Film Studies

Roger Cook, Program Director
School of Visual Studies, College of Arts and Science
451 Strickland
(573) 882-9452 or (573) 882-7547
cookrf@missouri.edu
https://visualstudies.missouri.edu/filmstudies

The Film Studies Program within the School of Visual Studies  provides guidance to our students from accomplished research and film production faculty, real world experience through hands-on internship practicums, and opportunities for success beyond the program for our graduates. The B.A. offers courses in film analysis and covers the history of cinema, national and global cinemas, film theory and genres, documentary film, and contemporary visual culture.  It combines an emphasis on critical thinking, research, problem-solving, written expression, and cultural literacy with the discipline's unique attention to visual analysis. The Emphasis in Production provides hands-on instruction in all areas of filmmaking, including writing, production management, directing, cinematography, audio, and editing. A degree in Film Studies provides a broad, open-ended education that can lead to many different careers, especially those requiring excellent communication skills and analytical thinking. Recent graduates have gone on to careers in teaching, publishing, public relations, management, law, the TV/motion picture industry, independent filmmaking, advertising and other areas of digital media production.

The program offers a BA degree in film studies, a BA with an emphasis in production, and an undergraduate minor.

Professor R. F. Cook*, R. N. Johnson*, B. Prager*, A. Prahlad*, C. Strathausen*, N. M. West*
Associate Professor M. H. Carver*, J. Draper*,  J. Hearne*, S. Ireton*, V. M. Kaussen*, W. Kerwin*, M. Moore*, C. Sampson*, R. Tabanelli*
Assistant Professor S. C. Rozier*, M. Folescu*, R. Greene*
Associate Teaching Professor N. Monnier*,
Assistant Teaching Professor K. Bilal, E. Hornbeck, E. Naveh-Benjamin, M. Volz
Instructor R. Wise

Double and Dual Majors

A film studies major can be paired with a major in another department. Students must meet the requirements of both departments. The program for each major must be approved by the advisor in the degree-granting department.

Departmental Honors

To receive departmental honors, a student must earn a minimum overall MU GPA of 3.3 and a minimum GPA of 3.5 in courses in film studies completed at the University of Missouri. In addition, with the assistance of an honors thesis advisor, the student must develop, plan and conduct research on an independent project, normally while enrolled in FILM_S 4995 .

While MU does not offer graduate degrees specifically in film studies, the University does offer post-baccalaureate opportunities in a number of related areas, both within the College of Arts and Science, and in the other Schools and Colleges that make up the University. The catalog provides a complete list of these degree options.

FILM_S 1000: Introduction to Film for Non-Majors

Introduction to terms and concepts for film analysis, including mise-en-scene, cinematography, editing, sound narrative, genre, and other elements. No credit for students who have completed FILM_S 1800. No credit for film majors or minors. Graded on A-F basis only.

Credit Hours: 3


FILM_S 1800: Introduction to Film Studies

(same as ENGLSH 1800, DST 1800). Introduction to terms and concepts for film analysis, including mise-en-scene, cinematography, editing, sound narrative, genre, and other elements. No credit for studnents who have completed FILM_S 2810. Graded on A-F basis only.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: Freshmen and Sophomores only or instructor's consent


FILM_S 1880: Introduction to Digital Media Production

(same as DST 1880, ENGLSH 1880, ART_GNRL 1920). Introduction to concepts and skills for film making, video art, and digital storytelling, including media literacy and forms of narrative manifested historically and currently across a range of media. This course focuses on theories and concepts that support the critical analysis and creation of contemporary narrative in digital form with particular attention to audio, visual and written communication. Graded on A-F basis only.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: Enrollment limited to declared Film_S majors during early registration


FILM_S 2001: Topics in Film Studies-General

Organized study of selected topics. Subject may vary from semester to semester. May be repeated with consent of instructor.

Credit Hour: 1-3


FILM_S 2005: Topics in Film Studies- Humanities

Organized study of selected topics. Subject may vary from semester to semester. May be repeated with consent of instructor.

Credit Hour: 1-3


FILM_S 2010: The Philosophy of Film

(same as PHIL 2010). Philosophical problems having to do with film. Topic may include the nature of films, the differences between fiction and documentary film, ethical issues with film and filmmaking.

