Information for First-Year Students | St. Lawrence University Film and Representation Studies

Information for First-Year Students

The Film and Representation Studies Program offers a minor. Students pursuing a minor in film studies are required to take six courses. Three of these courses are offered in the Film and Representation Studies Program: Film 211 (Introduction to Film Studies); 251 (History of the Cinema); 311 (Seminar on Film Theory). The other three courses for the minor are electives offered either in film studies or in other departments.

First Year Students may take any 200 level or 3000  (just 200 level special topics) course.

For Fall 2015 there are 3 courses offered for First Year students. These are:

FILM 234 Chinese Literature and Film

This course provides an overview of Chinese literature and film. The first half surveys traditional Chinese literature with a focus on masterpieces in the golden ages of various genres. The second half introduces modern Chinese literature with a focus on film, including representative works by well-known writers Lu Xun and Ba Jin, and famous film directors such as Zhang Yimou, Chen Kaige, Wang Xiaoshuai and others. The aim is to enhance students' interests and skills in reading and analysis of Chinese literature and film, and improve students' understanding of the history, society and culture of China. All works are read in English translation.

FILM 251 History of Cinema

This course examines the development of film technology and film technique from the 19th century to 1960, and the place of the new medium in the evolving cultural-social contexts of the 20th century. Subjects include early experiments in photography; the beginnings of narrative cinema; special effects; new camera dynamics; the development of cinema stars; theories of editing and montage; the introduction of sound; film aesthetics; deep focus photography and realism; and color photography. The course studies films by Lumière, Méliès, Eisenstein, Chaplin, Lang, Renoir, Rossellini, Welles, Truffaut and others. Movements and genres studied include German Expressionism, poetic realism, forms of comedy, film noir, Italian neo-realism and French New Wave.

FILM 3020 American Independent Film since 1960

In 1989, Jibran Khan declared that “Films were yet again in the hands of big film studio executives as the American new wave was finally dead.” Hollywood studios wanted to repeat the success of special effect blockbusters, but not every filmmaker wanted to make those films, and the mid 1980s and early 1990s saw a surge of indie films that pushed the boundaries of cinematic form, social expectations, and often good taste: Van Sant’s Drugstore Cowboy, Jarmusch’s Stranger than Paradise, Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs.  We will begin with the 60s ‘new wave’ (Easy Rider, The Wild Bunch) then move to the revolutionary 80s and 90s. We will end with more recent indie filmmakers-- Wes Anderson, Sofia Coppola, and Harmony Korine. No previous study of film is required: only a willingness to explore the provocative, sometimes freaky margins of American cinematic art.