Thursday, July 02, 2015

Structure of Film Analysis: HUM 3


HUM 3: FILM APPRECIATION
GUIDE QUESTIONS FOR FILM ANALYSIS

Note:  This is only a guide for the one-page essay you will have to submit to the teacher every after the movie show.  Please organize your essay in the following format in coherent manner.  Grammar and organization will be checked. Submission of film analysis by e-mail is not allowed.

(Specs: 8.5x11 white bond paper, single spaced; 12 pt font size; Times Roman or Garamond;  1 page only)

ELEMENTS OF FILM ANALYSIS

  1. Story:
    1. Is it plot or character-oriented? Explain.
    2. Are all the characters believable? Please cite examples.
    3. Does it have the element of surprise?  Is the ending predictable?

  2. Character:
    1. Are the actors and actresses deserved to be commended? Why?
    2. Are all the other supporting actors credible?  Who is the most credible? Least credible?
    3. What is your assessment of the lead actor or actress?  Is the role fitting to the personality/voice/projection of the actor or actress?

  3. Theme:
    1. What is the underlying message of the film?
    2. Identify the symbolisms used in the film?  What do they mean?
    3. How do these symbols contribute to the over all meaning of the film?
    4. Can you identify the leit-motif used in the film?  How does the motif relate to the director’s tendencies and choice of presenting his message?

  1. Setting:
    1. Is the location appropriate?
    2. What location touched you most? Why?
    3. Are there locations that seem to be irrelevant?  What are these and why?

OTHERS: Sex and Music/ Sound Effects:
·       Was there any sex scene in the film?  Was this necessary or not?  How did this contribute to the over all message of film?
·       How was the music/ SFX used?  Was the music/ SFX appropriate to the particular scene?  Were feelings evoked by the music/ SFX associated with the particular image it accompanied?


MIMETIC AND KINETIC ELEMENTS

Did the film touch your emotions?  Which character affected you most?  Why?  Did you like the movie?  Were you able to identify any cinematic flaw? Did you think they were intended or not? Any other comment about the movie is welcome.


Reminder: Please avoid copying film reviews in the Internet. Take note of the consequence regarding academic dishonesty and student integrity. If you want to use some ideas from online film reviews in the net, kindly paraphrase and put the necessary acknowledgement of the source either as a footnote or endnotes or other applicable sourcing method. [Rev 06-2015]

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Course Outline: Film Appreciation (Hum 3)


Hum 3: Film APPRECIATION
Jeremy S. Eliab
Phone: (82) 2212411 local 8253
Office Hours: 10-11 MW
E-mail: jseliab@addu.edu.ph
Web Resources: http://hum3.blogspot.com

Textbooks and References
·       Summerfield, Ellen. Crossing Cultures Through Film.  Maine: Intercultural Press, Inc., 1993 (ebrary.com)
·       Bordwell, David, and Kristin Thompson. Film Art: An Introduction. 6th Edition. New York: McGraw Hill, 2001 (Check Reserve Section of the ADDU Library) (791.4301/B729/1997)
·       Turner, Graeme. Film as Social Practice. London: Routledge, 1999 (ebrary.com)
·       Elliott, Paul. Hitchcock and the Cinemas of Sensations: Embodied Film Theory and Cinematic Reception.  New York: L.B. Tauris & Co.. Ltd., 2011 (ebrary.com)
·       Fischer, Edward. Film as Insight.  Indiana: Fides Publishers, Inc., 1971.
·       Casebier, Allan. Film Appreciation. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc., 1976. (791.4301/C337)
·       Johnson, Ron and Jan Bone.  Understanding the Film. New York: National Textbook Co., 1976.
·       Arnheim, Rudolf.  Film as Art. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1966.
·       Lewis, Jerry.  The Total Film-Maker.  New York: Warner Paperback Library, 1971.
·       Gelmis, Joseph.  The Film Director as Superstar.  New York: Anchor Press, 1970.
·       Deocampo, Nick.  Short Film: The Emergence of a New Philippine Cinema.  Manila:  Communications Foundation of Asia, 1985.
·       Boyum, Joy Gould, 1934. Film as Film: Critical Responses to Film Art. Allyn and Bacon, C1971 xv, 397p. (791.43/B793)
·       Mast, Gerald. 1940-1990. Film Theory and Criticism: Introductory Readings. Oxford: Oxford University Press, c1992 (Check the Reserve Section of ADDU Library) (791.4301/M423/1992)
·       Talbot, Daniel. ed. 1959. Film: An Anthology. Berkeley: University of California Press. (791.43082/F487)
·       Decherney, Peter. Hollywood and the Culture Elite: How the Movies Became American. New York: Columbia University Press, 2005. (ebrary.com)
·       Access Ateneo de Davao University Library E-Catalog at http://library.addu.edu.ph

