Film Studies Certificate Program
Film Studies Course Coordinator: Myrto Drizou
Office: TB 440
Film Studies Certificate Program Coordinator: Burcu Kayışcı Akkoyun
Office: TB 529
Assistant Coordinator: Lamia Kabal
Office: TB 455
Department Secretary: İrem Akman
Admission process is currently being carried out online due to Covid-19. Please scroll down this page for further information.
Students who wish to apply for the certificate program are advised to carefully read the information provided on this page. Students currently enrolled in the program are also advised to consult this page on a regular basis to stay informed about the program requirements and regulations.
Total: 7 courses (21 credits)
Students enrolled in the Certificate Program are required to successfully complete 7 courses (21 credits) on Film/Cinema. Three of these courses (FA 341, FA 348 and FA 349) are required courses; the other 4 can be selected from a pool of courses on film studies offered by the Department of Western Languages and Literatures under the code name FA or from among relevant courses offered by other departments, upon the approval of the certificate advisor.
In order for a course to qualify as a certificate course, its title must include Film or Cinema (such as Politics and Cinema, Philosophy and Cinema, etc.) and/or its content must consist predominantly of topics and readings related to Film and screening of films.
Such a course taken abroad in exchange programs can also be counted towards the certificate if the student consults with the program coordinator about the title and content of the course before enrollment, and if s/he presents upon her/his return the syllabus of the course as well as her/his official transcript from the exchange institution showing the grade on that course.
- All courses must be taken as credit. Non-credit courses cannot be counted towards the certificate.
Application criteria and requirements:
All undergraduate students enrolled at Bogazici University for their third semester or above with a GPA of at least 2.50 and have taken at least one film/cinema course are qualified to apply for admission to the Film Certificate Program.
Admission process is currently being carried out online due to Covid-19. Students who wish to enroll in the Film Certificate Program should send the scanned version of their filled in application form and their most recent transcript to the program coordinator Assist. Prof. Burcu Akkoyun and the assistant coordinator Lamia Kabal via e-mail. (See above for the e-mail addresses) You are considered as officially enrolled in the certificate program when you receive an acknowledgement e-mail, which serves as the formal notification of your acceptance.
Students are qualified for admission to the program as long as they meet the entry requirements above. However, only those who successfully complete 7 courses (21 credits) are eligible for the certificate.
Students who have enrolled for the program must hand in their most recent transcript to the Film Studies Program Certificate Coordinator or the assistant coordinator at the beginning of each academic semester. If the information provided in the application form changes, students are expected to inform the coordinator accordingly by updating their files. It is extremely important that you update your files every semester! Those who fail to submit their up-to-date transcripts for two consecutive semesters (except for summer semester) are automatically considered to have left the certificate program.
It is the student’s responsibility to plan and ensure the completion of the courses before their graduation. Please note:
- The required courses (FA 341, FA 348 and FA 349) cannot be opened every semester or the classes may be full. Therefore, we recommend that you try to take the required courses as early as possible.
- FA 349 – Film Theory is the most advanced course among the required courses.Therefore, it is recommended that you take FA 341 – Introduction to Film Analysis and FA 348 History of the Cinema before you take FA – 348 Film Theory.
Students who are in the program and will graduate must contact the coordinator a semester before their graduation to notify their intent to graduate and make sure that the courses they have completed and/or will take in their last semester will lead to the completion of the program.
In order to finalize the certification process, students are required to highlight/underline all 7 courses successfully completed on their transcripts and email it to the program coordinator & assistant coordinator. This is the final step. Program students will receive their certificates along with their diplomas at the end of Spring semester. Those who graduate in the Fall semester likewise receive their certificates at the end of Spring semester.
Courses:Required courses and most commonly offered elective courses are detailed below. Required courses:
FA 348 - Introduction to Film Analysis: This course aims to open a new perception on the participantsʼ mind and redefining cinema as an aesthetic communication medium which can be analyzed on many levels just as any art form. Throughout the semester students will have chance to watch many films which will be the subject of discussions on class and they will get the chance to develop a diverse sense of examining what they see and hear on the screen, to gain an awareness towards a filmʼs means of narration and grammar and to express their thoughts on the class and on their papers.