Credit Hours: 3


FILM_S 2020: World Cinema for Non-Majors

World Cinema introduces students to the history of international cinema. The course focuses on particular cinematic movements and national cinemas as case studies for trends and trajectories that also characterize the national and non-Hollywood cinemas not covered in the course. Examines the relationship of form and genre to individual national, or localized, cultural contexts. No credit for students who have completed FILM_S 2820. No credit for film majors or minors. Graded on A-F basis only.

Credit Hours: 3


FILM_S 2160: Film Adaptation of Shakespeare - Non Majors

This course serves as an introduction to the problems and complexities that arise when adapting William Shakespeare's plays to contemporary film. One basic task of the course is to develop students' ideas about adaptation, especially with reference to contemporary adaptation theory. This course hopes both to explain and discredit the value of "fidelity discourse," students should be liberated from the notion of "faithfulness" to the texts. No credit for film majors or minors. Graded on A-F basis only.

Credit Hours: 3


FILM_S 2530: Screenwriting I

Analyze various script formats and apply different writing techniques and styles to create screenplays and teleplays. Work inside a creative critique environment to craft vivid storytelling and character elements while developing viable loglines and pitches for their stories. Screenwriting concepts include the three-act structure and the timing and placement of plot points. Graded on A-F basis only.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: FILM_S 1800 or ENGLSH 1800; sophomore standing or higher. May be restricted to Film Studies majors and minors during early registration


FILM_S 2540: Introduction to Film Management

Film Production Management is a hands-on exploration of the roles of feature film executive producers, producers and unit production managers. Creating balanced budgets, hiring personnel, creating meaningful business relationships, and managing post-production responsibilities are investigated. The feature film budget will be examined in each phase of the production; creating a sales pitch for a film, and developing a detailed approach to distribution is explored. Graded on A-F basis only.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: FILM_S 1800 or ENGLSH 1800; sophomore standing or higher


FILM_S 2820: Trends in World Cinema

(same as GERMAN 2820 and RM_LAN 2820). This course is a historical overview of the major trends in international cinema. It focuses on the intersection of aesthetics, industry, and ideological and social concerns in cinematic production.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: Sophomore standing, ENGLSH 1800 or FILM_S 1800


FILM_S 2830: American Film History I, 1895-1950

(same as ENGLSH 2830). Examines the development of American cinema in relation to other national cinemas, from 1895-1950. No credit for students who have completed ENGLSH or FILM_S 1810.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: ENGLSH 1000 and ENGLSH 1800 or FILM_S 1800


FILM_S 2840: American Film History II, 1950-Present

(same as ENGLSH 2840). Examines American film history in an international context, from 1950-present. No credit for students who have completed ENGLSH or FILM_S 1820.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: ENGLSH 1000 and ENGLSH 1800 or FILM_S 1800


FILM_S 2850: Italian Cinema

(same as ITAL 2850). A course which concentrates on the development of Italian Cinema, primarily since the Post-WWII era, and the ways in which it reflects major economic, social and political events occurring in Italy. No knowledge of Italian required.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: Sophomore standing


FILM_S 2860: Film Themes and Genres

(same as ENGLSH 2860, DST 2860) Topics (e.g. Film noir, African-American filmmakers, Food and Film, The Western) announced at time of registration. No more than six hours may be taken in Film Themes and Genres 2680.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: ENGLSH 1000 and ENGLSH 1800 or FILM_S 1800


FILM_S 2865: The Art of Soviet and Russian Cinema

(Same as RUSS 2865) Topics (e.g. Distorted Picture: Post-War Cinema in a Soviet State, Cinema in the Soviet Times and Beyond, etc.) announced at time of registration. Only 6 hours may be taken toward major.

Credit Hours: 3


FILM_S 2865W: The Art of Soviet and Russian Cinema - Writing Intensive

(Same as RUSS 2865) Topics (e.g. Distorted Picture: Post-War Cinema in a Soviet State, Cinema in the Soviet Times and Beyond, etc.) announced at time of registration. Only 6 hours may be taken toward major.

Credit Hours: 3


FILM_S 3005: Topics in Film Studies - Humanities

Organized study of selected topics. Subjects and earnable credit may vary from semester to semester.

