Film and media culture courses are often cross-listed with other departments.

The listing below includes both courses originating or cross-listed with FMMC. Majors can ask approval from their advisors to count courses with significant film/media content taught in foreign languages toward the FMMC major.

Courses

Courses offered in the past four years. Courses offered currently are as noted.

Course Description

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

Terms Taught

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

Requirements

ART

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Course Description

Global Film Histories
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 representative and celebrated works from world cinema. 3 hrs. lect./3 hrs. screen

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Spring 2021, Spring 2022, Fall 2022

Requirements

ART, HIS

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Course Description

Television and American Culture
This course explores American life in the last seven decades through an analysis of our central medium: television. Spanning a history of television from its origins in radio to today’s digital convergence via YouTube and Netflix, we will consider television's role in both representing and constituting American society through a variety of approaches, including: the economics of the television industry, television's role within American democracy, the formal attributes of various television genres, television as a site of gender and racial identity formation, television's role in everyday life, the medium's technological transformations, and television as a site of global cultural exchange. Note to students: this course involves substantial streaming of television for assigned viewing. 3 hrs. lect./disc. / 3 hrs. screen

Terms Taught

Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2023

Requirements

AMR, SOC

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Course Description

Filmmaking
In this course students will gain a theoretical understanding of the ways moving images and sounds communicate, as well as practical experience creating time-based work. We will study examples of moving images as we use cameras, sound recorders, and non-linear editing software to produce our own series of short works. Emphasis will be placed on understanding the possibilities of the medium through experimentation, analysis, and detailed feedback while exploring different facets of cinematic communication. (FMMC 0101, or FMMC 0102, or approval of instructor) 3 hrs. lect./3 hrs. lab

Terms Taught

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

Requirements

ART

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Course Description

Screenwriting
In this course we will examine the fundamental elements of dramatic narrative as they relate to visual storytelling. We will emphasize the process of generating original story material and learning the craft of screenwriting, including topics such as story, outline, scene structure, subtext, character objectives, formatting standards, and narrative strategies. Weekly writing assignments will emphasize visual storytelling techniques, tone and atmosphere, character relationships, and dialogue. Students will be required to complete one short screenplay. Required readings will inform and accompany close study of selected screenplays and short films. This class will require some streaming of video material. (FMMC 0101 OR CRWR 0170 or approval of instructor) (Formerly FMMC/ENAM 0106) 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022

Requirements

ART

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Course Description

Anime: Masterworks of Japanese Animation
How did anime emerge as a distinctive national genre in global popular culture at the turn of the 21st century? What social conditions and media industry developments in Japan promoted adaptations of manga (graphic novels) into feature-length films for both young and adult audiences? In this course students will address these questions by analyzing the forms and contexts of a number of masterworks by the most prominent directors of Japanese animation. We will examine the relation of anime to classic Disney films, live-action Hollywood cinema, and Japanese aesthetic traditions. In addition to Studio Ghibli founders Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata, we will study the works of Satoshi Kon, Mamoru Oshii, Makoto Shinkai, and other distinguished anime auteurs.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Spring 2023

Requirements

ART, NOA

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Course Description

Autobiographical Documentary
In this course we will study a range of autobiographical practices in audiovisual media to examine how filmmakers have used the self as a starting point to explore universal issues like the search for identity, the representation of trauma, the essence of family bonds, or finding love. The study of film and video journals, experimental self-inscription, domestic ethnographies, vlogging and film essays will inform our own creative processes as we engage critically with these films’ social and political relevance. Through close readings, critical papers, and our own self-inscriptive explorations, we will attempt to better understand the world through the lens of autobiographical film. (Not open to students who have taken FYSE 1542) (FMMC 0101, or by instructor approval) Note to students: this course involves substantial streaming of films for assigned viewing. 3 hrs sem./screening

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Spring 2022

Requirements

ART

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Course Description

Cinema and Memory
Depicting the experience of memory is a challenge that filmmakers have returned to repeatedly throughout cinema’s history. In this course, 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 consider the various aesthetic strategies filmmakers from different periods and cultures have used to portray the complex relationships between past and present, real and imagined. (FMMC 0102; Not open to students who have taken FYSE 1242) 3 hrs. lect./disc./3 hrs. screen.

