UNC Film Studies

ARTH 159: The Film Experience: Introduction to the Visual Study of Film

Multiple sections (see below for location and instructor information)

Course description: Since the invention of cinema, our culture has come to be dominated by visual media. Our values, opinions, and beliefs (as well as those of other peoples and cultures) are increasingly defined by visual narratives, among which film is so far the most sophisticated and powerful example. Yet we very often do not think about understanding and writing about films in the same way as we treat the other arts.

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the language of visual media and to critical tools for discussing and writing about film as an art form. Understanding how films function aesthetically, and how they are meaningful for their audiences, is also meant to enlarge your appreciation and enjoyment of more and different kinds of films. This course encourages students to be more critically aware in evaluating how visual media contribute to defining our society, for better or worse.

The primary goal of this class is to introduce you to the study of film with a focus on developing critical and formal analytical skills. Through screenings of a broad range of films, the class examines the primary

visual conventions by which motion pictures create and comment upon significant social and aesthetic experience. Production design/art direction, costume/makeup design, cinematography, lighting, editing, special effects, and strong directorial visual styles will be discussed as components of cinematic style and meaning.

Note: This course satisfies one of the basic requirements of the Global Cinema minor.

Instructor Location Time
Jennifer Bauer Gardner – Rm 0105 MoWe 3:35PM – 4:25PM
Staff Staff Hanes Art Center Th 11:00AM – 11:50AM
Staff Staff Hanes Art Center Th 12:30PM – 1:20PM
Staff Staff Hanes Art Center Th 2:00PM – 2:50PM
Staff Staff Hanes Art Center Th 3:30PM – 4:20PM
Staff Staff Hanes Art Center Fr 9:05AM – 9:55AM
Staff Staff Hanes Art Center Fr 10:10AM – 11:00AM

ARTS 305: Darkroom Photography
Hanes Art Center – Rm 0316
TuTh 2:00PM – 4:45PM
Instructor : Gesche Wuerfel
Prerequisite, ARTS 105. An introduction to the basic techniques of analog black and white photography, including film developing, darkroom printing, and print presentation.

CMPL 143: History of Global Cinema
Bingham Rm 103
TuTh 12:30PM – 1:45PM
Instructor: Rick Warner

This course will take you on a journey through film history from the silent era to the present. We will closely examine some of the most groundbreaking and influential film movements such as German expressionism; Soviet montage; French surrealism and impressionism; film noir and melodrama in classical Hollywood; Italian neorealism; “new waves” across post-World War II Europe and beyond. We will also analyze politically militant films of Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa; Bollywood musicals; transnational blockbusters; East Asian martial arts genres; and more. Join us for a study of these traditions and contexts, with an eye to their aesthetic, cultural and political connections.

Assignments include three short papers, a midterm exam, and final exam.

This course satisfies both the Visual & Performing Arts (VP) and the Global Issues (GL) general education requirements.

It also counts toward the Global Cinema Minor and the Global Cinema Studies Major Track within Comparative Literature

CMPL 240: Introduction to Film Theory
Murphey – Rm 0204
TuTh 11:00AM – 12:15PM
Instructor: Inga Pollmann
This course introduces students to debates in classical and post-classical film theory. Likely topics include medium specificity; the ideological functions of narrative cinema; film theory’s investments in psychoanalysis, linguistics, semiotics, and phenomenology; the advent of digital media; feminism; national and transnational cinema; spectatorship; authorship; genre theory; and film and philosophy.

CMPL 500: Advanced Seminar
Phillips Rm 212
Tu 3:35PM – 6:25PM
Instructor: Rick Warner

This communication-intensive seminar, open only to Comparative Literature majors, enables students to work on independent research projects that synthesize their curricular experience. As you plan and carry out a project of your own design, we will have weekly discussions that will focus on comparative relationships between literature, film, and other artistic media, from music and painting to photography and architecture. Through these discussions, we will explore a wide variety of topics and critical approaches.

You will report on your research project in the form of two presentations. You will also write a midterm essay and a revised, expanded final essay.

