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CMS 3700: The French New Wave


Instructor:    Dr. Virginia Bonner
Messages:   vbonner@clayton.edu / 678-466-4713
Semester:    Spring 2019
CRN 20685: 3-0-3 credit hours
Prerequisites: FILM 2100 (C) and FILM 2700 (C)
Meetings:      TR 3:35-4:50pm in UC 272
Screenings:    on your own via D2L and rentals
Office hrs:   Scheduled via AdvisorConnect, met by email, phone, & by appt. in Music 105 or via Skype: virginia.bonner (use direct-dial Skype button from my homepage link below)
Web Address: http://www.virginiabonner.com

Course Objectives

This course studies films of the French New Wave—their technical innovations, stylistic traits, and important directors. We will first study a few influential films, writings, and directors that pre-dated and inspired the French New Wave. We will then study the formal elements, themes, and experimental techniques of the French New Wave, paying special attention to how various filmmakers have employed them toward different effects. We will then consider a few more recent films that continue the French New Wave tradition.

Course Format

Our class will cover one or more films per week. Generally we'll have an introductory lecture and/or presentation on Tuesdays, which will be followed by a film screening. On Thursdays we'll discuss both the film and assigned readings. Some weeks we will view an additional film in class on Tuesdays, and discuss it and associated readings on Thursday. Readings throughout the semester will include historical texts and theoretical criticism, as well as some directors’ writings.

You will be responsible for lively class discussions and class group presentations on our directors, films, and readings. A thorough command of the film terminology you learned in FILM 2100 are expected in all of your writing and discussion. 

Always arrive five minutes early to on-campus class lectures, not only because we will start promptly but also because late arrivals are extremely disruptive. If you must arrive late, always use the back door to enter the room quietly and then sit quietly on the aisle; do not step over people to get to a favorite seat, since this blocks the view of the screen for others. Do not text, eat loud foods, sleep, answer cell phones, operate computers, check email, work on other projects, talk with classmates or talk back to the screen loudly, or leave the room for food or other non-emergencies during class lectures; these are a time for serious study of our film texts so you should be taking copious notes during each film to prepare for your quizzes, class discussions, and exams. You may wish to bring a penlight to classes to help you take notes in the dark. Anyone behaving disruptively during class will be asked to leave.

Film Screenings

Please note that the film screenings are mandatory, as this material will be the subject matter of your weekly class discussions and tests. If you do not plan to view the films, you should drop the course. We will view additional excerpts from selected films during class lectures.

You do not need to purchase these films, but you will need to rent many of them. Many of our assigned films are available for free via streaming hyperlinks posted on D2L, and most are also on DVD reserve in the CSU library. Some of our films are also available streaming or on DVD rental via Netflix or Amazon Instant Video for very reasonable rates.

Note: If The Criterion Channel goes live during our semester, ALL of the films are available there, so we will switch to viewing our films there. More information is forthcoming!

Note: Many of the films in this series contain violence, profanity, drug usage, and/or frank sexual content. These films are intended for mature audiences and are not suitable for children under 17 who are unaccompanied by an adult. If you are disturbed by R-rated film content, you should drop the course.

Required Texts (Available at the campus bookstore or online vendors)

1.     Marie, Michel. The French New Wave: An Artistic School. Blackwell, 1997. (FNW)

2.     Neupert, Richard. The History of the French New Wave. Wisconsin, 2004. (HFNW)

3.     Hillier, Jim, ed. Cahiers du Cinema the 1950s. Harvard, 1985.

Optional Texts

1.   Hillier, Jim, ed. Cahiers du Cinema the 1960s. Harvard, 1986.

2.   Douchet, Jean. French New Wave. Paris: Cinémathèque française. 1998.

3.   Bordwell, David and Kristin Thompson. Film Art: An Introduction

Course textbooks & most films should be available in the collection of the library soon.

Computer Requirement

Each CSU student is required to have ready access throughout the semester to a notebook computer that meets faculty-approved hardware and software requirements for the student's academic program. Students will sign a statement attesting to such access. For further information on CSU's Official Notebook Computer Policy, please go to http://www.clayton.edu/hub/itpchoice/notebookcomputerpolicy.

Especially for online students, I recommend ear buds or headphones and a webcam with microphone if your computer does not include them.

In-class Use of Student Notebook Computers

Student notebook computers will not be used in the classroom in this course, except for one or two dates that will be posted on our syllabus in advance. Computers will be required to access course materials and to communicate with your instructor outside of class. Online assessments will take place in GeorgiaView/D2L, the virtual classroom for the course. 

Computer Skill Prerequisites

• Able to view streaming video files
• Able to use a Web browser
• Able to use (and own) a webcam and microphone
• Able to use D2L/GeorgiaView
• Able to send and receive e-mail using Outlook or Outlook Express
• Able to attach and retrieve attached files via email

Disability Services

Individuals with disabilities who need to request accommodations should contact the Disability Services Coordinator, Student Center 255, (678) 466-5445, disabilityservices@clayton.edu.

Note: If you have added this course during the schedule change period and/or were not present for the syllabus review the first day of class, you are required to meet with the professor the following day/week to review course requirements and policies.