Terms Taught

Spring 2023

Requirements

ART, CMP

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Course Description

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

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Fall 2021

Requirements

AMR, ART, NOR

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Course Description

Documentary Filmmaking: Seeking Truth Through the Art of Non-Fiction
In this course we will explore the artistic strategies used by documentary films to investigate ontological and existential “truths” about the world around us. Pairing non-fiction films across historical periods, countries, and stylistic modes with interdisciplinary readings, students will discuss and analyze their form and function through written (essays) and spoken word (podcasts). In the second half of the semester, students will collaboratively write, produce, and edit a documentary film about an issue or community close to them. (FMMC 0105)

Terms Taught

Spring 2023

Requirements

ART

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Course Description

Contemporary East Asian Cinema
In this course we will study the contemporary cinema cultures of East Asia, focusing predominantly on the production of China, Japan, and South Korea in the 21st century. We will examine production, distribution, and (global) consumption in order to understand how these industries fit into or transcend national, regional, and global cinema paradigms. We will consider issues of superstardom and authorship, especially the ways in which prominent auteurs adapt, develop, and (re)invent genres and aesthetic techniques. We will also examine some of the more complex cinematic representations of tradition and modernity, nationalism, race and ethnicity, and gender and sexuality. The broader goal of the course is to think how the region’s film production can be conceptualized in terms of national/regional/global cinema, so we will use a comparative approach by analyzing similarities and unique differences within the main national industries studied. 3 hrs. lect./disc.; 3 hrs. screening

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Spring 2023

Requirements

ART, CMP, NOA

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Course Description

3D Computer Animation
3D computer animation has revolutionized animation, graphics, and special effects. In this course students will explore basic 3D modeling techniques, virtual material and texture creation, digital lighting, rendering, and animation. Every workshop will be hands on and fully immersed in this rapidly evolving technology. Students will leave with a strong conceptual understanding of the 3D graphics pipeline, a fundamental 3D skill set, options for further study, and an independent final animation project. 3 hrs. workshop

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022

Requirements

ART

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Course Description

3D Environment Design
From the grounds of an ancient ruin to the inside of a biological cell to the stage of a theatrical production to the corridors of the international space station, in this course we will use digital 3d modeling, texturing, and lighting tools to visualize locations into beautifully rendered, three dimensional, interactive virtual environments. We will ask critical questions about how every design choice affects the audience’s understanding of the space. No prior experience is necessary for this hands-on introductory course. (Not open to seniors or students who have taken INTD/FMMC 0215) 3 hrs. lect/lab.

Terms Taught

Spring 2019

Requirements

ART

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Course Description

Directing Strategies: From Paper to Screen
In this course we will examine the creative processes involved in directing dramatic material for the screen, with emphasis on the specificity of our medium. Through rigorous analysis of existing media, we will understand the dramatic and interpretative choices made by film writers, directors, and editors. Through hands-on exercises, we will develop scene analysis techniques, rehearsal methodologies, and pre-visualization strategies. Students will apply these skills to the directing of dramatic scenes. (Not open to students who have taken FMMC 0320) (FMMC 0101, or FMMC 0105, or FMMC 0106 or approval) 3 hrs. Lect.

Terms Taught

Spring 2022

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Course Description

Sherlock Holmes Across Media
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle created Sherlock Holmes in 1886. Since then, the consulting detective has continued to solve mysteries in literature, radio, film, television, and digital media. Indeed, Sherlock Holmes inspired what many think of as the earliest media fandom. Why has Sherlock Holmes remained such a fascinating figure for almost a century and a half? How have Holmes and his sidekick Watson (or Sherlock and John) transformed in their different iterations across media, culture, history, and nation? And what does it mean for contemporary television series Elementary and Sherlock to reimagine Sherlock Holmes for the digital age? (Not open to students who have taken FYSE 1457)

Terms Taught

Fall 2021

Requirements

ART, EUR, LIT

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Course Description

Fan Video: Cultures, Theory, Practice
In this course we will explore the range of fan video forms, aesthetics, cultures, and histories. Fans re-edit pre-existing media (TV, film, etc.) into new transformative works that can receive millions of views as well as critical acclaim. We will study the visual and rhetorical logics of fan video, the distribution and reception circuits for fan video, and the legal and political questions bound up in fan video practices. We will consider fan video as a critical practice, and we will learn by engaging with scholarship on fan video as well as by making our own fan videos.

Terms Taught

Winter 2021, Spring 2022, Spring 2023

Requirements

ART

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Course Description

African Cinema
In this course we will examine how films written and directed by African filmmakers address the evolving identities of post-colonial Africans. Students will explore the development of various national cinemas and the film movements that helped define African cinema as a tool for cultural expression and social change. We will pair film studies, post-colonial studies, and African studies readings with a diverse selection of films from across sub-Saharan Africa, from Senegal’s 1967 Black Girl (Ousmane Sembene) to the 2018 Netflix-produced Nigerian “Nollywood” film, Lionheart (Genevieve Nnaji). Note to students: this course involves substantial streaming of films for assigned viewing. 3 hours lect./3 hours screen.