All my presentations are posted at: www.slideshare.net/jseliab. Always look for the updated version of the file. I usually update my presentation every year.

Announcements and other resources and articles are posted at hum3.blogspot.com.

Course Description and Overview
Hum 3 (Film Appreciation) is an introduction to the scholarly, aesthetic analysis and study of the cinema. It is not a "Great Films" class; the films we will be viewing are not intended to represent "the greatest films ever made" (as if such a list could ever be generated and agreed upon). Rather, the course is designed to present a broad spectrum of genres and modes of cinematic storytelling and expression. We will see both classic and contemporary films, and although several of the films we will see will likely be familiar to you, we have deliberately included more lesser-known European films that challenge and diverge from the conventions and paradigms of traditional Hollywood filmmaking and the mainstream popular cinema. Consequently, one recurring concern of our class will be to better understand the formal, stylistic, and ideological relationships between the Classical Hollywood Cinema and its alternatives in both the art cinema and in the post-classical popular cinema. During the first half of the course, we will focus on mastering the various terms, elements, concepts, and theoretical constructs--in other words, the critical vocabulary--of cinematic aesthetic analysis. In the second half of the course we will expand our focus to include consideration of the social and historical contexts of the films we are studying.

Course Requirements
We all enjoy watching films (and we will likely explore the sources of this pleasure in our discussions), but be prepared to work hard in this course. The reading load can get heavy at times, and the material is often challenging and complex. Every student is required to view every assigned film, complete all reading and writing assignments on time, attend every class meeting, and actively participate in the class. You will need to keep up with the deadlines, because to do otherwise will throw you far behind and will not allow you to develop your skills at an appropriate pace. Your written work will be the focus of intense scrutiny, and I will give you as much feedback as humanly possible to guide your mastery of the course skills. You should expect to get written work returned with many comments and suggestions for improvement even if it receives an A. Below is a breakdown of the required work for this course, and their relative values expressed as percentages of the final course grade.

1/3 – Prelim: Film Analysis, Quizzes and Examination
1/3 – Midterm: Film Analysis, Individual Presentation and Examination
1/3 – Pre-Final: Film Analysis, Quizzes and Examination

Note: All written work must be turned in to pass the course. This means that you must turn in all papers and exams in order to get a passing grade. A zero on any of these assignments will automatically result in a failing grade for the course.


NOTE ON ACADEMIC INTEGRITY:
If any student plagiarizes in writing a paper--that is, copies or closely paraphrases from a source without proper quotation and acknowledgment of the source--then that student will be given a failing grade either on the paper or in the course. Cheating, fabrication, plagiarism will be dealt with seriously according to the existing rules and regulation of the University.

Class Grading Standards
A -  achievement that is outstanding relative to the level necessary to meet course requirements. (92-100)
B+ - achievement that is significantly satisfactory to meet course requirements. (88-91)
B - achievement that is significantly above the level necessary to meet course requirements. (84-87)
C+ - achievement that meets the course requirements in every respect. (80-83)
C - achievement that fairly meets the course requirements. (76-79)
D - achievement that is worthy of credit even though it fails to meet fully the course requirements. (72-75)
F - Represents failure (or no credit) and signifies that the work was either (1) completed but at a level of achievement that is not worthy of credit (below 72) or (2) was not completed and there was no agreement between the instructor and the student that the student would be awarded an INC.
INC (Incomplete) Assigned at the discretion of the instructor when, due to extraordinary circumstances, e.g., hospitalization, a student is prevented from completing the work of the course on time. Requires a written agreement between instructor and student.
FD (Failure Debarred) Represent failure (or no credit) due to tardiness and absences.  The student absences and tardiness must not exceed 20% of the total number of session hours.

