ENGL 6750/7750

Film Studies

Summer Session 3, 2013 (7/15-8/16/2013)

Days: TWR | Room: PH 322 | Time: 430-730

 About David Lavery  About This Course  Agenda  Course Requirements  Seminarians  Texts  Course Blog  Major Film/TV Critics  MOMI [Museum of the Moving Image] Film History  Movie & Television Glossary  Movie and Television Websites  Readings on the TV vs. the Movies Meme | David Lavery’s Movie Reviews for All the Rage (a Zip file)


About This Course

The catalog description for this course reads: "6750/ 7750 Film Studies. Three credits. Covers such topics as the film text adaptation narratology, genres, ideology, authorship, theory, history, schools, movements, national cinemas, and film audiences."

Rather than a broad, top-down survey of the nature of the discipline of film studies (which is how I did it last time) this incarnation will be, in keeping with the particular limitations and inspirations of a summer graduate course, a bottom-up introduction to film studies through an interwoven comparison / contrast between film and television as narrative media (with a particular emphasis on the "Television is Better Than the Movies Meme") and film and television reviewing.

Dr. David Lavery

Office: PH 316 | Office Hours: MTuWTh 900-1100 am; MW 200-300 pm | E-mail: david.lavery@mtsu.edu; david.lavery@gmail.com | Office Phone/Voice-Mail: 615-898-5648 | Home Page: http://davidlavery.net/

Dr. David Lavery is Director of Graduate Studies and Professor in the English Department at MTSU. The recipient of the University's 2006 Distinguished Research Award, he is the author of over one hundred and fifty published essays, chapters, and reviews, he is author / co-author / editor / co-editor of over twenty books, including Joss Whedon, A Creative Portrait: From Buffy the Vampire Slayer to The Avengers, TV Goes to Hell: An Unofficial Road Map of Supernatural, The Essential Cult Television Reader, and The Essential Sopranos Reader. The co-convener of international conferences on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the work of Joss Whedon and on The Sopranos, co-founder of the Whedon Studies Association, and founding editor of the journals Slayage: The Online International Journal of the Whedon Studies Association and Critical Studies in Television, he has lectured around the world on the subject of television (Australia, Turkey, the UK, Portugal, New Zealand, Ireland, Germany) and has been a guest/source for the BBC, NPR, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, The New York Times, A Folha de Sao Paulo (Brazil), Publica (Portugal), Information (Netherlands), AP, The Toronto Star, USA Today. From 2006-2008, he taught at Brunel University in London.



BFI Museum of the Moving Image Film History

Click on The Language of Film and Television Entertainment covers to go to the Amazon pages for each book or order online from any other seller. The MOMI [Museum of the Moving Image] Film History book is available as a PDF (click on the cover).



 Laura Black  Clint Bryan  Dan Copp  Tom Cruz  Jessica Glade  Joshua Hite  Margaret Anne Johnson  Cori Mathis  Dawn Schock  Donna Swaner  Kevin Yeargin


Course Requirements

Writing: Completion of any two of the following: [A] a study of a major film/television critic | [B] a study of a television series vs. a movie | [C] a study of a movie theorist | [D] a study of a movie auteur | [E] A study of a television auteur | [F] an essay-review of an important work of film/television studies [go here to learn more; go here to see suggested titles] | [G] a comparative film vs. television study of one of the following aspects/techniques:

acting | adaptation | authorship | editing | eroticism | gender | genre | history | intertextuality / self-referentiality | language | mise-en-scène | music | narrative | narration/voice-over | paratexts | point of view | race | realism | semiotics | violence | another aspect/technique approved by me

All topics should be approved by me. Length: each 2000 words (MA students)/3,000 words (PhD students) | Weight: Each worth 40% of course grade. Due: One (your choice) by midnight, August 2; a second by midnight, August 16. Submit via the appropriate D2L drop boxes.

Class Participation: (1) daily involvement in class discussion; (2) significant contributions to the course blog [go here to learn more]; (3) class presentation of an assigned film/television term; (4) class presentation of the critical response to a particular movie or television series/episode [make your claim via e-mail; you may not choose any film or TV appearing on this syllabus; go here to learn more]; (5) other presentations as assigned. | Weight: 20% of course grade.



Spoiler warning: This course will show a wanton disregard for potential spoilers.


