Film Studies

http://film.barnard.edu/film-studies-program

417 Barnard Hall
212-854-2116
212-854-9498 (fax)
Department Assistant: Rio Santisteban

The Film Studies Program

The Program in Film Studies at Barnard College offers a theoretical, historical and practical approach to the study of film. Through this course of studies, students come to understand film as a dominant cultural medium of the twentieth century and its influence on the present, as well as an art form with profound and continuing connections to a range of disciplines that span the humanities and the social sciences.

Mission

The educational goal of the film major is to provide a solid grounding in the history and theory of film and as well as place the study of film in relation to other art forms. Students are introduced to visual storytelling, film technology, and the economic and sociopolitical context of the film industry. The trajectory of the major moves from introductory level courses (primarily surveys) to intermediate level courses (that introduce the mechanics of writing for film as well as film making), to advanced level courses (including two labs and the senior seminar), plus two electives from the approved list. While the course of study is rooted in film history and theory, all majors take workshops in screenwriting and filmmaking and produce a script and a short film. Our place in a premier college for women invites our Program to pay special attention to questions of gender, and our home in New York City allows students to connect their study to the city’s vibrant film industry as well as range of film in arts houses and revival theaters.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students who graduate in Film Studies will be able to attain the following outcomes:

  • Demonstrate in-depth knowledge of film history;
  • Explain the major concepts or ideas of film theory;
  • Communicate in-depth knowledge of film in one other language tradition;
  • Write a basic/elementary screenplay;
  • Create a short film;
  • Demonstrate an understanding of film’s relationship to a range of other disciplines across the humanities and social sciences;
  • Conduct original research on a film (usually one film) intensively in the context of a limited enrollment senior seminar.

For questions about Film Studies contact Ross Hamilton, Director.

The program is supervised by the Barnard Committee on Film Studies:

Director: Ross Hamilton (Professor, English)
Associate Professors: Kaiama L. Glover (African Studies, French, Women Studies), Erk Grimm (Comparative Literature, European Studies, German), Christina Kallas (Visiting) Nelson Moe (Italian)
Term Professor: Maura Spiegel (English/Film)
Professor of Professional Practice: Meg McLagan (Visiting)
Adjunct Professors: Jonathan Beller (English/Women's Studies), Sandra Luckow
Adjunct Associate:  Robert Brink
Columbia University Faculty: Annette Insdorf, Milena Jelinek, Christina Kallas, Sandra Luckow, Richard Pena, Andrew Sarris, James Schamus, Maura Spiegel

Requirements for the New Major

Current juniors and seniors (classes of 2017 and 2016) may choose to fulfill the requirements of the earlier major (listed at the bottom of this page). Please consult your major adviser for more details.

Please note that Columbia courses have been renumbered and retitled, but content remains the same.

The major requirements remain at a total of 36 credits, namely twelve 3-point courses. However, only 6 classes are required, and 6 are electives. Moreover, we will no longer separate survey courses into “American” and “International.” Please note that most classes are offered only one semester per academic year.

Two Introductory Level Courses
FILM BC3201Introduction to Film and Media Studies (This is the prerequisite for all further Film courses at Columbia and Barnard. Open to first-year students.)3
or FILM UN1000 Introduction to Film and Media Studies
FILM GU4000Film and Media Theory3
Two of the Following, One of Which Must Be W2010 or W2030
FILM UN2010Cinema History 1: Beginning-19303
FILM UN2020Cinema History 2: 1930-603
FILM UN2030Cinema History 3: 1960-903
FILM UN2040Cinema History 4: after 19903
Labs in Critical/Creative Practice - One Required
FILM UN2410Laboratory in Writing Film Criticism3
FILM UN2420Laboratory in Screenwriting3
FILM UN2510Laboratory in Fiction Filmmaking3
FILM W2520Laboratory In Nonfiction Filmmaking3
FILM BC3119Screenwriting3
FILM BC3120Feature Film Screenwriting3
FILM BC3200Film Production3
FILM BC3260Writing for Television3
FILM BC3275Non-Fiction Digital Video Production3
FILM BC3301Advanced Production3
International Cinema Requirement
One course on a non-American cinema (from Film or other departments)
Senior Thesis Seminar
Select one of the following:
ENGL BC3997Senior Seminar: Senior Seminar for Writing Concentrators4
Elective Courses - Choose Six
FILM UN2190Topics in American Cinema3
FILM UN2290Topics in World Cinema: Arab and Africa3
FILM UN2310The Documentary Tradition3
FILM W2400Script Analysis3
FILM UN3020Interdisciplinary Studies3
FILM UN3920Senior Seminar in Screenwriting3
FILM UN3925Narrative Strategies in Screenwriting3
FILM UN3930Seminar in International Film3
FILM BC3245American Television Drama3