Credit Hour: 1-3
Prerequisites: Sophomore standing


FILM_S 3005W: Topics in Film Studies - Humanities - Writing Intensive

Organized study of selected topics. Subjects and earnable credit may vary from semester to semester.

Credit Hour: 1-3
Prerequisites: Sophomore standing


FILM_S 3490: Indian Cinema

(same as S_A_ST 3490, AR_H_A 3790 and ANTHRO 3490). Indian Cinema provides an overview of the key genres and themes of Indian film, including Bollywood, art cinema/parallel cinema, Indian regional cinemas, and diasporan cinema. The course combines film studies, anthropological, historical, and visual culture analyses to provide a holistic view of Indian culture and society through cinema.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: Sophomore standing or higher


FILM_S 3520: Post Production

Editing above all else is about feeling and rhythm. This course immerses students in the complete filmmaking editorial process from ingesting the footage to final delivery. Using non-linear editing software students will sharpen their sensibilities through hands on learning and practice. While editing scenes from both fiction and non-fiction cinema - students can expect to learn the ins and outs of media management and organization, the language of the edit, basic toolset navigation and color correction. Graded A-F basis only.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: FILM_S 1800 or ENGLSH 1800; sophomore standing or higher


FILM_S 3540: Cinematography I

An exploration of the principles and techniques of cinematography that includes shot composition lighting styles, and storytelling, using the moving image. Students will examine historical and contemporary approaches to cinematography used in Hollywood, foreign and independent films. Analyzing cinematographic approaches of a wide range of work will help the students discriminate the quality of their own creative work. Graded on A-F basis only.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: FILM_S 1800 or ENGLSH 1800, and FILM_S 1880. Sophomore standing or higher. May be restricted to Film Studies majors and minors during early registration


FILM_S 3550: Introduction to Field Production

Provides a comprehensive overview of pre-production and production involved in the development of a film. Students will receive hands-on experience in lighting design, camera operation, grip and electrical, producing, directing, sound capture and design, and fundraising. Students will ultimately be responsible for the production of a commercially viable, competition grade short film at the end of the semester. Some outside class commitments are required.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: FILM_S 1800 or ENGLSH 1800 and FILM_S 3540


FILM_S 3555: Directing for the Screen

Directing for the Screen combines previous knowledge of the cinematic frame with the power of communication. This course focuses on developing the student's ability to effectively communicate to actors, cinematographers, and art departments, while also commanding a film crew and managing relationships with producers. Students develop concise personal vision and aesthetics with respect to scripts, and will work directly with actors to achieve performances that suit the project.

Credit Hours: 3


FILM_S 3560: Audio Engineering for the Screen

This course is an intensive study of the techniques and science behind the use of audio in today's cinema. The course will focus on four major areas of study: sound in cinema, sound creation, sound manipulation, and environmental sound layering.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: FILM_S 1800 or ENGLSH 1800, Sophomore standing. May be restricted to Film Studies majors and minors during early registration


FILM_S 3775: The Ancient World on Film

(Same as CL_HUM 3775 and AR_H_A 3775) This course explores how classical antiquity has been represented in twentieth and twenty-first-century film, with particular emphasis on the ways in which ancient narratives and iconography have been appropriated by filmmakers to address contemporary cultural issues.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: Prior 2000 level coursework in CL_HUM, AR_H_A, or FILM_S. Instructors consent required


FILM_S 3780: Architecture in Film

(same as AR_H_A 3780) Filmmakers use architecture to convey meaning on symbolic, psychological, and ideological levels. Using architectural history and theory, in conjunction with weekly film screenings from a variety of genres, this course explores how architecture operates within film.

Credit Hours: 3


FILM_S 3785: Art and Artists on Film

(same as AR_H_A 3785) This course explores representations of art and artists in film, including documentary films, fictionalized films, and films made by artists.