This course is required of all CMPL majors. Juniors as well as seniors are encouraged to sign up.

COMM 130: Introduction to Media Production
Multiple sections (see below for location and instructor information)

Permission of the instructor for nonmajors. Prerequisite for all production courses. Introduces students to basic tools, techniques, and conventions of production in audio, video, and film.

Instructor Location Time
Staff Swain Hall – Rm 101A Mo 9:05AM – 10:55AM
Staff Staff Swain Hall – Rm 108A We 9:05AM – 10:55AM
Staff Swain Hall – Rm 108A Fr 9:05AM – 10:55AM
Staff Swain Hall – Rm 108A Fr 11:15AM – 1:05PM

COMM 140: Introduction to Media History, Theory, and Criticism
Multiple sections (see below for location and instructor information)

An introduction to the critical analysis of film, television, advertising, video, and new media texts, contexts, and audiences.

Instructor Location Time
Staff Bingham Rm 0108 MoWeFr 8:00AM – 8:50AM
Staff Graham Memorial – Rm 0213 MoWeFr 9:05AM – 9:55AM
Staff Carolina Hall – Rm 0204 MoWeFr 11:15AM – 12:05PM
Staff Bingham – Rm 0108 MoWeFr 12:20PM – 1:10PM
Staff Dey Hall – Rm 0302 TuTh 8:00AM – 9:15AM
Staff Bingham – Rm 0108 TuTh 9:30AM – 10:45AM


COMM 230: Audio/Video/Film Production and Writing

Multiple sections (see below for location and instructor information)

Prerequisites, COMM 130 and 140; Grade of C or better in COMM 130; permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisites. The material, processes, and procedures of audio, video, and film production; emphasis on the control of those elements of convention that define form in the appropriate medium. Lecture and laboratory hours.

Instructor Location Time
Kristin Hondros Swain Hall – Rm 200A TuTh 12:30PM – 2:20PM
Kristin Hondros Swain Hall – Rm 0213 TuTh 2:35PM – 4:25PM

COMM 330: Introduction to Writing for Film and Television
Multiple sections (see below for location and instructor information)

An introduction to screenwriting for film and television.

Instructor Location Time
STEPHEN NEIGHER New East – Rm 0305 TuTh 11:00AM – 12:15PM
STEPHEN NEIGHER New East – Rm 0305 TuTh 2:00PM – 3:15PM

COMM 331: Writing the Short Film
Stone Center – Rm 0201
MoWe 11:15AM – 12:30PM
Instructor: Richard Coen

Students practice and learn the craft of narrative, short film writing by conceptualizing, outlining, writing, and rewriting three short film scripts. They include one three-minute silent, one five-minute script with dialogue, and one 15-minute script with dialogue.

COMM 430: History of American Screenwriting
Dey Hall – Rm 0302
TuTh 5:00PM – 6:15PM
Instructor: Michael Acosta
This viewing and research-intensive course examines the history of American narrative film through the screenwriter’s experience, using a decade-by-decade approach to examine the political, social, global, psychological, religious, and cultural influences on the art, process, and careers of screenwriters.

COMM 450: Media and Popular Culture
Multiple sections (see below for location and instructor information)
Prerequisite, COMM 140. Permission of the instructor for nonmajors. Examination of communication processes and cultural significance of film, television, and other electronic media.

Instructor Location Time
NEAL THOMAS Bingham – Rm 0217 TuTh 12:30PM – 1:45PM
Staff Graham Memorial – Rm 0213 TuTh 2:00PM – 3:15PM
Staff Bingham – Rm 0217 MoWeFr 10:10AM – 11:00AM
COMM 690-002/ARTs 490-001 : Movie Making Machines: Learning About Cinema in the Maker Space

Multiple sections (see below for location and instructor information)

Though we generally think of movies as the result of the work of screenwriters, cinematographers, actors, and directors, movies are also the product of a range of scientific and technological concepts and innovations. The magic of the movies begins with the technologies that make moving images possible. This projects-based seminar will introduce students to the fundamental optical and technological principles of motion pictures. By using the Maker Space to design and fabricate cameras, lenses, film strips, and movie projectors, students will gain a deep understanding of the material and technological foundations of the cinema, and the operating principles that are behind not only the classic films of Hollywood¿s past, but the high-definition digital imaging technologies of the present.

