinema (visual style, editing, cinematography, sound, performance, narration and formal structure, etc.), the terminology of film production, and the relations among industrial, ideological, artistic, and social issues. Films (both classic and contemporary, mainstream and experimental) will be discussed from aesthetic, historical and social perspectives, enabling students to approach films as informed and critical viewers. Enrollment limited to 60. Priority given to Smith College Film Studies Minors and Five College Film Studies Majors. Formerly FLS 150. {A} 4 credits
Lokeilani Kaimana


FLS 241-01 Genre/Period

Topic: Screen Comedy

Lectures, with frequent discussion, on film comedies from a variety of places and times: American screwball comedies and British Ealing comedies; battles of the sexes; the silent or nonverbal comedy of Chaplin, Keaton, and Jacques Tati; parodies of other film genres; political satire; musical comedy; adaptations of comic novels; fast-talking comedy by the Marx Brothers, Monty Python, Woody Allen, and Howard Hawks; and to sum things up, Ingmar Bergman’s Smiles of a Summer Night, plus a film chosen by the classSome attention to animated cartoons; regular readings in film criticism, film history, and the theory of comedy.  No scheduled screenings; assigned films will be streamed via Moodle. Prerequisite: a college course in film or literature or permission of the instructor.  {L/A} 4 credits.  Click here for more information

Jefferson Hunter


FLS 241-02 Genre/Period

Topic: Women and American Cinema: Representation, Spectatorship, Authorship

This course provides a broad survey of women in American films from the silent period to the present.  It examines the topic at three levels: 1) how women are represented on film, and how those images relate to actual contemporaneous American society, culture and politics; 2) formulations, expectations and realities of female spectatorship as they relate to genre, the star and studio systems, dominant codes of narration, and developments in digital and new media modes; 3) how women as stars, writers, producers and directors shape and respond to, work within and against, dominant considerations of how women look.  In other words, we'll be examining how women are seen, how women see, how women are expected to see and be seen, and consider how fields of moving images contribute to what constitutes "women," "Woman," "womanhood," "female," and other terms that refer to bodies, identities, communities, discourses and selves.  Among the figures and films we will examine: Marlene Dietrich, Katharine Hepburn, Dorothy Arzner, Marilyn Monroe, Madonna, Su Friedrich, Carolee Schneemann, Julie Dash, Kathryn Bigelow, the vamp, the femme fatale, the sacrificial mother, the action heroine, chick flicks, Thelma and LouiseBoys Don't Cry, a range of contemporary works that may include Sex and the CityGirls, Bridesmaids, The Kids Are Alright, and a selection of Internet works.

Alexandra Keller


Spring 2014:

FLS 234 Art of Film
This intermediate-level course, designed for students interested in both film studies and film production, is meant to give sustained practice in the formal analysis of screen work—films from several countries, many periods, and different genres. Ordinarily, it will follow FLS 150, broadening and deepening the practice of formal analysis taught in that course. Category by category, we will take up fundamental film techniques—mise-en-scène (settings, costumes, lighting), camera work (camera angles, the moving camera, framing, color and black-and-white, special effects), editing (cuts, jump cuts, fades, dissolves, wipes, montage sequences, split screens), sound (diegetic and nondiegetic music, sound effects, silence), and performance for the camera. The emphasis throughout will be on films in which technique produces distinctive, stylish, expressive meaning. There will be frequent practice in (and guidance about) writing on film. Prerequisite: FLS 150, or a comparable introductory course, or permission of the instructor. Enrollment limited to 15. {A} Credits: 4 Click here for more information
Jefferson Hunter


FLS 250 Queer Cinema/Queer Media
From the queer avant-garde of Kenneth Anger and Su Friedrich, to The Kids are Alright and Glee, the queer in film and television is often conflated with gay and lesbian representation on screen. Instead of collapsing queer cinema into a representational politics of gay and lesbian film and television, we look at theories and practices that uphold what queerness means in a contemporary framework of America neoliberalism and transnational media. Screenings include the New Queer Cinema classics Paris Is Burning, It Wasn't Love, and Poison, and work by multimedia artists including Shu Lea Cheang, Issac Julien, Carmelita Tropicana, and PJ Raval. Readings by Alexander Doty, Thomas Elsaesser, Kobena Mercer, Jasbir Puar, B. Ruby Rich, Judith Halberstam, Jose E. Munoz's, Chris Straayer and Hayden White. {A} Credits: 4
Lokeilani Kaimana


FLS 280 Introduction to Video Production
Topics course.