Please note:

  1. The prerequisite for all classes is Introduction to the Study and Theory of Film, open to first-year students.
  2. The Senior Seminar requirement can be fulfilled at Columbia in the fall or at Barnard in the spring (ENGL BC3998.2 - M. Spiegel).
  3. The Film Program does not offer Independent Study.
  4. There is no minor in Film Studies.
  5. Regretfully, auditors are not allowed in Barnard Film Production or Screenwriting classes.

Requirements for the Earlier Major

Current juniors and seniors (classes of 2017 and 2016) may choose to fulfill the requirements of this earlier major. Please consult your major adviser for more details.

Four Introductory-Level Courses
FILM BC3201Introduction to Film and Media Studies
or FILM UN1000 Introduction to Film and Media Studies
FILM UN2010Cinema History 1: Beginning-1930
FILM UN2020Cinema History 2: 1930-60
FILM UN2030Cinema History 3: 1960-90
Three Intermediate-Level Courses
FILM UN2290Topics in World Cinema: Arab and Africa
FILM UN2310The Documentary Tradition
FILM W2400Script Analysis
Three Advanced-Level Courses
FILM BC3119Screenwriting
or FILM BC3120 Feature Film Screenwriting
or FILM UN2420 Laboratory in Screenwriting
FILM BC3200Film Production
or FILM W2520 Laboratory In Nonfiction Filmmaking
or FILM UN2510 Laboratory in Fiction Filmmaking
FILM UN3910Senior Seminar in Filmmaking
or FILM UN3900 Senior Seminar in Film Studies
Two Film Electives
Chosen from the Barnard and Columbia course offerings - please consult the Program Director.

Please note:

  1. The prerequisite for all classes is Introduction to the Study and Theory of Film, open to first-year students.
  2. The Senior Seminar requirement can be fulfilled at Columbia in the fall or at Barnard in the spring (ENGL BC3998.2 - M. Spiegel).
  3. The Film Program does not offer Independent Study.
  4. There is no minor in Film Studies.
  5. Regretfully, auditors are not allowed in Barnard Film Production or Screenwriting classes.

FILM BC3119 Screenwriting. 3 points.

Prerequisites: FILM BC3201 or equivalent. Enrollment limited to 12 students. Priority is given to Film Studies majors/concentrations in order of class seniority.
Corequisites: (Since this is a Film course, it does not count as a writing course for English majors with a Writing Concentration.)

Practical workshop in dramatic writing for the screen. Through exercises and games specifically catered to the writing of scenes and concrete scene work, students explore and develop an understanding for the basic principles of screenwriting, learn how to find the right form and structure for each story, and how to achieve thematic richness, emotional depth, and narrative rhythm. By the end of the class students will have written a 10-12 page short and/or have material for the development of a feature screenplay.

Fall 2017: FILM BC3119
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
FILM 3119 001/02599 M 4:10pm - 6:00pm
407 Barnard Hall
Rubeintz Philippe 3 12/12
Spring 2018: FILM BC3119
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
FILM 3119 001/03301 W 10:00am - 12:50pm
324 Milbank Hall
Christina Kallas 3 7/12

FILM BC3120 Feature Film Screenwriting. 3 points.

Prerequisites: FILM BC3201 or equivalent. Enrollment limited to 12 students. Priority is given to Film Studies majors/concentrations in order of class seniority.
Corequisites: (Since this is a Film course, it does not count as a writing course for English majors with a Writing Concentration.)

