Film Courses

Spring 2021

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

East Asian Cinema

EALL 215 - Zhu, Yanhong

This course provides an introduction to and overview of contemporary East Asian cinema, including the Chinese-language cinemas of the People's Republic of China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, and those of Japan and Korea. It focuses on the flourishing cinema of East Asia since the 1980s and provides a solid foundation in the successes and dominant tendencies of contemporary East Asian cinema and culture. Among the aims of the course are examining ways in which the contemporary East Asian cinemas and cultures are in dialogue with one another and looking at specific conditions and cultural forces at work in each unique case. The course also explores how the cinemas of East Asia reflect the changing cultural, economic, historical, political and social conditions of each country and how these cinemas and cultures are part of a larger redefinition of the idea of a national culture. Screenings and readings consist of exemplary works from each East Asian culture, organized around specific motifs, such as history, memory, identity, communication, love, and death.

Celluloid Shakespeare

ENGL 321 - Dobin, Howard N. (Hank)

The films adapted from or inspired by William Shakespeare's plays are a genre unto themselves. We study a selection of films, not focused on their faithfulness to the original playscript but on the creative choices and meanings of the distinct medium of film. We see how the modern era has transmuted the plays through the lens of contemporary sensibility, politics, and culture—and through the new visual mode of film storytelling. We hear reports from students about additional films to expand the repertoire of films we study and enjoy.

Screenwriting

FILM 220 - Sandberg, Stephanie L.

In this course, students learn about the art and business of screenwriting, studying story and narrative structures, and what makes a story interesting to us. We begin by looking at the human need for story and how we can both access and feed this basic principle of human existence. In addition, you learn how to write your own stories into a screenplay. With creative discipline, you practice writing believable characters and scenes that will draw audiences in through the art of crafting great dialogue. You begin with the spark of your idea at the beginning of the term, turn it into a treatment, and eventually a full screenplay that you then have an opportunity to pitch to a producer for feedback. From your first draft, you learn the art of refining your screenplay, focusing on how to give it great tonality and form, building your skills as a writer, a creative thinker, and following through a whole artistic process.

Celluloid Shakespeare

FILM 321 - Dobin, Howard N. (Hank)

The films adapted from or inspired by William Shakespeare's plays are a genre unto themselves. We study a selection of films, not focused on their faithfulness to the original playscript but on the creative choices and meanings of the distinct medium of film. We see how the modern era has transmuted the plays through the lens of contemporary sensibility, politics, and culture—and through the new visual mode of film storytelling. We hear reports from students about additional films to expand the repertoire of films we study and enjoy.

Cross-Cultural Documentary Filmmaking

JOUR 266 - Finch, Kevin D.

The United States is a melting pot of nationalities and cultures. As people move to the U.S. from other countries they go through cross-cultural adaptation, and identity becomes an issue for everyone. Students in this course work in three-person teams to produce five-minute documentaries on cross-cultural adaptation by an ethnic community in our region or by selected international students at Washington and Lee. Students are expected to immerse themselves in learning about the home countries and current communities of their subjects. The course includes instruction in the techniques of documentary film-making, allowing students to develop their writing, storytelling, shooting and editing skills.

Peoples of Central Europe Through Literature and Film

SOAN 225 - Jasiewicz, Krzysztof

This course provides basic information about the citizens of Central European nations of Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary. Beliefs, attitudes, and value systems of the people of Central Europe are examined against the backdrop of major historical events of the 20th century.  Core textbook readings are supplemented by feature films, video materials, novels, short stories, plays, and poetry.  Class discussions focus on interpreting these works of art in the context of comparative historical-sociological analysis of the Polish, Czech, and Hungarian cultures and societies.

Winter 2021

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

History of Photography

ARTH 261 - Smigrod, Claudia M.

An art-historical introduction to the history of photography, from its origins in the 19th century to the present day. Lectures and discussions examine photography's aesthetic, documentary, and "scientific" purposes; important contributors to photography and its history; the evolution of the camera and related technical processes; and issues of photographic theory and criticism. Photography is considered as a medium with its own rich history - bearing in mind stylistic shifts and changes in subject matter related to aesthetic, social, and cultural concerns - but also as a key component in the wider narrative of modern art.

20th-Century European Art

ARTH 263 - King, Elliott H.

This course covers major European art movements and criticism from the late 19th century through the 20th century. Lectures and discussions explore the implications of what it means for art to be/appear "modern," the social and aesthetic goals of the early avant-garde, the "rise and fall" of abstraction, and artistic responses to post-war mass culture. Movements discussed include Fauvism, Cubism, Futurism, Dada, Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism, and New Realism.

Surrealism

ARTH 264 - King, Elliott H.