Terms Taught

Fall 2019, Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022

Requirements

ART, CMP, HIS, SAF

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Course Description

Gothic and Horror
This course examines the forms and meanings of the Gothic and horror over the last 250 years in the West. How have effects of fright, terror, or awe been achieved over this span and why do audiences find such effects attractive? Our purpose will be to understand the generic structures of horror and their evolution in tandem with broader cultural changes. Course materials will include fiction, film, readings in the theory of horror, architecture, visual arts, and electronic media. 3 hrs. lect./disc. 3 hrs lect.

Terms Taught

Fall 2019

Requirements

AMR, HIS, NOR

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Course Description

Black American Cinema
In this course we will examine various representations of Blackness in American Cinema, from Oscar Micheaux’s early silent films to Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther. While we will primarily focus on films written and/or directed by Black Americans, we will also study the social, cultural, and political impact of Hollywood ideas and images of Black people and how they changed over time. Through a framework of both film theory and critical race theory, students will analyze how Black creative expression has manifested itself through film, influencing both form and content. 3 hours lect./3 hours screen

Terms Taught

Spring 2020, Spring 2021, Spring 2022, Spring 2023

Requirements

AMR, ART, HIS

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Course Description

HBO’s Game of Thrones: A Global Cultural Phenomenon
In this course we will study the HBO series Game of Thrones as a global cultural phenomenon. We’ll explore the series’ development from a straightforward television adaptation to a transmedia narrative set in a recognizable visual universe. We will examine how the series reinvents the fantasy genre within the changing media landscape and how issues of race, class, and gender affect the production and reception of the series on a global scale. We will also consider the material ways in which the series’ fans engage with the universe of the show through the consumption and creation of merchandising, cosplay, fanfiction, and blogs. 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Spring 2019, Spring 2020

Requirements

ART, SOC

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Course Description

Documentary: Art of the Nonfiction Film
Documentary film combines nonfiction with an aesthetic aspiration. This course will explore the achievement in the documentary, raising issues about the influence of documentary upon political persuasion, historical memory, the status of film as evidence, and its utility as a means of investigation. Questions will be posed, such as: Can documentary achieve a distinctive understanding of a phenomenon? How does nonfiction address/guide the relationship between sound, image, and subject? The course will offer a historical perspective, as well as study contemporary works, with the aim of preparing students to both understand and produce documentary films. 3 hrs. lect./3 hrs. screen.

Terms Taught

Fall 2019

Requirements

ART

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Course Description

Film Noir
A series of urban crime films and melodramas made in Hollywood between 1940-1960, but concentrated in the decade immediately after World War II, have been understood by critics to constitute the movement of film noir. This course will study prominent films from this group as well as contemporary films influenced by them, and the critical literature they have elicited in order to understand the cultural sources, the stylistic attributes, the social significance, and the long-term influence attributed to film noir. 3 hrs. lect./3 hrs. screen.

Terms Taught

Spring 2019

Requirements

AMR, ART, NOR

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Course Description

Guns and Swords: Violence and Masculinity in Japanese and American Films
Cowboys, samurai, gangsters, and yakuza are fabled figures embodying national myths of honor and resistance in American and Japanese films. Swordfight and gunfight genres grapple with the issue of lethal weapons in the hands of individuals when the power of the state is absent, corrupt, or ineffectual. Familiar motifs, archetypal characters, and straightforward plots uphold traditional aspirations threatened by the forces of modernity. Japanese and American directors have exploited these conventions to create cinematic masterpieces about questions of violence, righteousness, and masculinity. In this course we will explore cross-cultural influences between swordfight and gunfight genres as we compare their heroes, antiheroes, conflicts, and codes. Films for study include Seven Samurai, Yojimbo, The Tale of Zatoichi, The Searchers, High Noon, Unforgiven, Pale Flower, Tokyo Drifter, Branded to Kill, White Heat, The Godfather, and Goodfellas. 3hrs. lect/disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018

Requirements

AAL, ART, CMP, NOA

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Course Description

Film Comedy
A survey of American film comedy from the silent era to contemporary productions. The course will focus on various approaches such as clown comedy, romantic comedy, and satirical comedy. In addition, the course will explore screen comedy in the context of various theories of comedy, including the narrative design, the social dynamics, and the psychological understanding of humor. The filmmakers will include: Chaplin, Keaton, Lubitsch, Wilder, Woody Allen, among others. Screenings, readings and written assignments. 3 hrs. lect./3 hrs. screen.