Credit Hours: 3


FILM_S 3820: Major Directors

(same as ENGLSH 3820 and RM_LAN 3820). Topics (e.g. Hitchcock, Kubrick, Fellini, Allen, Kurosawa, Wilder) announced at time of registration. Only 6 hours may be taken for credit toward major. Graded on A-F basis only.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: ENGLSH 1000 and ENGLSH 1800 or FILM_S 1800


FILM_S 3830: History of German Film

(same as GERMAN 3830). Introduction to the development of the German film. Old and recent films are viewed and discussed in terms of techniques, artistry, psychology and social impact. English dubbing or subtitles. No foreign language credit.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: Sophomore standing or instructor's consent


FILM_S 3845: Modern Israeli Film

(same as HEBREW 3845). Examines the modern film of developing Israel. Discusses complex social relationships. Introduces concepts of Hebrew language and its use in the arts world-wide. Discusses varied communities in Israel, and universal themes such as democracy and social justice. Provides introduction to Israeli culture.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: Sophomore standing or consent of instructor required


FILM_S 3850: Studies in Film History

(same as ENGLSH 3850). Topics (e.g. Classical Period of Hollywood cinema, silent era, Post-WWII American film, German Weimar cinema, French New Wave) announced at time of registration. Only 6 hours count as credit toward major.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: ENGLSH 1000 and ENGLSH 1800 or FILM_S 1800


FILM_S 3855: Documentary Film

(same as ENGLSH 3855; DST 3855). Surveys the history of documentary film including the development of subgenres, sound and voice over in documentary, re-enactment, ethical issues in documentary film production, and more. Graded on A-F basis only.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: ENGLSH 1000


FILM_S 3861: Film Themes and Genres

Topics (e.g. Film noir, African-American filmmakers, Food and Film, The Western) announced at time of registration. No more than six hours may be taken in Film Themes and Genres 3861.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: ENGLSH 1000 or ENGLSH 1800 or FILM_S 1800


FILM_S 3865: The Holocaust on Screen

(same as GERMAN 3865). This course explores how the Holocaust has been depicted on film in a variety of national and historical contexts. Drawing on films from 1945 to the present, from the U.S., Germany, Poland, France, and Italy, we will consider to what end images of the Holocaust have been used. Graded on A-F basis only.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: Sophomore standing


FILM_S 3875: Brazilian Cinema

(same as PORT 3875). An introduction to Brazilian cinema, culture, and society through the study of contemporary cinematic productions. Topics include: Hollywood perceptions of Brazil; redefinition of national identity and history, representations of race and gender.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: ENGLSH 1000


FILM_S 3880: Contemporary Chinese Film

(same as CHINSE 3880). Introduces development of 20th century Chinese film and popular genres, including review of earlier times. Explores how present day Chinese understand their own history, and issues they face in drive toward modernization in a global context. Films and readings in English or with English subtitles. No previous knowledge of the culture or language required.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: Sophomore standing or instructor's consent


FILM_S 3885: Twenty-First Century South American Cinema

(same as SPAN 3885, PORT 3885). Broad overview of the major national cinemas of the 21st century in South America. Approximately 14 feature films screened from Argentina, Brazil, Chile and other nations of the region. Instructor provides a thematic framework for films within the context of film theory, Latin American cinematic history and cultural studies. Course taught in English. Graded on A-F basis only.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: ENGLSH 1000 or ENGLSH 1000H


FILM_S 3890: Russian and Soviet Film

(same as RUSS 3890). Introduces three significant genres of Russian cinema: comedy, literary adaptations, and films that explore issues of identity and autobiography. Includes examples from different epochs. Considers Soviet and post-Soviet films. Russia and Russian culture. Course conducted in English; films have English subtitles.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: Sophomore standing or instructor's consent


FILM_S 3930: Screenwriting for Television and Film

(same as THEATR 3930). Fundamentals of storytelling utilizing tools and structure used by television and film.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: ENGLSH 1000


FILM_S 4001: Topics in Film-General

Organized study of selected topics. Subjects and earnable credit may vary from semester to semester.

Credit Hour: 1-3
Prerequisites: Sophomore standing


FILM_S 4005: Topics in Film Studies - Humanities

Organized study of selected topics. Subjects and earnable credit may vary from semester to semester.

Credit Hour: 1-3
Prerequisites: sophomore standing


FILM_S 4005W: Topics in Film Studies - Humanities - Writing Intensive

Organized study of selected topics. Subjects and earnable credit may vary from semester to semester.

Credit Hour: 1-3
Prerequisites: sophomore standing


FILM_S 4030: Video Art and the Moving Image

(same as ART_GNRL 4030; cross-leveled with ART_GNRL 7030). Video as a fine art form intersecting with sculpture, experimental filmmaking, DIY and Internet culture. Theoretical and historical knowledge is integrated with studio practice. Students create video works in Adobe Premiere Pro, demonstrating technical ability and aesthetic vision. May be repeated up to 9 hours maximum.

