CP470a-MCMA552 fa14 Russian East European Cinema

Dr. Michele Leigh Office: COMM 1121L Mail Box: Cinema & Photography officeEmail: mleigh@siu.edu drleigh@micheleleigh.netOffice Hours: Tues 11-3, Thurs 12-2pm Class Meeting Times:August 21 – December 5, 2014Thurs 9-11:50 am COMM 1122

 

Required Texts:

History of Russian Cinema by Birgit Beaumers, Bloomsbury Academic Press, 2009

A Companion to Eastern European Cinema ed. By Aniko Imre, Wiley-Blackwell, 2012 (this book is available as an ebook on the library website)

COURSE READER ALL other readings will be posted on my website www.micheleleigh.net. You should either print out each reading or take careful notes. You should always bring your print outs or notes with you to class.

Course Description:   Russia and Eastern Europe have played significant roles within the history of filmmaking. This course will highlight some of the key films and filmmakers in Russia, Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and former Yugoslavia, among other countries. Students will learn about the historical, socio-political and cultural contexts of these films. The goal of the course to engage students with film masterpieces, helping them develop analytical and viewing skills while at the same time introducing them to the critical issues of this part of the world. We will explore issues of nationalism, the effects of war, the appeal of Communism as well as the aftermath of the Post-Communist era. We will consider what is means for a film to be “Russian,” “Soviet,” “Eastern European,” “Czech,” and etc… We will discuss the history of cinema and the role of history IN cinema. Students will develop an understanding of the power of cinema as a tool for propaganda or subversion, as well as its ability to provide entertainment. Students should emerge from this course with an enriched understanding of diverse film cultures and the tools for further exploration.

 

Course Goals:  Upon completion of the course, students will be prepared to:

* interrogate the main trajectories of Russian and East European film, culture, and history

* analyze a film in relation to theory, culture and history

* critique their own and other’s work

* contribute to a body of knowledge on Russian and East European Cinema

Expectations:  Students are expected to attend class sessions on time and participate in class discussions. Active participation means prior reading of assigned materials and sharing of relevant thoughts and experiences both in class and on-line. You must check your email and our class webpage regularly for announcements. Students are encouraged to bring to class or post examples of alternative media from a variety of sources to further class discussions on our class webpage (http://www.micheleleigh.net/teaching/cp470a-mcma552-fa14-russian-east-european-cinema/)

You should be taking notes. I will be covering material not in the reading. You should also take notes during the film screenings, this may be the only time you get to see the film. If you miss a class it is YOUR responsibility to get notes or materials from a classmate. Assignments are due as indicated on the course calendar. All assignments must be turned in prior to the beginning of class. Assignments turned in during or after class will be considered late. Late assignments will lose 10 points for each day they are late. ALL assignments MUST be turned in, regardless of how late they are. Failure to turn in an assignment will result in an F for the course.

Undergraduate Assignments:

Class Presentation – You will prepare and give a presentation on your final research paper. This presentation must present your main argument and pertinent examples to support your argument. You will have ten minutes for your presentation, this includes any film clips should you choose to use them.

Short essays – you will be required to write 4 short essays throughout the semester. These short pieces can lay the foundation for your longer research paper if you choose. These essays should be 3-6 pages in length, well thought out and coherently written. You must properly cite material using the MLA format and include a works cited page. Papers 1 and 3 will be historically based, while papers 2 and 4 will be expository essays on two films of your own choosing. You must make an argument for how the film functions, providing detailed textual analysis to back your argument. You must also historically and culturally situate the film.

Online Film Journals – film journals should consist of brief discussions (three or four paragraphs, or about one page single-spaced) of each of the films we see in the course of the semester. Your journal entries should be well thought out and coherently written. You will have three days from the time the film was screened to post your comments.

Research Papers – Over the course of the semester you will be tasked with writing a research paper. Your paper should make an original contribution to scholarship, drawing from and developing the historical, cultural and theoretical approaches discussed in class. The papers should be 7-10 pages for undergraduates/15-30 pages for graduates and be properly cited using the MLA style guide. You are required to meet with Dr. Leigh regarding your paper.

Extra Credit – Students can receive up to 10 points extra credit on their lowest grade for creating a film, series of photographs, or piece of art inspired by the work screened in class.

 

Grades     Breakdown  
Class Presentation   10% 90-100 A
Short Essays 4 30% 80-89 B
Participation   10% 70-79 C
Research   35% 60-69 D
Film Journals   15%    
Total Points   100    

 

Graduate  Assignments:

Class Presentation – Throughout this course you will be required to give two types of presentations. You will each have to do a presentation on a film screened outside of class. The film will be of your own choosing. You must provide detailed analysis of how the film functions. You must also historically and culturally situate the film.

For your second presentation, you will prepare and give a presentation on your final research paper. This presentation must present your main argument and pertinent examples to support your argument. You will have ten minutes for your presentation, this includes any film clips should you choose to use them.

Short essays – you will be required to write 4 short essays throughout the semester. These short pieces can lay the foundation for your longer research paper if you choose. These essays should be 4-6 pages in length, well thought out and coherently written. You must properly cite material using the MLA format and include a works cited page. Papers 1 and 3 will be historically based, while papers 2 and 4 will be expository essays on two films of your own choosing. You must make an argument for how the film functions, providing detailed textual analysis to back your argument. You must also historically and culturally situate the film.

Online Film Journals – film journals should consist of brief discussions (three or four paragraphs, or about one page single-spaced) of each of the films we see in the course of the semester. Your journal entries should be well thought out and coherently written. You will have three days from the time the film was screened to post your comments.

Research Papers – Over the course of the semester you will be tasked with writing a research paper. Your paper should make an original contribution to scholarship, drawing from and developing the historical, cultural and theoretical approaches discussed in class. The papers should be 7-10 pages for undergraduates/15-30 pages for graduates and be properly cited using the MLA style guide. You are required to meet with Dr. Leigh regarding your paper.

Extra Credit – Students can receive up to 10 points extra credit on their lowest grade for creating a film, series of photographs, or piece of art inspired by the work screened in class.

 

Grades     Breakdown  
Class Presentations 2 presentations 10% 90-100 A
Short Essays 4 30% 80-89 B
Participation   10% 70-79 C
Research   35% 60-69 D
Film Journals   15%    
Total Points   100    

Attendance:  ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY! Keep in mind you are here to learn and get an education and you can’t do that if you don’t attend class. Missing more than 2 classes throughout the semester due to unexcused absences WILL result in a lower course grade. If you know ahead of time that you will be missing a class, please let me know.

 

 COURSE SCHEDULE

 

 

 

 

 

 

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