Terms Taught

Spring 2019

Requirements

AMR, ART, NOR

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Course Description

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

Terms Taught

Fall 2019, Spring 2023

Requirements

ART

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Course Description

Introduction to Podcasting
In this course we will immerse ourselves in the rich world of podcasting as listeners and producers. Students will become acquainted with the wide variety of podcast work including, but not limited to: serial narrative, daily news features, audio fiction, talk, comedy, and interview podcast programming. We will record and produce our own original podcast segments with a focus on non-fiction features. Students can expect to walk away with a foundational understanding of the variety of podcast formats and production techniques including recording, sourcing, and editing sound. (Not open to students who have taken FMMC 1134) 3 hrs lect.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Fall 2019

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Course Description

Chinese Cinema
This course, taught in English, surveys the history of movies in China since the 1930s and also offers an in-depth look at the work of: China's fifth-generation directors of the 1980s and their successors up to the present; Taiwan's new wave; and Hong Kong popular cinema, including martial arts film. Our focus is the screening and discussion of films such as The Goddess (a 1934 silent classic), Stage Sisters (1965; directed by the influential Xie Jin), the controversial Yellow Earth (1984), In the Heat of the Sun (a 1994 break with the conventional representation of the Cultural Revolution), Yang Dechang's masterpiece A One and a Two (2000), and Still Life (Jia Zhangke's 2006 meditation on displacement near the Three Gorges Dam). The course is designed to help students understand the place of cinema in Chinese culture and develop the analytical tools necessary for the informed viewing and study of Chinese film. We will look at everything from art film, to underground film, to recent box office hits. (No prerequisites) One evening film screening per week. 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2020, Spring 2023

Requirements

ART, NOA

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Course Description

Authorship & Cinema: Hitchcock and Renoir
Alfred Hitchcock and Jean Renoir are commonly regarded as two of the greatest filmmakers in history, yet their cinematic styles stand in sharp contrast to one another. In this course, we will survey the careers of these two directors, viewing a representative selection of their films and considering the national production contexts in which they worked. Most importantly, we will engage in careful analysis of their works in order to understand the ways in which their approaches to film style resulted in sharply contrasting ideas of cinema and the world. Films screened will include: The 39 Steps, Notorious, Rear Window, Vertigo, Psycho (Hitchcock); Toni, The Crime of Monsieur Lange, Grande Illusion, Rules of the Game (Renoir). (FMMC 0101 or 0102)

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Fall 2022

Requirements

ART

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Course Description

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)

Terms Taught

Spring 2021

Requirements

ART, EUR

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Course Description

Israeli Society Through Films
In this course we will examine Israeli culture, society, and history through Israeli cinema. We will view and discuss fiction films and documentaries that address, present and reflect such themes as national and personal aspects of life in Israel, the centrality of war and the ongoing conflict, the lives of Palestinians, experiences of Holocaust survivors, the changing status of the kibbutz, ethnic minorities, gender relations, LGBT issues, and varied religious communities. By analyzing films, we will trace and explore core values, shared beliefs, diverse ideologies, unique points of view, social processes, and social relations in past and present-day Israel. (formally HEBM 0250)

Terms Taught

Winter 2019, Winter 2020, Winter 2021, Winter 2022

Requirements

AAL, MDE, SOC

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Course Description

Podcasting the Past: Leisure and Middlebury College
This course explores aspects of American life through an analysis of a widely underutilized luxury: leisure time. Using the college archives, we will study the microcosm of the Middlebury campus and identify noteworthy leisure activities through out the College’s history (i.e., fraternity boat rides down Otter Creek in the late-19th century or the establishment of Middlebury’s Quidditch team in 2005). We will consider how these acts of leisure reflect the broader values of the era(s) in which they emerged. Ultimately students will share their findings in an original, sound-rich documentary podcast. By the end of this course, students will have developed basic recording and sound editing skills and have new tools for translating complicated scholarly ideas into a format appropriate for a lay audience. Previous experience with sound editing or familiarity with podcasting is not required. 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Spring 2019, Spring 2020

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Course Description

Remix Culture & Social Media Authorship
In today’s digital culture, remix functions as a core tool of self-authorship and community formation. This course examines the history and current state of digital remix cultures. We consider how remix logics shape authorship in social media spaces including TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter. We explore a range of remix works across media, with a focus on video. Students will produce remix video works as part of this course’s exploration of the logics, aesthetics, and impact of remix culture. 3 hrs. lecture/3 hrs. screening

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022

Requirements

AMR, ART, SOC

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Course Description

The Computerized Society: A Cultural History of the Computer Since WWII
What theorist Jean-Francois Lyotard called “the computerized society” turns out to be about far more than just machines. Technological developments are inextricably linked to other factors: culture, politics, economics, war, identity, race, class, gender, the law, region. In this course we will take an American studies approach to the evolution of the modern computer to grasp its history—and therefore its present significance. Students will encounter a wide range of sources and complete three analytic essays that begin with creative prompts to generate compelling historical interpretations of technology and its contextualized importance in America and the world. 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018