Workshop in feature film writing. Students will enter the course with a story idea, ready to start a feature screenplay. Through lectures and workshop discussions, the course will critique the details of character development and scene construction. Analysis of student work will prompt generalized conversations/lectures on the fundamentals of film writing. Emphasis will be placed on character as the engine of story.

FILM BC3200 Film Production. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: The Visual and Performing Arts (ART).

Prerequisites: FILM BC3201 or equivalent. Sophomore standing. Interested students MUST attend the first day of class for instructor permission--registering for the course only through myBarnard or SSOL will NOT ensure your enrollment.

This workshop introduces the student to all the cinematic tools necessary to produce their own short narrative work.  Using what the student has learned in film studies, we'll break down shot syntax, mise-en-scene and editing strategies and master them in weekly video exercises.  We'll include casting, working with actors and expressive camera work in our process as we build toward a final video project.  By the end of the course, the student will have created a DVD containing a collection of their video pieces and their final project.  Priority given to junior and senior film majors.

Fall 2017: FILM BC3200
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
FILM 3200 001/07491 W 2:10pm - 5:00pm
118 Reid Barnard
Sandra Luckow 3 10/12
Spring 2018: FILM BC3200
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
FILM 3200 001/04614 W 2:10pm - 5:00pm
118 Reid Barnard
Sandra Luckow 3 19

FILM BC3201 Introduction to Film and Media Studies. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: The Visual and Performing Arts (ART)., Discussion Section Required

Prerequisites: Open to first-year students.
Corequisites: Enroll in the required Discussion Section through FILM BC 3204: Discussion Section.

Introductory survey of the history, aesthetics and theories of film. Topics in American and International cinema are explored through weekly screenings, readings, discussion, and lecture. A complete introduction to cinema studies, this course is also the prerequisite for further film courses at Columbia and Barnard.

Fall 2017: FILM BC3201
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
FILM 3201 001/02089 W 12:00pm - 1:50pm
323 Milbank Hall
Christina Kallas 3 40/60
FILM 3201 001/02089 M 6:00pm - 9:00pm
202 Milbank Hall
Christina Kallas 3 40/60

FILM BC3204 Discussion Section. 0 points.

Enrollment in one of the following sections is required when registering for FILM BC 3201: Introduction to Film and Film Theory.

FILM BC3225 Independent Cinema. 3 points.

Prerequisites: FILM BC 3201 or equivalent.

In 1989, the Hollywood studio system was languishing in a creative drought, until Steven Soderbergh's sex, lies, and videotape blew up the dam. Suddenly, audiences were eager for new, exciting visions free from establishment oversight. The next ten years saw the emergence of directors like Quentin Tarantino, Spike Lee, Kevin Smith, Richard Linklater, Jim Jarmusch, Lisa Cholodenko and many others. This course, arranged chronologically, will look at different filmmakers each week, while exploring the circumstances that allowed this movement to exist; what caused it to thrive, and what lingering effects did it have on today's cinema.

Fall 2017: FILM BC3225
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
FILM 3225 001/09441 T Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
202 Milbank Hall
Christina Kallas 3 21/22

FILM BC3245 American Television Drama. 3 points.

Discussion Section Required

Why and how does some of the best writing come out of TV, as currently universally acknowledged? The course will take a close look at American TV drama, from the "Golden Age" of the 1950s to the dramatic complexity found in recent Cable series. We will begin with prestigious writers Rod Serling and Paddy Chayefsky, study groundbreaking mini-series like "Roots" and "Holocaust," and explore how shows such as "Hill Street Blues" and "Twin Peaks" laid the groundwork for Cable series including "The Sopranos," "The Wire," "Mad Men" and "Breaking Bad.

Spring 2018: FILM BC3245
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
FILM 3245 001/07110 T Th 12:10pm - 2:00pm
202 Milbank Hall
Christina Kallas 3 60/60

FILM BC3260 Writing for Television. 3 points.