Course Policies
1) Late arrival should be the exception. It is disruptive and extremely annoying, and common sense should tell you that it is a bad thing to annoy the teacher. When it is unavoidable, however, sign the late arrival form posted on the wall by the door and sit in the nearest available seat so as not to further disrupt the class. You are responsible for any information you miss, and because I often cover important business (such as assignments, due-dates, changes in the syllabus, etc.) in the first few minutes of class, make absolutely sure that you find out what you missed from one of your classmates.

2) Early preparation for departure---please don’t. Class ends at the scheduled time and not one, two, or three minutes before. If you promise to give me 3 full hours of your undivided attention, I promise to never keep you past the final bell. Give me 3 hours and I’ll never take more.

3) Participation in this class is required. This does not mean, however, that you MUST talk. I certainly appreciate, enjoy, and encourage lively class discussions, but "participation" simply means that you are actively taking part in the learning process occurring around you, and there’s no reason this can’t be done silently. You are participating as long as you come to class prepared, pay attention, take notes, and are generally engaged with the material. (You would be astounded, by the way, at how easy it is for a teacher to tell whether a quiet student is engaged with the class or is simply unprepared or uninterested in what is going on around her or him.) I understand that some folks are reluctant to speak, whether this reluctance arises from fear, self-consciousness, or cultural differences, and I will not force anyone to speak who doesn’t want to. However, I consider the ability to formulate and articulate questions and comments in the context of an informal class discussion to be one of the most important, valuable, and rewarding skills that the college experience has to offer (and one of the most valued skills in the "real world"), and those who choose not to take advantage of opportunities to speak in class are doing themselves a grave disservice. Everyone in class should try to raise their hand and contribute to class discussions (whether it be to ask a question or offer an insight) regularly throughout the semester.

4) Attendance in this class is mandatory. There is a tremendous amount of material to cover, terms and concepts to learn, and skills to develop in this course, and actual classroom time is limited to 30-75-minute lecture per week. Excessive absences and/or tardiness will affect what you learn and, consequently, the grade you earn. IMPORTANT: Four (4) absences will result in an automatic failure –debarred (FD) grade.

5) Keep the lines of communication open. Feel free to tell me if I’m covering the material too fast or too slow, if you are having trouble seeing the blackboard, if you can’t read my handwriting, if I haven’t explained something clearly enough, if you need me to clarify my expectations for a particular assignment, and so on. My goal is to do everything I can to help you succeed in this course, and your comments and constructive criticism are welcomed and encouraged. If you find yourself having difficulty understanding or keeping up with the readings or our class discussions, or completing assigned work on time, come see me before you fall too far behind. Keeping me informed of problems is always in your best interest. First of all, I may be able to help you resolve the problem. A little one-on-one discussion can often clear things up quickly. Second, if you keep the lines of communication open, I’ll be more responsive to requests for extra help, extensions, and so on, because I’ll know you’ve been engaged and working hard all along. I will make myself available to everyone--via email, phone, and one-on-one conferences--throughout the semester to answer questions, explain assignments, provide individualized help and encouragement, or just to chat about the cinema. I value the opportunity to meet with students on an individual basis, and encourage you to stop by my office early in the semester to introduce yourself.

6) All due-dates in this class are firm, serious deadlines. No late work will be accepted. Whenever you turn in a paper, always make sure you keep a copy for yourself. Never give me (or anyone) the only copy of your work--too many things could happen.

An important note concerning technology
Often students will come to class on the day a paper is due and tell me that one of the machines in the computer lab destroyed their disk, that internet connection is broken or slow, that their system mysteriously crashed the night before, or offer some other reason for turning in a late paper. Although I sympathize with the frustration technology can cause, I do not consider technological failure to be a valid excuse for turning in late work. Use your common sense if you do your work on a computer--save your work often and make backup copies of your files and disks. Whenever you send your paper to me by e-mail, cc yourself so you keep a copy of what is sent. It’s also important--and this applies to everyone, not only those working on computers--to start working on assignments early, so that you have plenty of time to accommodate any technical difficulties that arise. Starting a paper the night before it’s due is a recipe for disaster.