Requirements

AMR, HIS, NOR, SOC

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Course Description

Podcast Seminar: Series Development
In this course students work together to develop and produce original podcast series. Small groups collaborate to develop a show idea, map a first season of episodes and produce a work sample demonstrating the aesthetic of their series. In preparation for this endeavor we listen extensively to podcasts in a variety of formats and hear from show creators across the field of podcasting. Students will have the opportunity to plan and execute interviews, record round-table discussions, engage in field recordings, and ultimately develop a unique show voice and aesthetic (FMMC 0101, or FMMC 0249, or FMMC 1134, or FMMC 1026, or FMMC/AMST 0261) 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Winter 2020, Winter 2022

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Course Description

Aesthetics, Theories and Practice of Film Editing*
The editing of film and television content is often compared to screenwriting – and referred to as a “third writing”. In this class we will examine the history, aesthetic and theory of film editing, discuss editing techniques and apply them in several take-home exercises. The class focuses on editing’s importance in storytelling and on the strategies that editors use to create tension, relationships, emotion and meaning. We will also explore filmmaking techniques that conceptually relate to editing such as long takes, staging, lighting design, camera movement. Some of the films we will study: The Conversation, Do the right thing, Stories we tell, The Nile Hilton incident. While the class is only marginally touching on technology, access to a computer with certain technical capabilities and to editing software is necessary; if you are on campus, they are provided to you by the department (software also provided remotely). For class screenings, you also need access to an internet connection with video streaming capability. Familiarity with Adobe Premiere editing software recommended. (FMMC 0101 or FMMC 0105 or instructor approval)

Terms Taught

Spring 2021

Requirements

ART

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Course Description

Documentary Rhetorics
In this course students will explore the rhetorical performances of documentary film—in terms of production, ethics, and editing—and how documentaries are used for different means: investigation, activism, and even propaganda. After watching contemporary documentaries and reading reviews, interviews, analyses, and theories of filmmaking, students will analyze specific films (with cultural rhetorics and social consciousness lenses), conduct and transcribe interviews, and write a code of ethics for documentary filmmakers. The final project has students either produce or storyboard their own short documentaries.

Terms Taught

Fall 2022

Requirements

AMR, ART, CW, SOC

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Course Description

Filmmaking for Change
The art of cinema has the potential to reach audiences not only aesthetically but also at the level of ideas and moral principles. Filmmakers have the power to raise questions, challenge the status quo, mobilize dissent; they can bear witness, hold up a revealing mirror to reality and sometimes catalyze real change in the world. How can cinema perform these tasks while upholding its artistic value and not sliding into propaganda, didacticism or ideological advocacy? In this class we will watch and discuss films such as Z/ (Costa Gavras, 1968), /All the Presidents’ Men (Alan J Pakula, 1976), Dekalog (K. Kieslowski 1989). Each student will write a short screenplay with a theme about which they want to raise consciousness and stir debate. Note to students: this course involves substantial streaming of films for assigned viewing. (FMMC 101, or FMMC 0106, or instructor approval). 3hrs sem, 3 hrs screen.

Terms Taught

Spring 2019

Requirements

ART

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Course Description

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 0104 or by approval) 3 hrs. sem

Terms Taught

Spring 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2022

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Course Description

Advanced Filmmaking
In this course students will work in teams to produce several short films, having the opportunity to take turns at fulfilling all the essential crew positions: director, producer, cinematographer, production sound mixer, editor, and sound designer. We will emphasize thorough pre-production planning, scene design, cinematography, working with actors, and post production —including color correction and sound mixing. The critical dialogue established in FMMC 0105 Sight and Sound I will be extended and augmented with readings and screenings of outstanding independently produced work. (FMMC 0105) 3 hrs. lect./3 hrs. lab.

Terms Taught

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

Requirements

ART

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Course Description

Advanced Screenwriting
Building on the skills acquired in Writing for the Screen I, students will complete the first drafts of their feature-length screenplay, or TV pilot and Bible. Class discussion will focus on feature screenplay structure and theme development using feature films and screenplays. Each participant in the class will practice pitching, writing coverage, and outlining, culminating in a draft of a feature length script or TV pilot and Bible. (FMMC 0106) 3 hrs. sem/3 hrs. screen.

Terms Taught

Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021, Spring 2022, Spring 2023

Requirements

ART

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Course Description

Special Topics in Media Production
Topic is determined by the instructor - refer to section for the course description.