Surrealism was one of the most multi-faceted and influential intellectual movements of the 20th century with a legacy and practice that continues today. This seminar examines the key writings and ideas that underlie surrealism with a focus on its artistic practice. We will consider works by artists including Salvador Dalí, René Magritte, and Max Ernst; watch surrealist films; discuss the significance of dreams; and play surrealist "games of chance."

Drawing I

ARTS 111 - Stevens-Lubin, Laure A. / Olson-Janjic, Kathleen

Development of skills and visual awareness through the study of the basic elements of drawing. Variety of media, including pencil, charcoal, ink and crayon. Lab fee required.

Photography I

ARTS 120 - Bowden, Christa K.

An introduction to the methods and materials of photography, with an emphasis on composition, exposure, and light. The course includes a combination of image presentations, technical demonstrations, studio instruction, and group critiques. Lab fee required; cameras are available for check-out.

Design I

ARTS 131 - de Lissovoy, Sandy B.

An introduction to the elements and concepts of two-dimensional design within the context of current digital technology, with an emphasis on contemporary computer software programs.

Color Photography

ARTS 224 - Bowden, Christa K.

An exploration of the visual and technical principles of color photography, as applied in the digital realm. Students learn the concepts of color photography through studio projects, as well as image presentations, readings, and discussions of methods and artists, historical and contemporary. Students photograph in digital format and learn the craft of fine color printing in the digital darkroom. Lab fee required; cameras are available for check-out.

Introduction to Film

ENGL 233 - Dobin, Howard N. (Hank)

An introductory study of film taught in English and with a topical focus on texts from a variety of global film-making traditions. At its origins, film displayed boundary-crossing international ambitions, and this course attends to that important fact, but the course's individual variations emphasize one national film tradition (e.g., American, French, Indian, British, Italian, Chinese, etc.) and, within it, may focus on major representative texts or upon a subgenre or thematic approach. In all cases, the course introduces students to fundamental issues in the history, theory, and basic terminology of film.

Script Analysis for Stage and Screen

FILM 121 - Collins, Owen

The study of selected plays and screenplays from the standpoint of the theatre and screen artists. Emphasis on thorough examination of the scripts preparatory to production. This course is focused on developing script analysis skills directly applicable to work in production. Students work collaboratively in various creative capacities to transform texts into productions.

Topics in Film Studies

FILM 195A - Evans, Shawn Paul

Selected topic in film studies, focused on one or more of film history, theory, production, or screenwriting. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Introduction to Film

FILM 233 - Dobin, Howard N. (Hank)

An introductory study of film taught in English and with a topical focus on texts from a variety of global film-making traditions. At its origins, film displayed boundary-crossing international ambitions, and this course attends to that important fact, but the course's individual variations emphasize one national film tradition (e.g., American, French, Indian, British, Italian, Chinese, etc.) and, within it, may focus on major representative texts or upon a subgenre or thematic approach. In all cases, the course introduces students to fundamental issues in the history, theory, and basic terminology of film.

Research and Writing Film Capstone

FILM 413 - Dobin, Howard N. (Hank)

A collaborative group research, writing, and/or production project for junior or senior minors, conducted in supervising faculty members' areas of expertise, with directed independent study culminating in a substantial final project. Possible topics include global and national film, focused treatments of auteur-directors or genres, film and psychology, film and technological change, film and painting, original film production.

The Documentary

JOUR 338 - Finch, Kevin D.

A critical study of the documentary in film and television, with analysis of prominent directors and genres.

Script Analysis for Stage and Screen

THTR 121 - Collins, Owen

The study of selected plays and screenplays from the standpoint of the theatre and screen artists. Emphasis on thorough examination of the scripts preparatory to production. This course is focused on developing script analysis skills directly applicable to work in production. Students work collaboratively in various creative capacities to transform texts into productions.

Stage Acting 1

THTR 141 - Levy, Jemma A.

An introduction to acting for the stage. In this hands-on class, students learn and develop physical and vocal techniques for text-based and improvisational performance, focusing on relationships, objectives, and actions. Work includes in-class scene presentations from modern scripts.

Digital Production

THTR 253 - Evans, Shawn Paul

Digital technologies and multimedia interaction are increasingly utilized to produce, enhance, and innovate theatrical production. Students examine and experiment with various digital technologies as they relate to theater and dance performance. Students create digital audio, video, design rendering, and animation projects for theatrical performances.

Fall 2020

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

Art Since 1945

ARTH 267 - King, Elliott H.

This course introduces students to art and art theory from 1945 to the present. The objectives of the course are: (1) to enhance student knowledge of the major works, artists, and movements of art in Europe and the United States since 1945; (2) to integrate these works of art within the broader social and intellectual history of the period; and  (3) to help students develop their skills in visual analysis and historical interpretation. Among the issues we examine are the politics of abstract art; the ongoing dialogue between art and mass culture; the differences between modernism and postmodernism; and contemporary critiques of art history's prevailing narratives. This is a lecture course with a heavy emphasis on in-class discussion.