For this semester, all film review papers should be submitted by e-mail using your official ADDU e-mail address (something that ends with @addu.edu.ph, you use this link to access your University e-mail account: blueknights. addu.edu.ph. All assigned papers should be submitted two days (48 hours) before the next class to my e-mail address: jseliab@addu.edu.ph. I require that papers are converted into a PDF (portable document format) before they are sent as attachment. Papers must be a one (1) page review of the film screened previously in class, in Times Roman or Bookman Antiqua, 12 font size. The paper must contain your name, your class schedule. Subject heading must read: Hum 3/ [Day of Class] [Time of Class]/ [Title of Film].

Sample:

To: Jeremy S. Eliab
From: Gorgonio P. Dimaculangan (gpdimaculangan@addu.edu.ph)
Re: Hum 3/ Saturday 1:30 PM/ The Road Home

I take note of the date stamped in the e-mails I received. If you submit your paper after the deadline, I will not read your paper, and you get an F (failure) mark for that requirement.

7) Plagiarism: Plagiarism is trying to pass off someone else's words or ideas as your own. It's very hard to get away with and the consequences of it are severe (including suspension or dismissal from the university). Don't do it.

8) Extra Credit: The web bulletin board on our class's website provides a forum for students to post responses to the course material. Posting to the bulletin board is not required, but is encouraged and welcomed. I read every post, often using student comments to help guide class discussion. To encourage use of the bulletin board, I offer an extra credit bonus for students who post their thoughts regularly.

9) Films: You must attend the weekly film screening. CDs shown on TV are convenient and acceptable for close study or quick review, but they cannot provide the superior quality (and cultural evocativeness) of the projected image. Sometimes videotapes and CDs cut off part of the image--you're not seeing the entire film! Moreover, some of the films we will watch are not be readily available on video shops. Again, every week you must come to class prepared to discuss the assigned films and readings. The screening is a class, and as such you are expected to conduct yourselves appropriately. Please review and follow the etiquette and rules for screenings.

My Learning/Teaching Philosophy
"Understanding" and "learning" are not synonymous terms. It is my primary responsibility to ensure that you understand the content of the course (i.e., the various terms, concepts, and theoretical constructs associated with the serious and scholarly study of cinema). Your job is to learn the material; that is, you need to be able to apply the terms, concepts and theories we discuss to the films we watch as a class (and to other films you have seen or see outside of class), and reflect on how they help you interpret the meanings films communicate and make sense of an account for the impact they have on you as a viewer. This learning requires that you do two things:

1) ask questions whenever you don't understand or need further clarification; and
2) practice applying the knowledge you acquire in this class.

I will do my best to do my responsibility by
1) striving to communicate effectively;
2) explaining the content of the course clearly and at an appropriate pace;
3) helping to create and maintain a classroom culture in which students feel safe asking questions and expressing and exploring their ideas;
4) providing ample opportunities for students to practice applying their knowledge;
5) providing timely, constructive, and fair responses to and evaluation of student work;
6) periodically soliciting student feedback concerning ways to improve the class; and
7) making myself available for individual conferences and one-on-one assistance.

In order for learning to take place, we must both do our jobs and do our respective responsibilities. Your responsibilities include:
1) coming to class regularly and on time;
2) seeing the films on class meeting;
3) completing all assigned readings, homework, and papers on time; and
4) developing a sincere interest and intellectual curiosity about the content of the course.

Please take the time during the semester to reflect periodically on the extent to which we are each fulfilling our respective responsibilities.


Introductory Notes (June 13, 2015)


Introductory Notes for Film Appreciation (June 2015)

For Hum 3 students in the First Semester, 2015-2016, kindly download the Introductory Notes, Course Description and Overview, Course Requirements, Grading Standards, Course Policies for the Hum 3 - Film Appreciation Class (Codes: 6-234):

Click Here to Download.

Hum 3 students are expected to be familiar with the all class policies and others.

