COVID-19: Essential Information

Christian Keathley

Professor of Film and Media Culture

 work(802) 443-3432
 Fall 2021: Monday 10:00am-12:00pm, Wednesday 1:00pm-3:00pm, and by appointment
 Axinn Center 211

Christian Keathley is the Walter J Cerf Distinguished Professor of Film & Media Culture.  He teaches Film History, International Cinema, Authorship & Cinema, French New Wave, and Film & Literature, among other courses.

Keathley, who arrived at Middlebury in 2002, holds a PhD in Film Studies from the University of Iowa, an MFA in Filmmaking from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and an MA and a BA in English and Film Studies from the University of Florida.

He is the author of Cinephilia and History, or the Wind n the Trees (Indiana UP, 2007), as well as a variety of essays in journals such as Screen, Movie, Framework, Photogénie, and The Cine-Files, and in volumes such as The Last Great American Picture Show, Directed by Allen Smithee, and The Language and Style of Film Criticism.

Keathley is also co-author, with Catherine Grant and Jason Mittell, of The Videographic Essay: Criticism in Sound & Image (caboose books, 2016; second edition revised and expanded 2019). Now available online as The Videographic Essay: Practice and Pedagogy.

He is a founding co-editor of [in]TRANSITION: Journal of Videographic Film & Moving Image Studies, recipient of the 2015 Anne Friedberg Innovative Scholarship Award of Distinction from the Society for Cinema and Media Studies.

Along with his Middlebury colleague Jason Mittell, Keathley is the co-recipient of two grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities for “Scholarship in Sound & Image: A Workshop on Videographic Criticism” (2015, 2017, 2018), a summer program for teaching videographic criticism to faculty from around the world.  For these workshops, Keathley and Mittell were recipients of the 2020 Innovative Pedagogy Award from the Society for Cinema and Media Studies.

Keathley is currently at work on several projects: an essay video, The Signature Effect, that explores the relationships between himself, the Warner Bros director William Keighley, and their shared ancestral home of Keighley, West Yorkshire, England; and a BFI Film Classics volume on All the President’s Men, co-authored with Robert B Ray. 



Course List: 

Courses offered in the past four years.
indicates offered in the current term
indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]

FMMC 0101 - Aesthetics of the Moving Image      

Aesthetics of the Moving Image
How do films convey meaning, generate emotions, and work as an art form? What aspects of film are shared by television and videogames? This course is designed to improve your ability to watch, reflect on, and write about moving images. The course will be grounded in the analysis of cinema (feature films, documentaries, avant-garde, and animation) with special focus on film style and storytelling techniques. Study will extend to new audio-visual media as well, and will be considered from formal, cultural, and theoretical perspectives. Note to students: this course involves substantial streaming of films and television for assigned viewing. 3 hrs. lect./3 hrs. screen ART

Fall 2018, Spring 2019

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FMMC 0102 - Film History      

Film History
This course will survey the development of the cinema from 1895 to present. Our study will emphasize film as an evolving art, while bearing in mind the influence of technology, economic institutions, and the political and social contexts in which the films were produced and received. Screenings will include celebrated works from Hollywood and international cinema. 3 hrs. lect./3 hrs. screen ART HIS

Spring 2021, Spring 2022, Spring 2023

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FMMC 0204 - Clas Hollywood/New Hollywood      

Classic Hollywood/New Hollywood
During the period know as “New Hollywood” (1967-76), American filmmakers routinely turned to classical genres as a way both to celebrate the films that had inspired them and to re-think their values and themes in light of the changes in American culture during that period. In this class, we will focus on three film genres (detective, western, and gangster films) and will view classical versions and New Hollywood reworkings. Films screened will include The Maltese Falcon (1940), Chinatown (1974), My Darling Clementine (1946), McCabe & Mrs Miller (1971), Little Caesar (1931), and The Godfather (1972), among others. (FMMC 0101 or FMMC 0102 or by approval) 3 hrs. seminar/3 hr. screen AMR ART NOR

Fall 2021

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FMMC 0244 - International Cinema:      

International Cinema
Topic is determined by the instructor - refer to section for the course description. ART

Fall 2019

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FMMC 0252 - Authorship and Cinema      

