ENGL 111N: Composition Literature
Writing about Film: World Cinema across Genres, Auteurs, and Themes
In this writing course, students will practice how to read and think critically with literary and cinematic texts, which will eventually help them develop and produce writings in different academic contexts. This practice will also lead students to being aware of the strategies, audience, complexity, intensity level, and goal of their writing, not to speak of certain writing conventions and decorum in style, tone, and structure. With these writing skills and experiences, students are expected to become a confident, thoughtful, and critical academic writer.
In addition, we will also practice how to analyze film. Cinema has its own language and style, and we will learn to appreciate the cinematic aesthetics through viewing and analyzing a film scene by scene, or sequence by sequence. Basic terminology for film analysis and its proper usage will be taught throughout the quarter. The main theme we will have is “World Cinema across Genres, Auteurs, and Themes.”
Along with the lecture as well as in-class debates and activities, this class will be structured mostly by your own writing. Your writing will be conducted either with specific guidance or with your own creativity. In both cases, you will be prepared and backed up by the skills you will learn and the texts as well as sources you will get in class. Especially, all of the texts you will read along with film screenings are very good sources for your research, and might be included in the bibliography of your own writing. Each writing assignment of yours will be reviewed carefully by the instructor, and sometimes by your peers. Through this interactive and cooperative process, you will be able to revise and edit your writing more effectively. And at the end of the quarter, you will submit your own portfolio electronically: you put together what you have written so far, carefully revise them, and submit it through canvas website.
Note 1: Students should be prepared to spend additional four hours weekly watching the assigned films. Failing to watch assigned films will affect your final grades (weekly quizzes are based on the films you watch). All films are available through the Canvas website (class-restricted) and you are required to watch them before the class day when they are discussed. There will be no in-class screenings. But for some short films, I will arrange screenings during class.
Note 2: This class does NOT teach popular Hollywood blockbuster. Be prepared to watch speculative cinema.
Note 3: This class does NOT require students to have prior knowledge of cultural or historical context of the countries where the films were made.