Terms Taught

Spring 2020

Requirements

ART

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Course Description

Acting and Directing for the Camera
In this advanced workshop we will focus on the relationship between actors and directors in the context of live action media production (film, television, advertising, web series). Students will gain practical knowledge of actor-director engagement and insight into both facets of this process. Students will also analyze produced screenplays, practice actor-director communication, and direct and perform for the camera. All students will take turns fulfilling the roles of director and performer, culminating in recording and editing workshopped scenes. (FMMC 0105 or THEA 0102)

Terms Taught

Spring 2020

Requirements

ART

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Course Description

Documentary Film in Contemporary China

In China since the 1980s, new political and socio-economic realities, along with new technologies, created conditions for the emergence of the New Documentary Movement, the collective achievement of a group of artists with new ideas about what the form and function of nonfiction film should be. We will screen and discuss select contemporary Chinese documentary films, place these films in the context of global documentary film history, and learn methods for the analysis of nonfiction film. We will "read" each film closely, and also study secondary sources to learn about the Chinese realities that each film documents. 3 hrs. lect./screening

Terms Taught

Winter 2021, Fall 2022

Requirements

ART, NOA

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Course Description

Brazilian Cinema and Culture
In this course we will analyze how Brazilian cinema has been approaching issues related to Brazilian society and culture since mid-twentieth century to the present. Issues may range from colonialism and neocolonialism, dictatorship and revolutionary movements, and the permanence of violence in the fabric of society, to gender identity and diverse sexualities, or race and racism. Throughout the course we will also learn about different movements, moments, aesthetics, and filmmakers, as well as how filmic genres are constructed in Brazilian cinema. Readings will be taken from film criticism and history, social and historical analysis, as well as from other theoretical frameworks, such as gender theory or critical race theory. Course taught in English.

Terms Taught

Fall 2022

Requirements

AMR, ART, SOC

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Course Description

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.

Terms Taught

Spring 2019, Spring 2022

Requirements

ART, CW

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Course Description

Theories of Popular Culture
This writing-intensive course introduces a range of theoretical approaches to study American popular culture, exploring the intersection between everyday life, mass media, and identity and social power. We will consider key theoretical readings and approaches to studying culture, including ideology and hegemony theory, audience studies, subcultural analysis, the politics of taste, and cultural representations of identity. Using these theoretical tools, we will examine a range of popular media and sites of cultural expression, from television to toys, films to music, to understand popular culture as a site of ongoing political and social struggle. (FMMC 0102 or FMMC 0104 or AMST 0101 or instructor approval) 3 hrs. sem/3 hrs. screen.

Terms Taught

Fall 2019

Requirements

CW, SOC

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Course Description

Theories of Spectatorship, Audience, and Fandom
In this course we explore the transcultural dynamics of spectatorship, audience engagement, and fan communities, from Hitchcock to anime, from The Beatles to BLACKPINK, from Star Trek to The Untamed. How do we engage with media texts in local and global contexts? Is our experience of media today radically different from the early years of cinema? What does it mean to be a fan? Have our notions of fandom changed over time? How do race, gender, class, national, and cultural context inform media engagement? We will consider key theoretical approaches and interrogate our own position as spectators, consumers, and fans in media culture. (FMMC 0101 or FMMC 0102 or FMMC 0104 or FMMC 0223 or FMMC 0276) 3 hrs. lect./disc./3 hrs. screen.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2022

Requirements

ART, CMP, CW, SOC

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Course Description

Key Concepts in Film & Media Criticism
This writing-intensive seminar takes a close look at four key theoretical concepts for film & media criticism: textuality, authorship, genre, and narrative. How do we understand the boundaries between any film “text” and its broader intertextual contexts? How does authorship frame our understanding of the style and ethics of any given film? How do genre categories help us make sense of films and media, as well as their cultural contexts? How do films and media tell stories in distinctive and innovative ways? Through theoretical readings and exemplary screenings, we will learn to become sharper critics of films and media. (FMMC 0101 or FMMC 0102 or FMMC 0104 or instructor's approval) 3 hrs. sem./3 hrs. screen

Terms Taught

Spring 2020, Fall 2021, Spring 2023

Requirements

CW

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Course Description

Movement and Media
In this course we will take an interdisciplinary look at the dynamic relationship between the body and digital media. Students will develop skills in basic film editing, real-time software manipulation, open-source media research, project design, and collaboration. We will address design history and theories of modern media through readings and multimedia sources. Process and research papers and work-in-progress showings will document ongoing collaborations that will culminate in an informal showing at the end of the semester. This course is open to students of all artistic backgrounds who are interested in significantly expanding their creative vocabularies and boundaries to include dance. (Approval required; DANC 0261 required for dance students) 3 hrs. lect./3 hrs. lab.

Terms Taught

Fall 2019

Requirements

ART, PE

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Course Description

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

Terms Taught

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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Course Description

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.

