Introduction to Film and Video
Rhode Island College   Syllabus  for  Comm 241:1 Thursday 2-5:50PM

Whipple 107  Spring 2014 Instructor:
Professor Philip J. Palombo
Office Whipple 214 phone 456-8044    Office Hours
Monday 12:00-2:00 & Tuesday 2:00-4:00

This Syllabus will get updated so check back regularly -

Catalog Description:
The narrative structure, contexts, and content of film and video are analyzed and critiqued.

In the course we will study a wide variety of films; we will also study characteristics of the film medium and see how they apply to films studied
in the course. Emphasis will be on the expressiveness of film techniques, the fictional film, the variety of films, and interpret the film from the producer's perspective.


The course has no prerequisites and is designed for freshman and sophomore students in all majors, but effective reading and writing skills are crucial for success in the course.

  Required Text|>  
Film: An Introduction, Fourth Edition
Author:William H. Phillips

On reserve at the library are DVDs:

The Player, The Cooler, Sex Lies and Videotapes, American Splendor, and
more will follow.
Evaluation Criteria and Percentage of Grade:

1. journal ------------------------ 30 pts.
2. midterm (definitions and application of concepts applied to a film)--
25 pts.
Complete Chapters 1-4 (Book 's online companion chapter quizzes 1-4)
3. Participation        --------------------------               - 20 pts.
4. final examination (take home Chapters 5, 8 and 9)------------------------ 25

You can always email me pertaining to any questions you may have regarding the course or certainly all things related to RIC that I may be able to help you with.
        From time to time, I will e-mail you information, so please check your RIC e-mail at least once a day. I check my e-mail several times a day, so please email me as needed.

1/23   Intro to course- what and how we plan to cover.
Part One -The expressiveness of Film Techniques
                Chapter 1  Introduction to Mise en Scene.    
              Screening: The Player 1992 (124 min)
2/06    Chapter 2  Cinematography   Screening: The Cooler 2003 (101 min)
2/13   (Snow Date)         
2/20     Chapter 3 Editing  Screening: Steven Soderbergh,
             Sex, Lies and Videotape 1989 :100 mins
     Chapter 3 Editing (continued)
Screening: The Cutting Edge:The Magic of Movie Editing 2004
3/06         Chapter 4     Sound   Screening: American Splendor 2003 (101 min)
                Spring Break
/20       Chapter 5  Sources for the Fictional Film    
Screening: AFI: THE DIRECTORS: Martin Scorsese   
                Interview with Scorsese

3/27      Chapter 8: Alternatives to Live-Action Fictional Films:   
     Screening:   Capturing Reality
1999 107 min
4/3     Chap 8   Alternatives to Live-Action Fictional Films
                  Screening: And Everything Is Going Fine
4/10    Alternatives to Live-Action Fictional Films
Screening: Inside/Out: Leonard Jefferson
This Film Is Not Yet Rated (2006) (98 min)
4/17   Chap 9 Experimental, hybrid, & animation
            Clips from: Eraserhead, Elvis Sinatra. Tarnation
4/24   Chap 9 Experimental
              Clip from Powaqqatsi (1989), TimeCode (2000) (97 mins)
-More To Follow-
Other Films I  strongly recommend you screen:
Tarrantino's Pulp Fiction (2004) 150 min
American Splendor  2003 :101 min

Journal Guidelines (30 points) More Details :>>

    Until February 20, you are required to respond in writing to every complete film we screen to that point. We anticipate three to write about. For each of these screenings write about several aspects of the film that are important to you (for example, a character trait, some action, a setting, the lighting, the music, the editing of a scene, an idea implied or stated). The films include:
The Player, The Cooler, & Sex, Lies and Videotape

    Be sure that each paragraph explains only one major aspect, and make sure you give enough specifics so that the paragraph's point is clear and persuasive.

    During the first draft, it may help you to write quickly focusing on what you want to say and not worrying about how well you are writing. Most people find that it helps to write immediately after seeing a film then to rewrite later in the day or on the next day, or to rewrite later in the day and the next day.

      In the journal you submit on March 6 include only the final draft of each entry. Entries should be about 500 words for feature-length films. (500 words = two double-spaced typed pages with one-inch margins.) All entries must be typed and numbered.

         Journals will be graded from 0 to 20 based on following directions, completeness, clarity, factual accuracy, and originality of insights (not merely repeating points made in class or in the book). I will not read every entry; instead, I will choose several entries at random and read and grade them as representative of the journal as a whole. The journal is a very important course requirement, worth 30 points, so please plan to put considerable effort into writing and rewriting your entries.