FA 341 – History of the Cinema: To have a sense of a history of cinema, and to form a coherent picture out of a complex sum of works, this course focuses on the basics, simplifes and reduces significant developments that have taken place in the (late) 19th and 20th centuries. In order to accomplish this task, we take up a familiar framework that puts the western developments in the center of the issue, however, remain critical of the ramifications of such a method. The idea of cinema enters the imaginations as a project of science and incubates until necessary technological advancements. As the spectacle becomes a commercial success, the new medium attains a schizophrenic character as art and commercial production. The battle in between companies and national cinemas follow a basic economic pattern of standardization and industrialization. It will be one of our tasks to reveal the undergoing mechanisms that gather the elements of production to analyze them. In terms of film theory, criticism, analysis and even appreciation, our primary indulgence will be within the historical significance of works rather than aesthetic strength. As such, Hollywood will be given less space of time while post-colonial cinemas of the world will receive relatively more attention. For the sake of simplicity, we divide the developments into three periods which are as geographical as they are chronological. We begin with the pre-classic early years and go on to understand the classic cinemas of the western industries. The final period is dubbed as a World Cinema that will be scrutinized under the influence of global economies. Throughout our work, we’ll pay special attention to the aesthetic form as reflective of historic value and frequently discuss, in a concise manner, concepts such as narration, cinematography and mise-en-scene, sound and editing. Hopefully, our endeavours will provide a sufficient idea of how cinema as an art form has been involved with an intense interplay with modern history, politics and human world in general. Finally, we’ll try and relate our knowledge to cinema in Turkey and contemporary cinema in general. The challenges, subversions and unsettlements of artists against the market will be of special importance in this respect. Prerequisites: This is an introductory course that requires no previous experience in film studies although prior knowledge of prominent films and/or terminology will prove useful.
FA 349 – Film Theory: The theoretical approaches regarding cinema have paralleled the history of cinematic inventions in the early stages and matured into a discipline of its own in the recent decades. Our task therefore, is two-fold. On the one hand, there’s the duty of covering a concise review of critical traditions, mainly the tensions between formalist and realist theories; on the other, there’s the challenge of making sense of the second phase of film theory where the specific takes over the core of film criticism from the all-encompassing grand theories. As with all theories regarding a specific form of art, there are the early debates that focus on the arthood of the medium of cinema as well as what the artist should do with it. As each of the axes of the film market, the artistic approaches and technological advancements converged on certain standards, the questions central to film theory evolved the works of the scholars into more politically charged endeavours. Therefore, the aim of this introductory course is not only to match theoreticians with theories but to also historically and geographically situate how these approaches came to be what they are. The method to be utilized is rather cautious albeit a conservative one. We will work on about twenty major names as representatives of certain perspectives and try to investigate their conflicts as well as their most prominent ideas and terminologies, neologisms etc. The caution at hand becomes important as we will evaluate their opinions as distinct from the supposed camps they belong to. As such, sometimes two opposing tendencies will be put forth as in agreement on a certain idea – as is the evaluation of the concept of the filmic subject matter by formalist Béla Balázs and realist Siegfried Kracauer. We will try to support our knowledge on paper by attending screenings of major works of cinema. These screenings will prove useful as the theories we study become applicable. The idea is to first digest these works as noumenical and then approach them with the tools we gather from theory. Lastly, there’s the attempt to remind ourselves of the ignored or underrated texts within the discipline, where our goal will be to reveal the shortcomings of film theories up to now and even paradoxes of contemporary theories that seem to be in fashion. This course defines film theory as the philology of film languages and it is a project to bring about a plural vision of theory that corresponds to the plurality of cinema as art. Prerequisites: This is an advanced introductory course that requires no previous experience in flm studies although prior knowledge of prominent films and/or terminology will prove useful. It is to your advantage to be at ease with tough philosophical texts and be familiar with art and literature criticism, although this is precisely the course to attain such ease and familiarity regarding cinema.