Corequisites: Please note that since this is a Film course, it does not count as a writing course for English majors with a Writing Concentration.

This course will focus on the primary pillar of television production: the teleplay. Through a number of creative exercises, students will learn the intricacies of the unique screenwriting formats that are the half-hour and hour-long teleplays. Together we will cover the differences between an episode arc and a seasonal one, the requirements of A/B/C story plotting, and how to write an effective show bible. We will survey the existing pantheon of great television writing in order to help students narrow in on their individual sensibilities. By the end of the course, students will have a written original pilot.

Fall 2017: FILM BC3260
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
FILM 3260 001/01666 Th 2:10pm - 5:00pm
502 Diana Center
Rubeintz Philippe 3 15/14
Spring 2018: FILM BC3260
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
FILM 3260 001/07427 Th 4:10pm - 6:50pm
407 Barnard Hall
Rubeintz Philippe 3 0/12

FILM BC3275 Non-Fiction Digital Video Production. 3 points.

Prerequisites: Enrollment limited to 12 students. Registering for the course only through myBarnard or SSOL will NOT ensure your enrollment. Attend first class for instructor permission. Lab section required.

This workshop course is designed to familiarize students with digital video technologies while they investigate various aesthetic and theoretical concepts related to nonfiction cinema and its engagement with the real. Through weekly readings, discussions, screenings, critiques, and practical exercises, students will develop a solid understanding of how to use digital video as an expressive tool. The course will culminate in the completion of a five-minute video work by each student. Students should be both self-directed and interested in developing a support system for each other's work.

Fall 2017: FILM BC3275
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
FILM 3275 001/06398 M 11:00am - 1:50pm
222 Milbank Hall
Margaret McLagan 3 15/14
Spring 2018: FILM BC3275
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
FILM 3275 001/01999 M 11:00am - 1:50pm
222 Milbank Hall
Margaret McLagan 3 23

FILM BC3301 Advanced Production. 3 points.

Prerequisites: FILM BC3201 or equivalent. Sophomore standing. Enrollment limited to 12 students. Attend first class for instructor permission.

Advanced Film Production will teach students how to create a short narrative film; emphasizing the steps taken in pre-production, production and post-production. Through hands-on workshops and theory, students will learn narrative editing, shot progression, camera lenses, lighting and audio equipment. Students will work in teams of four, learning the roles and responsibilities of the different crew members.

Cross-Listed Courses

Anthropology (Barnard)

ANTH V3824 Fantasy, Film, and Fiction in Archaeology. 4 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Cultures in Comparison (CUL).
Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

ANTH W4625 Anthropology and Film. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Social Analysis (SOC I)., BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Cultures in Comparison (CUL)., BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: The Visual and Performing Arts (ART).
Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Classics (Barnard)

CLLT V3230 Classics and Film. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: The Visual and Performing Arts (ART).

Considers cinematic representations of the ancient Mediterranean world, from early silent film to movies from the present day. Explores films that purport to represent historical events (such as Gladiator) and cinematic versions of ancient texts (Pasolini’s Medea). Readings include ancient literature and modern criticism.

Comparative Literature (Barnard)

East Asian Languages and Cultures

EAAS W4106 Global Genres and East Asian Cinema. 3 points.

Discussion Section Required
Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

This course explores East Asian Cinema from the perspective of film genre. In particular, the course examines East Asian genre films as active interaction with the circulation of global film genres as well as mass mediated engagement with specific economic, social, and political histories of East Asia. We will study contemporary theories of film genre, examine how the case of East Asian genre films complicate existing theories, while paying due attention to the parallel transnational traffics--between East Asian Cinema and global film genre, and across East Asian Cinema in their history of cultural and economic flow as well as political confrontation. We will integrate our investigations of genre-specific questions (industry, style, reception, spectatorship, affect) with those of gender, ethnicity, power as well as nation and transnational/transregional identity.