Terms Taught

Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, Fall 2022

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Course Description

Senior Projects
Students may enroll in this project-based independent credit to complete the thesis work started in the fall. Requires faculty approval based on satisfactory progress in the Senior Tutorial. Projects will include a public presentation at the end of Winter or beginning of Spring term.

Terms Taught

Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023

Requirements

WTR

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Course Description

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.

Terms Taught

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

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Course Description

Film, TV & Gender
In this course we will examine unconventional representations of gender and sexuality in current television series and movies, as well as a few earlier films. We will use feminist approaches to think about spectatorship, femininity and masculinity, transgender politics, the family, cult films, and fan cultures. Our goal will be to investigate how popular film and television can inform our understanding of gender and sexuality by following existing models and gesturing toward new possibilities. Students will write short critical and creative pieces in addition to a longer critical essay.

Terms Taught

Winter 2022

Requirements

SOC, WTR

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Course Description

Collaborative Video Projects
In this course students will learn to work collaboratively either as crew members on the senior thesis films produced for FMMC 0701 or on original projects, depending on availability of resources. Students will receive credit for performing in key creative positions, including Producer, Assistant Director, Cinematographer, Art director, Sound Designer, and Editor. In this class students will learn advanced set operations, while workshopping projects from pre-production to main photography to editorial, post-production and the final screening. Students must do significant pre-production before January. (Honors Pass/Fail; Approval required)

Terms Taught

Winter 2019, Winter 2020, Winter 2022, Winter 2023

Requirements

WTR

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Course Description

From Page to Podcast: Producing Audio Fiction
This course offers a deep dive into the world of audio fiction. As podcasts grow in popularity, so do the number and quality of fictional series. In this course students will read contemporary short fiction and listen extensively to great audio fiction including historical audio drama and recent podcasts such as The Truth and Welcome to Night Vale. Finally, in a unique collaboration between this course and another called From Page to Podcast: Writing Audio Fiction, students will produce fictional audio works with stories created by Middlebury students in the other course. By the end of this course, students will have developed studio recording and sound editing basics, a small archive of original foley, as well as a completed work of audio fiction. We will premiere the final in a special “listening room” that we organize together.

Terms Taught

Winter 2019

Requirements

ART, WTR

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Course Description

Culture Jamming & Creative Media Activism
In this course we will study the practice of cultural resistance in the US after the Cold War, focusing mainly on creative media activism (culture jamming, subvertising, hashtag campaigns, etc.) directed against consumer capitalism. Discussions will be informed by critical theory (Adorno, Ahmed, Jenkins) and will explore fiction film (Fight Club), artwork (Banksy, Rodríguez-Gerada), and activist campaigns (Adbusters). Which cultural resistance strategies have worked well and why? How have corporations and the government responded to them? Students will craft their own culture jams and, as a group, work on a creative media activist campaign.

Terms Taught

Winter 2019

Requirements

ART, SOC, WTR

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Course Description

Video Editing Fundamentals
In this workshop course we will explore the theory, mechanics, conventions and aesthetics of video editing. Students will learn the mechanics of the Premier editing platform and be led through a series of assignments focused on various challenges faced by film editors. Students will learn how to get the most out of a narrative performance by using camera angles, edit lengths, and body gestures to create a purposeful flow of action. They will learn to create energy and rhythm in music videos by controlling pace, shot selection, and movements within a clip. Students will edit professionally shot dailies to complete four editing assignments, two narrative and two music videos. There will also be reading assignments, Adobe Editing tutorial assignments, and one Editing Analysis presentation.
After graduating from Middlebury, Bee Ottinger went to California Institute of Art and became a video editor for 35 years. She had a small video editing company when music videos started in the 80’s and rode the wave of the evolution of a new way of editing. She has been teaching video editing for ten years./

Terms Taught

Winter 2023

Requirements

WTR

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Course Description

Finding Your Voice Through Documentary
Whether using a cell phone or a professional camera, if you are an experienced filmmaker or a novice, there is no single way to tell a story and no single way to make a documentary film. Finding Your Voice Through Documentary is a film production class. In this course we will learn how to conceptualize, plan, and execute a short documentary film while also becoming proficient with foundational filmmaking skills. We will learn to critically analyze and create documentaries on topics that are of interest to us while encouraging development of our own voice, aesthetic, and intention.

Terms Taught

Winter 2020

Requirements

ART, WTR

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Course Description

Documentary Film as Portraiture
A hands-on introduction to documentary filmmaking as portraiture, focused on students producing a 3-5 minute documentary film. We will discuss film theory as relates to objective and subjective modes of shooting and editing, including an historical look at how these modes developed, how they operate today, and the ethics involved. We will examine a variety of films that use different expressive tactics (cinema verite, impressionism, classic Western film language, etc) to illustrate their subjects on psychological and social planes. And finally, we will learn the principles of camerawork and editing before creating our own documentaries as portraits.