FA 485: Mystery in Film: This course aims to dwell on the themes of the mystery and unknown in film which are mostly linked with mysterious and metaphysical subjects evolving and thrived from the fear and curiosity it creates in the characters in films. All the emotions aroused and reactions given by characters in films toward the unknown are linked to the psychologies of the characters. Moving from this point, films of unknown, films of mystery and films based on the subject of ‘The Other’ will give us a chance to discuss character development and psychology in films. The course will be carried out based on films and readings from the genres of Mystery, Suspense, Psychological Thrillers, The Other and Science Fiction and class discussions based on these topics.
FA 487: Classical Music In Cinema: The purpose of the course will be to explore and understand the use of classical music in art movies starting with The Birth of a Nation in 1915 up until today. Films will be screened partially, and musical extracts will discussed. The 12 week lectures start with a historical introduction into the utilisation of classical music in the early era of cinema. Diegetic and nondiegetic music and their particular use will then be discussed. A discussion on the effect of leitmotivs and classical music as a device supporting the narrative will follow. After this three week introduction, we will explore classical music used as leitmotiv and supporting narrative, then films on opera and opera in films, and the use of classical music in period movies. We will then examine the way how specific pieces of music have added to some of the greatest dramas and films of the past. Finally, the course will the course will conclude with a discussion of auteur cinema and cover how seven essential directors have used music in their films; Bunuel, Bresson, Bergman, Pasolini, Kubrick, Godard, Tarkovsky and Fassbinder. Extracts from almost 100 films are intended to be shown and discussed. There will be no requirement for pre-lecture reading, screening or preparation. However, attendance will be obligatory, since grades will only be based on attendance, performance in class and homework in the form of essays. Screenings of assignments will be made in class.
FA 48I: Documentary in Turkey: More than 115 years after its birth, documentary film production in Turkey is on the rise with more and more diverse voices being represented. This course offers a critical study of documentary cinema in Turkey, focusing on how reality is represented; how various topics and issues are articulated in documentaries; how various approaches to documentary filmmaking are utilized; how filmmakers have addressed theoretical and ethical issues in documentary representation; and how documentaries have been used and received. In a two tiered approach, we will study the historical developments, as well as the contemporary scene with guests (scholars and filmmakers). THIS IS A 400 LEVEL SCREENING, READING, WRITING INTENSIVE COURSE, DESIGNED FOR UPPER LEVEL UNDERGRADUATE AND GRADUATE STUDENTS. STUDENTS MUST BE ABLE TO READ AND UNDERSTAND TURKISH TO TAKE THE COURSE FOR CREDIT.
FA 48X: Of Love, Desire and Cinema: “All Love is based on a certain relationship between two unconscious knowledges,” claims the French psychoanalyst Lacan. Rather than certain symbolic communication between people, it is the subjects unconscious that speaks in the context of love. This course will take on a grisly exploration of the bounds of love, desire and knowledge as they are visually and discursively expressed in world cinemas.
FA 49L: The Grammar Of Film Language: Film Editing: This course will not necessarily be an advanced course. Anybody interested in filmmaking can take it. However, students should be able to shoot with their own equipment (anything that can shoot is fine, even the mobile phones) and they need to be able to operate one of the editing softwares (doesn’t matter which one is), at least at basic level. This course will not about teaching the essentials of any of the editing software. We will rather talk about the grammar of the film language and analyse the video collages that students will make and some specific scenes from certain films.