For the first assignments, kindly read the following articles:

(1) Elements of Film
(2) Mimetic Element: The Nature of the Film Language

(3) Movie Theater Etiquette (See Below)


Hum 3: Film Appreciation
Mass Communication Department
Ateneo de Davao University



MOVIE THEATER ETIQUETTE
by Michelle Jones
Everyone knows how to watch a video. You get a bag of munchies, pop in a DVD or CD, hit "Play," sit back, and enjoy the movie. That’s it! Watching one of the films involves more than this. Watching these movies needs to be a thoughtful and concentrated experience to be beneficial.

To prepare for the experience, make sure there will be no distractions such as phones or others bursting in on you or somebody chatting while you’re trying to watch the film. You need to be able to focus your attention on the film. It is also good to watch the movie with one or more others with whom you are able to talk about personal things, such as your concerns and difficulties. After watching the movie it is important to reflect on what you saw and to discuss the film with those who viewed it with you. Reflect on or discuss your observations.

The films shown in class may not be the type you would normally watch. As you begin to view one you may quickly find that the movie is not your kind of entertainment. Remember, you are not watching this film for entertainment but for course work and personal growth.

A film can have different meanings to different viewers. Your life experiences, your personal issues and your emotional reaction will influence the meaning the film has for you. Allow yourself to feel the experience. If you find yourself identifying with a particular character or you see similarities between one or more of the people in the film and people in your life, allow yourself to witness the events as they unfold. Are the behaviors and choices made similar or different than those you and others in your life make? If they are different are they better choices? If they are better choices what gets in the way of your making the same? Be honest with your answers
.

Somehow our society has progressed to a point where people have lost their common sense when it comes to viewing films. I’m not taking about those who whisper to each other all the way through the show or those that walk out when a film crosses some arbitrary line of “too much” sex or violence. I’m talking about the people who are really offensive and break all the rules of common decency when they enter a viewing room. For these people I present a brief lesson in movie theater etiquette.

1. Respect personal space. Do not ever sit directly next to someone you don’t know unless the viewing room is exceptionally crowded and you have no alternative. I can guarantee you that no stranger in the world wants to hear you crunch through your candy bar or slurp up the last bit of your P21.00 soft drink. For a room with a thin to moderate crowd use the two seat rule- two seats between you and the next person. For a room that is leaning toward the crowded side one seat will work.

2. Crying in the theater is reserved for exceptionally sad scenes only. This means that if you were silly enough to bring a baby or a toddler to anything other than a G rated movie you have to leave the instant they start whining or crying. No trying to console them or waiting to see if they will stop or trying to stall because you want to see the next dramatic scene. When your child starts making noise immediately rise from your seat and walk swiftly (with child in tow) to the exit. There is no exception to this rule.

3. Movies are a one-way entertainment. The actors on the screen act and we watch and listen. Only the other people in the audience hear you when you talk back to the screen. Although you may think that your comment to Harrison Ford or your critique of Gwyneth Paltrow’s accent are witty and humorous and that the rest of the audience will find them terribly funny, believe me when I tell you they do not. In fact, the moment that you speak, all other members of the audience start communicating on a telepathic level and they are all plotting your death.

4. Feet belong on the floor. Just because you don’t have to clean the seats in the theater or viewing room doesn’t mean you can plop your dirty shoes on the back of the chairs. Nobody wants to watch a movie over the tips of your shoes. Just nobody.

5. A ringing cell phone can break your mother’s heart. If you go to a movie and don’t turn off your cell phone you are either exceptionally rude or exceptionally stupid. Either way you deserve to be punished. If your phone rings and you choose to answer it instead of immediately turning it off, there is no doubt that you are a pawn of Satan who is deserving of being beaten to death. This will of course cause great pain and anguish to your mother and those who love you. Do everything in your power to prevent this from happening.

6. Credits.  It is unethical to leave the theater while credits are flashed on the screen.  As part of appreciating the skills and talent of actors, actresses, film crew, directors, photographers, it is imperative that the audience stay put on their seats at this time.  Applause and standing ovations are done at this time.


If you find yourself incapable of following any of these simple guidelines please remember, you can stop attending this course at anytime during the semester (of course, with the consequence of getting an FD grade).