Terms Taught

Winter 2022

Requirements

ART, WTR

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Course Description

Adventure Filmmaking
With its 2019 Oscar win, Free Solo made ‘adventure filmmaking’ a household term, but many people don’t appreciate the real power this particular medium holds. This course will embrace winter in Vermont by getting outside and documenting four human adventure stories. We will practice techniques and study film, but the bulk of study will be through short collaborative productions. This course will immerse students in film production and empower them as storytellers. While adventure filmmaking is a fun way to get outside, its true power is in using adventure to gain new insights on the human condition, issues of social justice, climate change, and more. This class will challenge students to transcend the stereotypical “adventure film” genre and inspire change.
Ryan Scura ’11 is an award-winning documentary filmmaker who focuses on human stories of outdoor adventures. He leads the independent video studio Dooster./

Terms Taught

Winter 2023

Requirements

AAL, WTR

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Course Description

Current Affairs Documentary Film
In this course we will learn the fundamentals of making a current affairs documentary film. We will chart the path from story identification and pitch to developing sources, investigation, the ethics of news gathering, interview craft, filmic style, structuring, and writing. There will be units on each. We will watch and analyze different styles of current affairs documentary making. Students will participate in hands on writing workshops, and will each come up with a documentary project outline, providing a storyboarded visual treatment, a shoot schedule and a draft script.
Hilary Andersson is an award-winning journalist and documentary maker who spent 25 years with the BBC, covering wars in Africa and the Middle East and later working for the BBC’s flagship Panorama documentary program. Hilary is now based in Vermont, from where she travels and continues to make current affairs documentaries on American and international affairs./

Terms Taught

Winter 2023

Requirements

WTR

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Course Description

Script Development Workshop
This course is organized in conjunction with the Middlebury Script Lab, a screenwriting residential workshop that brings together emerging screenwriters and established industry professionals. The students will attend screenwriting workshops, masterclasses and informal meetings with visiting writers and producers. Students will explore ideation techniques, finding a story that is appropriate for a feature length script, outlining and pitching. We will discuss dramatic structure in depth and explore the high-concept potential of your screenplay ideas, examining their aesthetic as well as their business possibilities. We will assemble a pitching packet for your projects, including synopsis, logline, mood board and fantasy casting. At the conclusion of this class, you will have a solid outline supported by pitching materials and a clear overview of your material. The class makes an excellent preparation for students who want to take FMMC 0341 Writing for the Screen II or who plan to write a screenplay for their senior tutorial. (FMMC 0106 or instructor approval) 

Terms Taught

Winter 2019, Winter 2020, Winter 2021

Requirements

ART, WTR

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Course Description

Data Science Across Disciplines
In this course, we will gain exposure to the entire data science pipeline—obtaining and cleaning large and messy data sets, exploring these data and creating engaging visualizations, and communicating insights from the data in a meaningful manner. During morning sessions, we will learn the tools and techniques required to explore new and exciting data sets. During afternoon sessions, students will work in small groups with one of several faculty members on domain-specific research projects in Sociology, Neuroscience, Animation, Art History, or Environmental Science. This course will utilize the R programming language. No prior experience with R is necessary.
ENVS: Students will engage in research within environmental health science—the study of reciprocal relationships between human health and the environment. High-quality data and the skills to make sense of these data are key to studying environmental health across diverse spatial scales, from individual cells through human populations. In this course, we will explore common types of data and analytical tools used to answer environmental health questions and inform policy.
FMMC: Students will explore how to make a series of consequential decisions about how to present data and how to make it clear, impactful, emotional or compelling. In this hands-on course we will use a wide range of new and old art making materials to craft artistic visual representations of data that educate, entertain, and persuade an audience with the fundamentals of data science as our starting point.
NSCI/MATH: Students will use the tools of data science to explore quantitative approaches to understanding and visualizing neural data. The types of neural data that we will study consists of electrical activity (voltage and/or spike trains) measured from individual neurons and can be used to understand how neurons respond to and process different stimuli (e.g., visual or auditory cues). Specifically, we will use this neural data from several regions of the brain to make predictions about neuron connectivity and information flow within and across brain regions.
SOCI: Students will use the tools of data science to examine how experiences in college are associated with social and economic mobility after college. Participants will combine sources of "big data" with survey research to produce visualizations and exploratory analyses that consider the importance of higher education for shaping life chances.
HARC: Students will use the tools of data science to create interactive visualizations of the Dutch textile trade in the early eighteenth century. These visualizations will enable users to make connections between global trade patterns and representations of textiles in paintings, prints, and drawings.

Terms Taught

Winter 2022

Requirements

ART, DED, WTR

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