FA 49S: Violence of the Image: Identifying cinematic image as connate with any imaging of the world, it is an arduous task to distinguish between capturing of violence as image and the violence of the image itself. On the one hand, there’s the challenge of defining violence and on the other, the problem of isolating the image from the imaginary. In this case, the image of violence, at once, captures violence as image and reveals it as violence; while the violence of the image resides in the subversion of this equation of capturing and revealing. Put in simpler words, the relevant endeavour is towards situating the phenomena of capturing and revealing against each other. The politics of the question of the violence of the image comes to be revealed in a variety of experiences such as censorship, propaganda, film festivals, education etc. Moreover, the basic tenets of such violence or violences are drawn in relation to dichotomies of high vs popular culture, mass vs alternative media, authority vs resistance, studio productions vs independent films as well as axes of the first world vs the third world. Naturally, it is a part of our questioning to interrogate the validity of such divisions, although every noun or term proper speaks its own history. In the course of this seminar, we will concentrate on putting into discussion a categorical theme concerning violence and image every week. Our discussions will develop into an answer to two preliminary questions, successful or not: How is the image itself violent? What is the violence of the image itself? It is important to note that the primary aim will always be to maintain a level of questioning that hears itself and gets to know itself rather than confining itself to the non-literary interrogative mood. In other words, our work is not to reveal something we’re looking for; it is to expose the questions to the violences of images.In the course of our discussions, a wide variety of resources will be covered. There’ll be excerpts from literature and philosophical texts which will be supplementary for the initiative questions regarding the films. Thus, the theoretical determination of the lectures will be based on texts that interrogate our thematics within specific fields.In terms of film criticism, our primary indulgence will be within the analysis of a genre unless the structure of the film demands complimentary readings such as auteur theory, psychoanalysis or historical-movement based explications as in surrealism or Japanese new-wave. Prerequisites: Students who are willing to attend this course should consider that without at least a minor background in film studies or social sciences, the lectures, discussions and responsibilities will prove to be inaccessible. This is an advanced course that urges every one of us to read and observe in depth. It should be noted that students seeking a certificate in film studies will be given a priority.
FA 350: Project in Film Analysis: This course is designed as an advanced workshop for students enrolled in the Film Studies Certificate Program, who have successfully completed the 3 core courses (FA 341 History of Cinema, FA 348 Introduction to Film Analysis, FA 349 Film Theory) AND who have a semester long project they want to realize. This project can be a theoretical/research or a practical project: either intensive directed reading/research and writing of a paper or the production of a short film/video/any other film related project and its written analysis. It is assumed that the participant has an adequate background in film studies and is ready to embark on a semester long project of her/his own design. STUDENTS MUST SUBMIT A WRITTEN PROJECT PROPOSAL IN ADVANCE VIA EMAIL IN ORDER TO REQUEST INSTRUCTOR’S CONSENT TO TAKE THIS COURSE.
FA 494: Oral Hist.Document On Turk Cinema: Students must be able to read and understand Turkish to take this course for credit. This course offers to bring two different disciplines together, Oral History and Documentary, and focuses on the history of the Turkish Cinema through the audiovisual recordings of the interviews with the retired figures (directors, producers, actors and actresses, cinematographers, etc.) of the old Turkish Film Industry (a.k.a. Yesilcam). Throughout the semester, the students will be taking part in making oral history documentaries.
FA 49P: Male Subj. in the Cinema of Turkey: The conditions of being a male subject and cinema go roughly side by side. This course explores the ways how film studies have been influenced by male subjectivity and psychoanalysis, and investigates the ways in which studies of male subjectivity has informed cinema in Turkey, either through aesthetics or plotting and characterization. The course will provide an essential understanding of fundamental concepts of male subjectivity in psychoanalysis and will offer exercise in film analysis. Classes will begin with a film screening, continued by a discussion of concepts, and will conclude by a focus on intersection points of readings and films. By the end of the course, students will be able to develop main skills of analyzing male subjectivity in film, and to develop their own ideas about film in relation to male subjectivity and apply them to further examples.
FA 49E: Subversive Cinema: Being subversive is no novelty or in fact a proper adjective for any art form. If we take subversion as an act of liberation from oppression and stick to that specific meaning, the question becomes clear: Is there art without subversion? What is art if it does not liberate us? It is a rhetorical reminder then, to call for subversion, thence subversive art. The answer to what there is to be subverted becomes, at this point, the myths surrounding us. More than that, the surrounding that is itself the myth is the subject of this subversion that is reminded. The blurred image that resists definition in its negativity that we call the modern subject or individual. The binary tensions such as sense and sensibility, reason and emotion, master and slave, homogeneity and heterogeneity… Amidst crises of such tensions there’s the always ubiquitous urgency to cope with – . With what, is there to be defined at each level. This course is a seminar that focuses on putting into discussion a different aspect of these urgencies every week. Our discussions will evolve around basic questions concerning our myths, such as: What does it mean to be living in a modern age? The aim of this course is to further these basic questions and ask how cinema deals with them itself as an artistic medium. In the course of our discussions, a wide variety of resources will be covered. There’ll be excerpts from literature that were adapted into film as well as background information and criticism concerning the directors, genres or merely the specific film in discussion. However, the theoretical determination of the lectures will be based on philosophical or indirectly related literary texts that interrogate our thematics within fields such as economy, fascism, art etc. In terms of film criticism, our primary indulgence will be within the analysis of a genre unless the structure of the film demands complimentary readings such as auteur theory, psychoanalysis or historical-movement based explications as in surrealism or Japanese newwave.