Over the semester, students will learn about the history and science of early cinema through lectures and readings while delving into the principles of photography, movie film, movie cameras, and movie projectors. They will explore the wonderful world of pre-cinematic optical toys by designing and fabricating a zoetrope, a pre-cinema optical device that creates simple animated effects. They will use digital modeling software to fabricate a pinhole camera, and will use the darkroom to hand-process the photographic images they make. They will use the laser cutter to etch their own 16mm movie film, and will explore the transformation of serial still images into motion pictures. Through these projects, students may invent new cinematic machines that we have not yet begun to imagine, and that are made possible with the use of the innovative tools at BeAM.

Instructor Location Time
JOYCE RUDINSKY Swain Hall – Rm 115A TuTh 11:00AM – 12:15PM
SABINE GRUFFAT, WILLIAM BROWN Hanes Art Center – Rm 0112 MoWe 9:05AM – 10:45AM

DRAM 265: Stage Makeup
Paul Green Theatre – Rm 0229
MoWe 10:10AM – 12:05PM
Instructor: Janet Chambers
A study of principles and techniques for stage, film, and television makeup, including corrective makeup, old age, 3-D, casting for prosthetic pieces, and methods for creating fantasy forms. Also applicable to film and television.

ENGL 127: Writing about Literature
Greenlaw – Rm 0317
MoWeFr 11:00AM – 11:50AM
Instructor: TBA
Course emphasizes literature, critical thinking, and the writing process. Students learn how thinking, reading, and writing relate to one another by studying poetry, fiction, drama, art, music, and film.

ENGL 143: Film and Culture
Multiple sections (see below for location and instructor information)

From early experiments by Eadweard Muybridge and W.K.L. Dickson to the formation of the Hollywood studio system in the late 1910s to the development of sound film, Technicolor, and Cinemascope, the first seventy years of the American cinema was characterized by technological innovation, aesthetic advances, and cultural domination. And yet, the cinema also captivated individuals and groups at the margins of American society, who found in the movies a medium that seemed tailor-made for telling their stories. In this survey of American cinema from its beginnings in the late 19th century through the rise and fall of Classical Hollywood Cinema in the 20th century, we will explore how the medium became a mass art form, and a site for cultural critique, social reform, and political resistance. As we move chronologically through the first seven decades of American cinema, we will consider an array of topics, including gender and sexuality (Rudolph Valentino, Marlene Dietrich); race and ethnicity (Sessue Hayakawa, Oscar Micheaux); avant-garde and amateur cinema (Maya Deren, James Sibley Watson); and transnational and global identities (Edmundo and Felix Padilla, John Huston).

Instructor Location Time
Staff Global Center – Rm 1009 TuTh 8:00AM – 9:15AM
DAVID ROSS Greenlaw – Rm 0301 MoWeFr 11:15AM – 12:05PM
GREGORY FLAXMAN Greenlaw – Rm 0305 TuTh 2:00PM – 3:15PM
ANNA LEVETT Greenlaw – Rm 0305 TuTh 8:00AM – 9:15AM

ENGL 410: Documentary Film
Global Center – Rm 1005
MoWeFr 9:05AM – 9:55AM
Instructor: TBA
When John Grierson defined the documentary as the “creative treatment of actuality,” in 1926, he was thinking only of film. But the documentary mode has long been utilized across media, from the late 19th century advocacy journalism of Jacob Riis to Craig Gilbert’s 1973 reality television series An American Family to the selfies that circulate on social media. In this class, we will consider the persistence and pervasiveness of the documentary mode in the past century and a half. By surveying key developments in documentary film, and its historical, theoretical, and ethical implications, we will lay the groundwork for thinking critically about non-fiction media in its current and past forms.