Authorship and Cinema
In this course we will focus on two of the most important international directors of the past 50 years, Terence Davies (Great Britain) and Abbas Kiarostami (Iran). Though their cinematic styles are in many ways markedly different, there is also a striking similarity: each has as its cornerstone an aesthetic of realism, but this is balanced and even challenged by other features: in Davies, by a modernist stylization, and in Kiarostami, by a postmodernist reflexivity. We will trace the course of each director’s career, exploring the features that designate each as a cinematic author, and we will use each as a point of comparison for the other. Films by Davies will include Distant Voices, Still Lives; The Long Day Closes, The House of Mirth, and A Quiet Passion. Films by Kiarostami will include Close-Up, And Life Goes On, The Wind Will Carry Us, and Certified Copy. Note to students: this course involves substantial streaming of films for assigned viewing. (FMMC 0101, FMMC 0102, or instructor approval) ART

Fall 2020

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FMMC 0255 - French New Wave      

French New Wave
Beginning in 1959 and continuing through the 1960s, dozens of young French cinephiles, thrilled by Hollywood genre movies and European art films, but disgusted with their own national cinema’s stodgy productions, took up cameras and began making films. This movement, known as La Nouvelle Vague, remains one of the most exciting, inventive periods in cinema history. This course focuses on the major films and directors (Jean-Luc Godard, Francois Truffaut, Alain Resnais) of the period and also gives consideration to the cultural, technological, and economic factors that shaped this movement. (Formerly FMMC 0345) ART EUR

Spring 2021

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FMMC 0334 - Videographic Film Studies      

Videographic Film and Media Studies
Digital video technologies—such as DVDs, digital editing software, and online streaming—now enable film and media scholars to “write” with the same materials that constitute their object of study: moving images and sounds. But such a change means rethinking the rhetorical modes traditionally used in scholarly writing, and incorporating more aesthetic and poetic elements alongside explanation and analysis. In this hands-on course, we will both study and produce new videographic forms of criticism often known as “video essays,” exploring how such work can both produce knowledge and create an aesthetic impact. (FMMC 0101 or FMMC 0105 or by approval) 3 hrs. sem

Spring 2020

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FMMC 0354 - Film Theory      

Film Theory
This course surveys the issues that have sparked the greatest curiosity among film scholars throughout cinema's first century, such as: What is the specificity of the film image? What constitutes cinema as an art? How is authorship in the cinema to be accounted for? Is the cinema a language, or does it depart significantly from linguistic coordinates? How does one begin to construct a history of the cinema? What constitutes valid or useful film research? Readings will include Epstein, Eisenstein, Bazin, Truffaut, Wollen, Mulvey, Benjamin, Kracauer, and others. (Formerly FMMC 0344) (FMMC 0101 or FMMC 0102 or instructor approval) 3 hrs. lect./3 hrs. screen. ART CW

Spring 2019, Spring 2022, Spring 2023

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FMMC 0507 - Independent Project      

Advanced Independent work in Film and Media Culture
Consult with a Film and Media Culture faculty member for guidelines.

Winter 2018, Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023

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FMMC 0700 - Senior Tutorial      

Senior Tutorial
All FMMC majors must complete this course in their senior year, during which they undertake the process of devising, researching, and developing the early drafts and materials for an independent project in Film and Media in their choice of medium and format. Students will be poised to produce and complete these projects during Winter Term, via an optional but recommended independent study. Prerequisites for projects in specific formats are outlined on the departmental website.

Spring 2020

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FMMC 0707 - Senior Independent Work      

Senior Independent Work
After completing FMMC 0700, seniors may be approved to complete the project they developed during the previous Fall semester by registering for this independent course during the Winter Term, typically supervised by their faculty member from FMMC 0700. Students will complete an independent project in a choice of medium and format, as outlined on the departmental website. This course does not count toward the required number of credits for majors, but is required to be considered for departmental honors. In exceptional cases, students may petition to complete their projects during Spring semester.

Winter 2019, Winter 2020, Winter 2021, Winter 2022, Winter 2023

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FYSE 1242 - Cinema and Memory      

Cinema and Memory
Depicting the experience of memory is a challenge filmmakers have returned to repeatedly throughout cinema’s history. In this seminar we will screen films from around the world to explore the ways in which individual and cultural memory have found expression in cinema. We will screen narrative features, documentaries, and experimental films as we compare the various aesthetic strategies filmmakers from different periods and cultures have used to portray the complex relationships between past and present, real and imagined. Films screened will include After Life; The Bad and the Beautiful; The Long Day Closes; Hiroshima, mon amour; La Jetée; Shoah. 3 hrs. sem. ART CMP CW

Fall 2021

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IGST 0702 - EUS Senior Thesis      

European Studies Senior Thesis
(Approval Required)

Winter 2018, Winter 2019, Winter 2020, Winter 2021, Winter 2022, Winter 2023

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Department of Film and Media Culture

Axinn Center at Starr Library
15 Old Chapel Road
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753
Fax: 802.443.2805