FA 49R: Cinema and Nation: The aim of this course is to examine the location of mainstream and independent filmmaking in a national/transnational context. How do films help to construct/reconstruct/deconstruct the nation as an ‘imagined community’? How can films challenge or reinforce the grand narrative of a nation? How are the stylistic elements of a film interpreted in its national/transnational context? While exploring this path the topics that will be discussed in class include the concept of national and transnational cinema, diasporic and minority filmmaking, auteur theory and nation.
FA 49C: American Cinema: American movies have captured the imagination of the mass audience since the end of the 19th century. Like all popular culture, movies developed through a complex set of negotiations between producers and audiences that occurred over time, and evolved in response to changing cultural and historical contexts. In this course, students will examine the evolution of the formal elements through which American films tell stories that respond to changing audience expectations and social contexts. The focus will be on American commercial cinema.
FA486: Scriptwriting: In this course we try to discover the principles of storytelling for screenplays with examples from the world cinema.and try to design our own stories and screenplays in our native language.
You can’t write good screenplays without good story and characters.You can’t design a good story without deep characters, and attractive plots. Writing stories for screenplays are one of the most effective way of expressing our feelings and ideas which are flying in our mind. But if you want to express your self to the universe by all means.You need to be grounded by the principles of storytelling.
“Story is about principles, not rules
Story is about eternal, universal forms, not formulas
Story is about the realities, not mysteries of writing” -Robert McKee-
FA 49W: The Art and Profession of Screenwriting with an Emphasis on Television: This course explores the art of narrative construction in the world of television drama, a domain which rapidly developed in the past decades. Storytelling and screenwriting on television requires a different approach than other similar genres. The practical world of screenwriting differs greatly from perceived notions of it, mainly due to its unfinished nature. The screenwriter hands over a product/work which will be finished by others. This fact, especially within the ongoing process of a television series, complicates the art of the writer. S/he has to balance the artist with the artisan, the practitioner with the theoretician, the rebel with the clerk. The creator and the manager have to work side by side within her/his mind. The course aims to delve into the machinery of this balance, thus showing the twofold nature of screenwriting.
Given the experience of the instructor in the film sector, the course is modelled after a professional writer’s room. The course focuses on the process of writing, with a focus on research material, on creating a series universe, building a story, cultivating story and character arcs, pitching the idea to networks/producers, and finally writing episodes. Leading professionals from the television sector like producers, directors, actors and composers will be invited to comment on their contribution to the overall narrative of television drama.
As the process unfolds, students will work together to produce different story ideas and choose among them one to be transformed into a script for a television drama. At each step, theoretical information will be given and discussed in terms of how narratives are shaped in form and in content. An important part of the course is devoted to write ‘the first episode’ of a television drama, a process which will introduce students to screenwriting grammar and dramatic construction.
In the end, they will each produce a treatment (outline) for their first episode, and one complete sequence of scenes chosen from their treatment. This will be the basis for their final evaluation. Students will also have a supervised access to the instructor’s own writers’ group and the material they are currently working on.
The course therefore aims to open boundaries to creative practice, find outlets to creative passions, without being isolated within a classroom but situated within the real professional world. This way, students will have a comprehensive introduction into the art and artisanship of screenwriting and learn about the dramatic structure of screenwriting in television through the works of established writers both theoretically and practically. Students will learn about current, up to date methods of screenwriting in the world and develop their potential to find authentic, personal sources for writing. They will also practice organised group cooperation in artistic creation, and learn to work efficiently with people outside of their field.