English (Barnard)

ENGL W4670 American Film Genres. 3 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

(Lecture). Some critics contend that all Hollywood film is either melodrama or morality play, no matter what its claims to the contrary; others see it as purely wish-fulfillment fantasy. This course will examine a range of genres in Hollywood film, while also scrutinizing and questioning the formation and usefulness of genre distinctions.  Our orientation will be formal as well as social and historical, as we examine codes and conventions of generic illusion and verisimilitude; the look and sound of different genres; genre and acting style; the rise and fall of specific genres (the Western, the slasher film, etc.), increasing self-reflexiveness in especially such genres as noir, the musical, romantic comedy; genre-bending and postmodernity; and genre as projection and organization of public sentiment.  We will also explore why certain genres are linked to political parties, as are specific styles of heroism. Genres will include: the combat movie, romantic comedy, horror, action, animation, musicals and “independent” films.

French (Barnard)

FREN BC3062 Women in French Cinema since the 60s. 3 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

This course traces the evolving nature of the relationship between women and society in French cinema from the New Wave of the 60's to the present. Attitudes of women and towards women will be examined in the light of the changing social, political, and intellectual context.

FREN BC3064 France on Film. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: The Visual and Performing Arts (ART).
Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Prerequisites: Reading ability in French required for all students. French majors must write their papers in French.

Films on and of the period from the 1930s to the present, focusing on the interplay between history, ideology, and culture.

FREN BC3065 Surrealism. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: The Visual and Performing Arts (ART).

Prerequisites: Prerequisites: Satisfaction of French language requirement or permission of the instructor. Reading ability in French required for all students. French majors must write their papers in French.

An examination of the relationship between traditional & avant-garde literature and visual culture; the use of word-play & language games as tools of artistic expression; the thematization of the unconscious and dreams; the vexed relationship between aesthetics & politics; the poetics and politics of sexuality & gender.  Authors and artists will include Andre Breton, Louis Aragon, Man Ray, Dorothea Tanning, and Salvador Dali.

FREN BC3073 Africa in Cinema. 3 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Considerations of African-directed twentieth century films concerning French-speaking, sub-Saharan West Africa. Reflections on tradition and modernity, politics and popular culture, the status of women, youth problems, identity construction. Placement of African film within its own tradition. Class taught in English.

French and Romance Philology

CLFR UN3830 French Film. 3 points.

A study of landmarks of French cinema from its origins to the 1970s. We will pay particular attention to the relation between cinema and social and political events in France. We will study films by Jean Vigo, Jean Renoir, Rene Clair, Alain Resnais, Francois Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard. In English.

Italian (Barnard)

ITAL UG3642 Road Trips: Travel in Italian Cinema. 3 points.

Corequisites: Cap at 25.

Explores the representation of national identity in Italian cinema from the Facist era to the present. Examines how both geography and history are used to construct an image of Italy and the Italians. Special focus on the cinematic representation of travel and journeys between North and South. Films by major neo-realist directors (Rossellini, De Sica, Visconti) as well as by leading contemporaries (Moretti, Amelio).

Religion (Barnard)

RELI V3610 Religion in American Film. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: The Visual and Performing Arts (ART).

Exploration of relationships between religion and popular film with particular attention to the way religious narratives and symbols in film uphold and critique norms of race, class and gender in the formation of American societal institutions (political structures, economy, family and community organization).

Spanish and Latin American Cultures (Barnard)

SPAN BC3151 Spanish Film: Cinematic Representation of Spain. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: The Visual and Performing Arts (ART).

Prerequisites: Third-year bridge course (W3300), and introductory surveys (W3349, W3350).

Examination of Spanish film in both theoretical and historical terms. Considers political and ideological changes through the 20th century and their repercussions in cinematic representation. Topics include: surrealism and Bunuel's legacy; representations of Franco and the civil war; censorship and self-censorship; gender, sexualities, and national identities; film, literature relations.

Latin American and Iberian Cultures

SPAN W3520 Dirty Realism in Latin America. 3 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Prerequisites: SPAN W3349 or SPAN W3350 or the instructor's permission.

The course will examine recent texts and films from Latin America and the United States to analyze the many configurations of the genre of dirty realism. The class gives a culturally and historically specific context for what has been a major trend in the film and book market of the last fifteen years.