Credit Hours: 3


FILM_S 4130: Advanced Character Voice and Dialogue

Builds upon principles of story arc and screenwriting techniques, while providing an in-depth study of character psyche and unique voice. Students will maser the skills necessary to create vibrant, memorable characters through the exploration and development of unique character traits, physical imagery development and distinctive voice. Students will analyze dialog traits of scripts and films of industry professionals, and will craft their own characters using industry standard technology, adhering to the principles of industry standard formatting. Graded on A-F basis only.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: FILM_S 3530, THEATR 3930, FILM_S 3930, ENGLSH 2510, ENGLSH 2520 or ENGLSH 2530


FILM_S 4370: Film Studies: The Intersection of Documentary Film and Journalism

(same as JOURN 4370; cross-leveled with FILM_S 7370, JOURN 7370). The popularity of documentary film in the past ten years has skyrocketed, and recent award-winning documentaries such as Inside Job (2010), Blackfish (2013), and The Invisible War (2012) are simultaneously entertaining audiences and investigating serious issues like the financial collapse, killer whale captivity, and sex crimes in the military--issues that in the past might have been covered exclusively by investigative journalism. What explains the public's growing fascination with documentary? How is documentary film reacting to recent transformations in the media landscape? Is it filling a critical need that journalism is no longer willing or able to meet? This course will explore the intersection of these two nonfiction storytelling forms--documentary film and journalism--and examine the role played by advocacy in both modes, as well as the cultural and ethical implications of the convergence between journalism and documentary film. In that it is centered on contemporary documentary film culture, the course also takes advantage of the True/ False Film Festival, and will be host to a conference during Week 6, featuring a number of major visiting filmmakers and film critics. Attendance at some sessions is required. Graded on A-F basis only.

Credit Hours: 3


FILM_S 4370W: Film Studies: The Intersection of Documentary Film and Journalism-Writing Intensive

(same as JOURN 4370; cross-leveled with FILM_S 7370, JOURN 7370). The popularity of documentary film in the past ten years has skyrocketed, and recent award-winning documentaries such as Inside Job (2010), Blackfish (2013), and The Invisible War (2012) are simultaneously entertaining audiences and investigating serious issues like the financial collapse, killer whale captivity, and sex crimes in the military--issues that in the past might have been covered exclusively by investigative journalism. What explains the public's growing fascination with documentary? How is documentary film reacting to recent transformations in the media landscape? Is it filling a critical need that journalism is no longer willing or able to meet? This course will explore the intersection of these two nonfiction storytelling forms--documentary film and journalism--and examine the role played by advocacy in both modes, as well as the cultural and ethical implications of the convergence between journalism and documentary film. In that it is centered on contemporary documentary film culture, the course also takes advantage of the True/ False Film Festival, and will be host to a conference during Week 6, featuring a number of major visiting filmmakers and film critics. Attendance at some sessions is required. Graded on A-F basis only.

Credit Hours: 3


FILM_S 4540: Cinematography II

This workshop explores advanced cinema camera systems, lighting techniques, cine lenses and rigging equipment. We will view examples of camera and lighting work, both historical and contemporary, and develop scenes with complex blocking and camera movement. Expect to spend time outside of class working to ensure a successful semester. Graded A-F basis only.

Credit Hours: 4
Prerequisites: FILM_S 1800 or ENGLSH 1800; FILM_S 3540; sophomore standing or higher


FILM_S 4560: Field Production II

This workshop is a senior level course that serves as the capstone of our production emphasis curriculum. Students entering the class must be prepared to submit a short script (no longer than 15 minutes) at the first class of the term, and complete the entire filmmaking process by close of the semester. Participants are required to assist fellow students in the production of their films. Expect to spend a significant amount of time outside of class to ensure a successful semester. Works will be screened in our senior showcase. Graded A-F basis only.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: FILM_S 1800, FILM_S 1880, FILM_S 3540, and FILM_S 3550