Drawing I

ARTS 111 - Beavers, Leigh A.

Development of skills and visual awareness through the study of the basic elements of drawing. Variety of media, including pencil, charcoal, ink and crayon. Lab fee required.

Photography I

ARTS 120 - Bowden, Christa K.

An introduction to the methods and materials of photography, with an emphasis on composition, exposure, and light. The course includes a combination of image presentations, technical demonstrations, studio instruction, and group critiques. Lab fee required; cameras are available for check-out.

Photography I

ARTS 120 - Archer, Clover H.

An introduction to the methods and materials of photography, with an emphasis on composition, exposure, and light. The course includes a combination of image presentations, technical demonstrations, studio instruction, and group critiques. Lab fee required; cameras are available for check-out.

Design I

ARTS 131 - de Lissovoy, Sandy B.

An introduction to the elements and concepts of two-dimensional design within the context of current digital technology, with an emphasis on contemporary computer software programs.

Painting II

ARTS 218 - Olson-Janjic, Kathleen

Continuation of ARTS 217. Lab fee required.

Introduction to Film

ENGL 233 - Dobin, Howard N. (Hank) / Sandberg, Stephanie L.

An introductory study of film taught in English and with a topical focus on texts from a variety of global film-making traditions. At its origins, film displayed boundary-crossing international ambitions, and this course attends to that important fact, but the course's individual variations emphasize one national film tradition (e.g., American, French, Indian, British, Italian, Chinese, etc.) and, within it, may focus on major representative texts or upon a subgenre or thematic approach. In all cases, the course introduces students to fundamental issues in the history, theory, and basic terminology of film.

Script Analysis for Stage and Screen

FILM 121 - Collins, Owen

The study of selected plays and screenplays from the standpoint of the theatre and screen artists. Emphasis on thorough examination of the scripts preparatory to production. This course is focused on developing script analysis skills directly applicable to work in production. Students work collaboratively in various creative capacities to transform texts into productions.

Topics in Film Studies

FILM 195A - Evans, Shawn Paul

Selected topic in film studies, focused on one or more of film history, theory, production, or screenwriting. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Introduction to Film

FILM 233 - Dobin, Howard N. (Hank) / Sandberg, Stephanie L.

An introductory study of film taught in English and with a topical focus on texts from a variety of global film-making traditions. At its origins, film displayed boundary-crossing international ambitions, and this course attends to that important fact, but the course's individual variations emphasize one national film tradition (e.g., American, French, Indian, British, Italian, Chinese, etc.) and, within it, may focus on major representative texts or upon a subgenre or thematic approach. In all cases, the course introduces students to fundamental issues in the history, theory, and basic terminology of film.

Research and Writing Film Capstone

FILM 413 - Evans, Shawn Paul / Sandberg, Stephanie L.

A collaborative group research, writing, and/or production project for junior or senior minors, conducted in supervising faculty members' areas of expertise, with directed independent study culminating in a substantial final project. Possible topics include global and national film, focused treatments of auteur-directors or genres, film and psychology, film and technological change, film and painting, original film production.

Jesus in Fact, Fiction, and Film

REL 153 - Brown, Alexandra R.

A study of representations of Jesus in history, fiction, and film and the ways in which they both reflect and generate diverse cultural identities from antiquity to the present. The course begins with the historical Jesus and controversies about his identity in antiquity and then focuses on parallel controversies in modern and postmodern fiction and film. Readings include early Christian literature (canonical and non-canonical), several modern novels and works of short fiction, and theoretical works on the relationship of literature to religion. In addition, we study several cinematic treatments of Jesus dating from the beginnings of filmmaking to the present.

Script Analysis for Stage and Screen

THTR 121 - Collins, Owen

The study of selected plays and screenplays from the standpoint of the theatre and screen artists. Emphasis on thorough examination of the scripts preparatory to production. This course is focused on developing script analysis skills directly applicable to work in production. Students work collaboratively in various creative capacities to transform texts into productions.

Stage Acting 1

THTR 141 - Levy, Jemma A.

An introduction to acting for the stage. In this hands-on class, students learn and develop physical and vocal techniques for text-based and improvisational performance, focusing on relationships, objectives, and actions. Work includes in-class scene presentations from modern scripts.

Introduction to Performance Design

THTR 251 - Collins, Owen

An introduction to the history, fundamentals and aesthetics of design for theater and dance with an emphasis on the collaborative nature of the design disciplines. Design projects are required. Lab fee required

Lighting Design

THTR 336 - Evans, Shawn Paul

A study of the practice of stage lighting, focusing on styles of production, historical methods and artistic theory. Culminates in a light design for a public theatrical production. Lab fee required.