Week 1

Meeting 17/16/13

 Subject: Film/Television Studies: An Overview | Power Point

 Movies vs. TV: GoodFellas (Martin Scorsese, 1990) versus The Sopranos (HBO, 1999-2007) | Power Point

Meeting 27/17/13

 Subject: The Camera Sequence | Film and Television History | Sound | National Cinemas | Power Point

 Movies vs. TV:  L.A. Confidential (Curtis Hanson, 1997) versus The Shield (FX, 2002-2008) | Power Point

Meeting 37/18/13

 Subject: Reviewing | Power Point

 Review of the Day: Laura Black (Girls)

 Movies vs. TV: Looper (Rian Johnson, 2012) versus Life on Mars UK (BBC, 2006-2007) | Power Point


Week 2

Meeting 47/23/13

 Subject: Film History/National Cinemas (continued) | Film History Power Point | National Cinemas Power Point

 Review of the Day: Clint Bryan (Juno)

 Movies vs. TV: Blue Velvet (David Lynch, 1986) versus Twin Peaks (ABC, 1990-1991) | Power Point

Meeting 57/24/13

 Subject: Literary / Film Theory & Criticism | Adaptation | Power Point

 Review of the Day: Dan Copp (Prometheus)

Movies vs. TV: The Manchurian Candidate (John Frankenheimer, 1962) versus Homeland (Showtime, 2011- ) | Power Point

Meeting 67/25/13

 Subject: Authorship | Power Point

 Review of the Day: Tom Cruz (Man of Steel)

 Movies vs. TV: Unforgiven (Clint Eastwood, 1992) versus Deadwood (HBO, 2005-2006) | Power Point


Week 3

Meeting 77/30/13

 Subject: Television Entertainment | Power Point

 Review of the Day: Jessica Glade (Arrested Development)

 Terminology: Yeargin (convergence culture)

 Movies vs. TV: The Marchurian Candidate/Homeland | Power Point and McCabe and Mrs. Miller/Deadwood | Power Point

Meeting 87/31/13

 Subject: National Cinemas | National Cinemas Power Point

 Review of the Day: Joshua Hite (Last of the Summer Wine)

 Terminology: Swaner (continuity)

 Movies vs. TV: Star Trek (rebooted) (J. J. Abrams, 2009, 2013) versus Battlestar Galactica (Sci-Fi, 2004-2009) | Power Point

Meeting 98/1/13

 Subject: Federico Fellini | Power Point

 Terminology: Mathis (iris), Schock (narrative closure)

 Review of the Day: Margaret Anne Johnson (Southland)

 Movies vs. TV: Romero Films: Night of the Living Dead (1968), Dawn of the Dead (1978), Day of the Dead (1985), Land of the Dead (2005), Diary of the Dead (2007) versus The Walking Dead (AMC, 2010- ) | Power Point


Week 4

Meeting 108/6/13

 Subject: Television Entertainment (continued) | Power Point

 Review of the Day: Kevin Yeargin (Blade Runner)

 Terminology: Johnson (iconography)

 Movies vs. TV: Dark City (Alex Proyas, 1998) versus Fringe (Fox, 2008-2013) | Power Point

Meeting 118/7/13

 Subject: The Coen Brothers | Power Point

 Terminology: Glade, Hite

 Review of the Day: Cori Mathis (Gilmore Girls)

Meeting 128/8/13

 Subjects: Genre | Acting | Music | Power Point | Gender | Race | Power Point

 Terminology: Cruz

 Review of the Day: Dawn Schock (Much Ado About Nothing)

 Movies vs. TV: Breakfast at Tiffany’s (Blake Edwards, 1961) versus Mad Men (AMC, 2007- ) | Power Point


Week 5

Meeting 138/13/13

 Subject: Breaking Bad | Power Point

 Terminology: Copp

 Review of the Day: Donna Swaner (TBA)

Meeting 148/14/13

 Subject: Postmodernism | Intertextuality / Self-Referentiality | Paratexts | Power Point

 Terminology: Bryan

 Movies vs. TV: Chinatown (Roman Polanski, 1974) versus Terriers (FX, 2010) | Power Point

Meeting 158/15/13

 Subject: Final Meeting

 Terminology: Black

 Movies vs. TV: Movies Remade as TV Shows: Friday Night Lights (Peter Berg, 2004) versus Friday Night Lights (NBC, Direct TV, 2006-2011) | Parenthood (Ron Howard, 1989) versus Parenthood (NBC, 2010- ) | Stargate (Roland Emmerich, 1994) versus Stargate SG-1 (Showtime, Sci-Fi, 1997-2007) | The Terminator Films ([James Cameron, 1984], [James Cameron, 1991], [Jonathan Mostow, 2003]) versus Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (Fox, 2008-2009) | Power Point

 The Future of Film and Television