First Person Documentary
This course provides a foundation in the principles, techniques, and equipment involved in making short videos. In it, students will make short documentary films from the first-person point of view. We will use our own stories as material, but we will look beyond self-expression, using video to explore places where our lives intersect with larger historical, economic, environmental, or social forces. We will develop our own voices while learning the vocabulary of moving images and gaining production and post-production technical training. Through in-class critiques, screenings, readings and discussion, students will explore the aesthetics and practice of the moving image while developing their own original projects. Prerequisite: Introduction to Film Studies. Application and permission of instructor required. Enrollment limited to 12. {A} Credits: 4
Bernadine Mellis


FLS 350 Questions of Cinema
Topics course.

Film and Visual Culture from Surrealism to the Internet
This class investigates cinema and its relationship to the rest of 20th and 21st century art, especially visual culture. Working with the premise that film has been arguably the most influential, powerful and central creative medium of the age, the course examines how film has been influenced by, and how it has influenced, interacted with, critiqued, defined, and been defined by other media. Historically we shall examine how film has moved from a marginal to a mainstream art form, while still often maintaining a very active avant-garde practice. We’ll also looks at how cinema has consistently and trans-historically grappled with certain fundamental issues and themes, comparing the nature of cinematic investigation with that of other media. Prerequisite: FLS150 and permission of instructor. (A) Credits: 4
Alexandra Keller


FLS 351 Film Theory
This upper-level seminar explores central currents in film theory. Among the ideas, movements and concepts we will examine: formalist, realist, structuralist, psychoanalytic, feminist, and post structuralist theories, and auteur, genre, queer and cultural studies approaches to questions regarding the nature, function, and possibilities of cinema. We will also consider how new media and new media theories relate to our experience in film and film theory. We will understand film theory readings through the socio-cultural context in which they were and are developed. We will also be particularly attentive to the history of film theory: how theories exist in conversation with each other, as well as how other intellectual and cultural theories influence the development, nature and mission of theories of the moving image. We will emphasize written texts (Bazin, Eisenstein, Kracauer, Vertov, Metz, Mulvey, DeLauretis, Doty, Hall, Cahiers du Cinema, the Dogme Collective, Manovich, etc.), but will also look at instantiations of film theory that are themselves acts of cinema (Man with a Movie Camera, Rock Hudson’s Home Movies, The Meeting of Two Queens). The course is designed as an advanced introduction and assumes no prior exposure to film theory. Fulfills the film theory requirement for the major and minor. Enrollment limited to 12. Prerequisite: FLS 150 or the equivalent. Priority given to Smith College Film Studies Minors and Five College Film Studies Majors. Priority given to seniors, then juniors. {A} Credits: 4
Lokeilani Kaimana


FLS 400 Special Studies
1-4 credits
Offered both semesters each year


Crosslisted Courses


CLS 220 Greek Tragedy and Its Cinematic Reception

Barry Spence

Offered Fall 2013


EAS 214 Korean Film and Culture

Topic: Cinemas of North and South Koreas: Films and Historical Understanding

Jina Kim

Offered Fall 2013


FYS 170 Crime and Punishment

Jefferson Hunter

Offered Fall 2013


FYS 185 Style Matters: The Power of the Aethetic in Italian Cinema

Anna Botta

Offered Fall 2013


GER 231 Topics in German Cinema

Topic: Weimar Film

Joel Westerdale

Offered Spring 2014


JUD 235 Perspectives on Israeli History

Topic: The History of Israeli Cinema

Miri Talmon

Offered Fall 2013


JUD 236 Documentary Film in Contemporary Israel

Miri Talmon

Offered Spring 2014


JUD 237 Forbidden Love: Cinematics of Desire in Israel and Beyond

Miri Talmon

Offered Spring 2014


THE 318  Movements in Design

Topic: Production Design in Film

Edward Check

Offered Spring 2014


THE 361  Screenwriting

Andrea Hairston

Offered Spring  2014

Copyright © 2010 Smith College Film Studies Program  |  Northampton, MA 01063
Tel 413.585.4890  |  Questions? 
Send us email.  |   Last updated October 30, 2013

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