FILM_S 4580: Production Practicum

Provides an intensive, comprehensive experience in film production. Students will receiver hands-on experience in lightning and set design, camera operation, grip/electrical and sound capture. The course pits students against a rigorous industry standard shooting schedule - long hours are to be expected each day. Graded on A-F basis only.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: FILM_S 3540


FILM_S 4810: Film Theory

(same as ENGLSH 4810, DST 4810). This course explores contemporary trends in film theory. Topics may include: psychoanalysis, feminism, Marxism, cultural studies, queer theory, audience and star studies, postcolonialism, among others.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: ENGLSH 1000 and ENGLSH or FILM_S 1800. Junior standing or above required


FILM_S 4840: Culture and Media

(Same as ENGLSH 4840, DST 4840). Topics (e.g. Cinema and Imperialism, Indigenous Media, Ethnographic Documentary) announced at time of registration. No more than six hours may be taken for credit toward the major.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: ENGLSH 1000 and ENGLSH 1800 or FILM_S 1800. Junior standing or instructor's consent required


FILM_S 4860: Film Themes and Genres

Topics (e.g. Film noir, African-American filmmakers, Food and Film., The Western) announced at time of registration. No more than six hours may be taken in Film Themes and Genres 4860.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: ENGLSH 1000 and ENGLSH 1800 or FILM_S 1800


FILM_S 4880: Capstone Experience

This course is for Film Studies students who have completed their concentration requirements. The main objective is to help students independently create and complete a capstone project. The project should allow you to conceptualize and enter professional life after commencement.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: Film Studies majors only. Consent of instructor required


FILM_S 4935: Adaptation of Literature for Film

(same as ENGLSH 4935 and THEATR 4935; cross-leveled with FILM_S 7935, ENGLSH 7580 and THEATR 7935). This upper-divison course will explore adaptation principles and practices with a variety of forms of literature that were not originally written for film.

Credit Hours: 3


FILM_S 4940: Internship

This course is for Film Studies students who have the opportunity to work in an internship position in a related industry or at a government agency where they can gain valuable on the job experience and knowledge. The student must register for the Internship course in the semester in which the work takes place. Graded S/U basis only.

Credit Hour: 1-3
Prerequisites: ENGLSH 1000 and ENGLSH 1800 or FILM_S 1800. Must have at least 15 hours of Films Studies credit. Online courses do not count for the 15 hours of Film Credit


FILM_S 4960: Special Readings in Film Studies

Arranged. Individual work with conferences adjusted to needs of student.

Credit Hour: 1-3
Prerequisites: ENGLSH 1000 and ENGLSH 1800 or FILM_S 1800. Consent of instructor required. Restricted to Film Studies majors in their final year


FILM_S 4963: Latin American Cinema (in Spanish)

(same as SPAN 4960). Subject varies according to instructor.

Credit Hour: 2-3
Prerequisites: SPAN 3420 and SPAN 3430


FILM_S 4995: Senior Honors Thesis

Independent honors research under direction of faculty. Graded on S/U basis only.

Credit Hour: 1-3
Prerequisites: Senior standing required, consent of instructor required, Honors eligibility required


FILM_S 7001: Topics in Film Studies-General

Topics in Film Studies-General

Credit Hour: 1-3


FILM_S 7370: The Intersections of Documentary Film and Journalism

(same as JOURN 7370). (cross-leveled with JOURN 4370 and FILM_S 4370). The popularity of documentary film in the past ten years has skyrocketed, and recent award-winning documentaries such as Inside Job (2010), Blackfish (2013), and The Invisible War (2012) are simultaneously entertaining audiences and investigating serious issues like the financial collapse, killer whale captivity, and sex crimes in the military--issues that in the past might have been covered exclusively by investigative journalism. What explains the public's growing fascination with documentary? How is documentary film reacting to recent transformations in the media landscape? Is it filling a critical need that journalism is no longer willing or able to meet? This course will explore the intersection of these two nonfiction storytelling forms--documentary film and journalism--and examine the role played by advocacy in both modes, as well as the cultural and ethical implications of the convergence between journalism and documentary film. In that it is centered on contemporary documentary film culture, the course also takes advantage of the True/ False Film Festival, and will be host to a conference during Week 6, featuring a number of major visiting filmmakers and film critics. Attendance at some sessions is required. Graded on A-F basis only.

Credit Hours: 3