FA 48T: Diegesis in Film: In order to enter a worldliness within cinematic times and spaces, we base our understanding on givens that rely on various assumptions. We refer to these assumptions whenever we talk of suspended disbelief, cinematic language, auteurs, genre, even basic criticism. As such, understanding the foundations of what we call the diegetic in cinema proves to be crucial in every aspect of our appreciation of the medium. The immediate questions surrounding the characteristics of diegesis in cinema aim at micro level inquiries regarding audiovisual stimuli as well as macro level investigations regarding ideology. Therefore, it is a laborius task to systematically examine and explicate how we distinguish the diegetic from the non-diegetic, before we elaborate on what diegesis itself is. The approach in this seminar course depends on the study of three levels of translation. The “cultural” translation which is literary in most cases; the adaptation, which relies on intermediaries; and interpretation, which seems to be the most invisible of the three in terms of language. Our methodology will be fairly phenomenological in the sense that comparisons will be substituted with immediate dialogues between: 1 – Texts and their adaptations in cinema, 2 – Among adaptations themselves, 3 – Works of a genre, 4 – Works sharing a theme. In this regard, every dialogue will be a matter of an autonomous consciousness and the emphasis will be on intentionalities rather than suppositions of underlying structures. For example, this means that when we are looking at a cinematic adaptation of a text, we will try, bend and maybe even disregard all evaluation that assumes the superiority of the text over its various translations. This will further mean that the distinction of the works will surpass the intentions of their creators. In the course of our discussions, a narrowed down variety of resources will be covered. There’ll be texts of literature which will be as central as the films. The theoretical determination of the lectures will be based on all texts given our systematics within specific debates.
FA 48P: Dramatic Structure: Film & Television: To acquire a working knowledge of dramatic structure for film and television. To analyze the underlying structure of other
To familiarize yourself with the professional practices of screenplay and television writing.
FA 48J: Mythological Structure & Storytelling in Cinema: In this course we try to discover the real meaning of the myth for human psyche and the principles of mythological structure of storytelling with examples from the world cinema and try to design our own adapted mythic stories especially by reading, watching and comparing traditional/modern World and Turkish Mythic stories in Turkish. (esp. legends folktales, epics, urban myths etc.)
FA 49Y: Popular Culture, Film and Media: This course is designed to analyze the basic patterns and pillars of popular culture as they are used and revealed in certain examples from American and world cinemas to present to masses the basic institutions of popular culture. In method, it is essentially a film-reading course.
The meaning of “popular”, a brief history of popular culture, its main pillars and basic elements, characteristic features, paradigms, replication myth and the influence of myths like creation myths, themes and patterns. Readings of films from USA, Turkey, England, TV shows and programs, music, and art, namely; sculpture, architecture; their language and style and presentations, their artistic and political and ideological interpretations.
FA48S: A Survey of Contemporary World Cinema: This course offers students a survey of world cinema by examining various films directed by major contemporary filmmakers. Questions about evolving and flexible notions such as (trans)national cinemas, film genres, digital cinema, spectatorship and stardom are likely to arise in classroom discussions. We will highlight the works of certain very prominent and influential directors rather than employing a thematically or historically-specific perspective.
While it carries the debatable term “world cinema” in its title, this course does not solely focus on “foreign” or “international” cinemas. We will discuss directors from new centers of exciting cinematic activity (such as Southeast Asia and Latin America), English-speaking territories including the US, and continental Europe alike. Throughout our discussions, we will see many different channels through which these regional borders are challenged;
including but not limited to financial or institutional mechanisms, production practices, and cinematic kinship among directors from diverse backgrounds.
Within the scope of this course, the word “contemporary” functions as a tool to keep our endeavor focused and manageable rather than referring to a particular time period. One of our main objectives is to study a balanced mix of established and emerging directors; highlighting the connections between their works and building bridges across generations.
This is a survey course, no previous knowledge or academic study of film is necessary.