GLBL 492H: Global Food Films
Genome Sciences Bldg – Rm 1373
TuTh 2:00PM – 3:15PM
Instructor: Inger Brodey
Thinking about one of our most basic human needs illuminates aspects of our own everyday lives, such as our relationship to nature, other cultures, and to history, as well as our general assumptions about humanity. Students will study films that explore cross-cultural differences in the social and philosophical understandings of what it is to be human.

GSLL 475: Magical Realism: Central European Literature in a Global Context
Phillips – Rm 0328
TuTh 11:00AM – 12:15PM
Instructor: Eva Wampuszyc
This course studies magical realism in Central European literature and film by placing it in a global literary/cinema context. Readings and discussions in English.

GSLL 683: Moving-Image Avant-gardes and Experimentalism
Location: TBA
Time: TBA
Instructor: TBA
Prerequisite, ARTH 159, COMM 140, or ENGL 142; permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisite. History and theory of international avant-garde and experimentalist movements in film, video, intermedia, multimedia, and digital formats. Content and focus may vary from semester to semester. Previously offered as GERM 683.

ITAL 335: Themes in Italian Film
Multiple sections (see below for location and instructor information)

Themes in Italian cinema: literary adaptation, neorealism, a single auteur or period, representations of fascism, the city, the country, industrialization, social space, north/south difference, regionalism, gender, and sexuality.

Instructor Location Time
MARISA ESCOLAR Dey Hall – Rm 0302 TuTh 2:00PM – 3:15PM
MARISA ESCOLAR Dey Hall – Rm 0302 Tu 3:30PM – 4:45PM

RELI 70: First-Year Seminar: Jesus in Scholarship and Film
Murray Hall – Rm G205
We 9:00AM – 11:50AM
Instructor: Bart Ehrman
This seminar explores the ways the historical Jesus has been portrayed in the writings of modern scholars and films of the 20th and 21st centuries.

SPAN 361: Hispanic Film
Bingham – Rm 0108
TuTh 2:00PM – 3:15PM
Instructor: Samuel Amago
Drawing examples from the diverse audiovisual production of the Iberian Peninsula and the Americas, this course is designed to teach students the basics of film analysis and to introduce them to a diverse array of theoretical approaches. Every week, we will view a feature-length film and analyze it immediately afterward during an extended class session. Our first shorter class discussion each week will delve more deeply into theoretical and methodological problems, aided by readings in film theory and analysis. The semester is divided into three modules, each of which will be devoted to understanding how, since 1950, the cinemas of the Spanish and Portuguese speaking worlds have worked through some of the challenges of 1.) Modernity, 2.) Migration, and 3.) Memory.

GERM 250/WGST 250: Women in German Cinema
Dey Hall – Rm 0202
TuTh 2:00PM – 3:15PM
Instructor: Inga Pollmann
Introduction to feminist aesthetics and film theory by the examination of the representation of women in German cinema from expressionism to the present. All materials and discussions in English.

COMM 433: Intermediate Screenwriting
Mitchell – Rm 0106
We 4:40PM – 7:40PM
Instructor: Dana Coem
Intermediate Screenwriting is only open to Writing for the Screen and Stage students.

COMM 535: Introduction to Screen Adaptation.
Murphey – Rm 0202
Mo 5:00PM – 7:30PM
Instructor: Michael Acosta (Communications)
Michael Acosta (Communications)

FREN590: The Films of Jean-Luc Godard
Multiple sections (see below for location and instructor information)

The films of Jean-Luc Godard from the 1950s to the 1970s, and their relationship to the history and practices of cinema. Taught in English. Movies subtitled in English.

Each projection will last as long as the film: the longest is 111 min.

Open to undergraduates; please check with instructor whether you have appropriate preparation.

Prerequisites, FREN 300, and 370, 371, or 372. Examines selected topics in French and francophone studies. Content varies by semester and instructor.

