What is possible when the mode of film scholarship departs from the printed word and inhabits the form of the media it examines? As the media environment evolves, engagements with film are branching out, with promising adaptation to niches in the digital landscape - social media, podcasting, websites and blogs, etc.- and out of this field, the videographic essay emerges as a powerful medium for the film scholar. This is a course in planning, scripting, and editing videographic essays in film scholarship. Making a videographic essay is much like making a film, often with similarities to documentary and the essay film. As such, we will engage not only film analysis and film scholarship but also video editing, visual composition, sound design, and other aspects of moving image media. In this class, we examine a wide array of videographic essays and explore the unique analytical and expressive opportunities the medium offers. With this foundation, we develop the critical, creative, and technical skills necessary for making effective video essays addressing films and film theory, directors, genres, national cinemas, and cultural and sociological issues. UMass Amherst Undergraduate Certificate Categories: II, IV and V
Could extraterrestrial life exist in the cosmos? Scientists say yes, possibly on billions of planets in our galaxy alone. In this class, we will examine the international cinema of alien encounters and explore how these films envision the alien other. How do these films both reflect and shape our own experience of "the alien" or the unknown "other"? Since the beginning of cinema, the figure of the alien has visited the big screen with its promise of otherworldly wonders and its threat of unthinkable perils. This course will explore how alien encounters reflect the haunting of historical realities (such as European voyages of discovery, conquest, and colonization) as well as contemporary issues, such as international conflict (war or global migration), questions of identity (race, gender, sexuality), and the power and perils of emerging technologies (nuclear weapons, artificial intelligence, space travel). Imagining encounters with intelligent beings beyond our own cultural and ideological sphere provides powerful new perspectives on what we think we know about the world, about ourselves, and about others. UMass Amherst Undergraduate Certificate Categories: III, V
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