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art history 29:
film: form and signification

29. Film: Form and Signification.

Study of film as visual and iconic discourse as opposed to narrative text, dealing with the principles of framing, editing, and mise-en-scene understood as critical tools and as a historical evolution from the silent days to Godard and Bergman. Topics include: rise of photography; magic shows and the comic strip; silent comedy and the musical; cinema and painting, Renoir and Italian Neorealism, and Dreyer and semiotics of cinema. Two lectures and a screening session.

No prerequisite. Sophomore and above. Limited to 20.

Spring semester, 1998. Kitao.

i took the class because i enjoy the teacher and i require a familiarity with film. i've been especially sensitized to my need for moving/image construction/criticism skills as a result of dating amy.

project 1: mise-en-scene, 10 february, 1998

mise en scene is everything in front of the camera - so for this assignment, we were to screen the first five minutes of a few different flicks and "examine the mise-en-scene- architecture, interior, landscape, props, costume or fashion, lighting, figure types, postures, gestures, actions, interactions, background events, etc. - that seems to you to be especially crucial to the message of the scene in informing the character of the film narrative to unfold."

project 2: sequence analysis, 18 february, 1998

in this paper, far better than the last according to me and my teacher, i watched clueless and analysed the camera and character movement. i found a complete script online, typed by a fan, and ran that parallel to my shot by shot description.

project 3: final, 25 may, 1998

i analyzed french cancan, a film by jean renoir. i looked at costume (an aspect of mise-en-scene), performed a sequence analysis, and did a critical review (looking at meaning and style).
during the semester i took this class, with some other folks, i showed some two fisted features - films of an agressive nature.

i have written about mostly popular film in a more casual context elsewhere.

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