Instructor Location Time
Hassan Melehy Dey Hall – Rm 0301 TuTh 3:30PM – 4:45PM
Hassan Melehy Dey Hall – Rm 0301 Tu 6:00PM – 9:00PM

CMLPL 142: Visual Culture II
Stone Center – Rm 0210
TuTh 3:30PM – 4:45PM
Instructor: Gregory Flaxmann
This course, the second in the Great Books/Visual Culture sequence, aims to consider the “modern” history of the visual arts in light of the history of painting, photography, and finally motion pictures. While the broad arc of this history takes us from the fine arts to the mass arts, this class will consider how the differences in medium and technique reveal unsuspected affinities. Broadly construed, the class will survey the domains where painting and art history more generally can inform and perhaps even transform how we understand the photographic arts. In the first place, the class will consider the history of these media, especially insofar as they influence, anticipate, appropriate, and even critique each other; thus, we’ll spend several weeks investigating the development of painterly perspective before turning to photography

and, briefly, cinema. In the second place, the class will consider the how formal and conceptual resources of art history can sharpen the critical analysis of other images; to what degree can we can bring aesthetic and critical distinctions from painting to bear on the cinema (in the same spirit, we’ll see to what degree we can understand the archaeology of cinematic and digital arts in the history of painting). Finally, the class will wrestle with the ways that the cinema’s progressive digitization, and especially the development of digital animation, actually returns us to the problems and procedures of painting.

ASIA 357/JWST 357/PWAD 362: The Arab-Jews: Culture, Community, and Resistance
New West – Rm 0219
T/Th 11:00 – 12:15
Instructor: Yaron Shemer

This course is designed to examine Jewish life in Arab lands in the last century by examining culture, language, and the communal life that the Arab-Jews shared with their neighbors.

Freshman Seminar AAAD 51: Masquerades of Blackness: Representing Cinema in Race
Graham Memorial – Rm 0213
TuTh 12:30PM – 1:45PM
Instructor: Charlene Regester

This course is designed to investigate how race has been represented in cinema historically, with a particular focus on or interest in representations of race when blackness is masqueraded. It intends to deconstruct how racial masquerades have evolved over time and proliferate in contemporary cinema and discourse.

AAAD 250: The African American in Cinema – 1900 to the Present
Phillips – Rm 0328
Tu 3:30PM – 6:30PM
Instructor: Charlene Regester
This course is a chronological overview of the black cinema experience from the beginning to the present. It is a critical, historical, and theoretical investigation of the contributions of African Americans to American cinema. This history will interrogate black filmmakers, writers, producers, directors actors/actresses, films as well as explore racial representations in mainstream films.

COMM 653: Experimental Video
Swain Hall – Rm 106A
MW 12:20-2:10 PM Lecture/Lab
M 5:45-7:45 PM Screening
Instructor: Ed Rankus
From watching mainstream media we are familiar with the dominant conventions of film and video. There is also a lesser-known body of work that radically challenges these conventions. This work can be compelling, disturbing, confrontational, provocative, frustrating, and inspiring. Experimental Video will explore this alternative media by viewing a mix of classic and contemporary work, by reading essays that interpret, theorize on, and give the history of this form and, most importantly, by having the students create their own video productions that use these productions as models. Performance-based, autobiographical, lyric/visionary, didactic, conceptual/formal, subversions of narrative, subversions of appropriated materials are some of the types of work explored. Their subject matter can range from issues of the body, sexuality, spirituality, gender, family, race, class, psychoanalysis, language, politics, post-colonialism, life, and death.

Prerequisites: Comm 230, or permission of the instructor

COMM 654 Motion Graphics, Compositing, and Special Effects
Swain Hall – Rm 200A
MW 9:05- 10:55 AM Lecture/Lab
Instructor: Edward Rankus
In this course students will learn a wide range of post-production techniques for video projects, using primarily After Effects (and Photoshop, to a lesser extent). Topics explored include: Compositing, that is to say the integration and collage-ing of multiple video/film/still/text layers. Motion Graphics deals with the movement through 2D and 3D screen space of these layers, and Visual Effects will consider the myriad ways one can distort, color manipulate, and modify these layers, or create such phenomena as smoke, rain, etc. Besides creating projects using these techniques, we will also screen and analyze how this form of image manipulation is used in television and motion pictures.

Prerequisites: Comm 130 or 150, or permission of the instructor