Interest in different cultures and films from various corners of the world is useful but not
FA 49A: Cinema and Audience, Sociological Debate: Perhaps the most important particularity of the cinema as an artistic field may be its collective nature during its production process and at the same time it is also consumed in a collective way, many people come together as film audience to watch these movies … This characteristic helps it to became an agency for live dialogue between human beings. Directors aiming to transmit their beliefs, ideas and sentiments to large masses thanks to their movies need the help of many people from different fields and people from different classes, ages, professions watch these films together in movie theaters . This course would like to concentrate into relationship between audience and artist, following the traces of main institutions of the history of cinema like cinematheques, clubs and reviews . These opportunities provided by cinema, the capacity of movies to shape human beings lives, minds and lifestyles deserve to be elaborated . During this course, many important movies will be analyzed.
FA 49K: Film Noir: Film noir is a particular mood, tone and sensibility predominant in Hollywood films of the 1940s and 1950s, a period that falls between the end of the Great Depression and the beginning of the Cold War. This course is a comprehensive study exploring classical film noir from its roots in German Expressionism, French Poetic Realism, Depression era Gangster films and American Hard-boiled fiction that shaped its visual, narrative and thematic characteristics, to its legacy and resurgence as Neo-noir and Tech-noir from the 1970s onwards. Through the analysis of various films from different phases of classical noir, this course intends to reveal how film noir became a challenge to “Classical Hollywood” with its mode of production and stylistic expression, and how it became a critique of American society under the impact of World War II by addressing questions of morality, sexuality, gender and identity.
FA 493: Twelve Masters: Film as Art: In this course, we aim to recover twelve master directors from twelve different countries and cultures. These directors are significant in the history of cinema because of the themes they developed in their movies as well as the novelties they brought to the form.
Angelopulos, Eisenstein, Bergman, Bunuel, Ceylan, Fassbinder, Ford, Godard, Kurosawa, Loach, Ray and Visconti: all of them produced masterpieces of the film history and their production may be defined as turning points in the evolution of cinema as an artistic realm. We think that their works can be analyzed and identified from many perspectives as they are most relevant to define the main purposes of film as art.
Native place-making and universal, developed and underdeveloped, East and West, conventional and avant-garde, national and international, all of these dualities profoundly elaborated in human and social sciences will also be important for us to think about and discuss leading work of arts of these authors. Moreover, these masters are people who profoundly specialized in philosophical matters like the big adventure of the humankind in our planet, the conflicts of human inner world, the problems that individuals face in their society. In this course, we will try to contemplate about the topics treated by these masters.
Analyzing by showing scenes from some movies of these directors, like Ray, Kurosawa and Eisenstein who pictured their movies before shooting, like Ray and Ceylan who are also cinematographers, Fassbinder who focuses on topics in a very original way, Angelopoulos and Ceylan who are able to narrate the people of their countries to the sensitive audience, Godard and Visconti, Fassbinder and Ford or Bergman and Bunuel who came to the scene and produced masterpieces by adopting totally different methods.
Films as a work of art deserve certainly to be elaborated independently, but we believe that they augment their values and the other works values when they are compared to other works from the realm of art and thought. Without any doubt, these directors are not only “best” and “most prized” and “successful” ones of the film history. Some of their movies are not from the great and successful movies of the cinema history. We believe however that they form an oeuvre. We certainly know, respect and love directors like Chaplin, Welles, Bertolucci or Yılmaz Güney, but we decided to select only one director from every important geography of the world cinema production, in the frame of twelve weeks.
FA 48C: Sinema & Politics: This course has the objective of giving some introductory knowledge on the very diverse discussions concerning “politics” and the cinematic medium. Obviously there are many ways of analysing films from a “political” perspective. One common approach is to look at the “content” of the film and classify it as “political” if the film talks about a certain political event. This is a superficial way of looking at films, as “politics” can involve not only the “content” of the film, but its very “form”, philosophical depth, socio-political background, production conditions, audience relationship, marketing and so on. That’s why “independent” cinema today is almost synonymous with “progressive” or “political” cinema even though the film may not center around an obvious political event. This course will, then, try to focus on different movements and individual filmmakers which were either “directly” linked to politics along with an aesthetic progressivism (Soviet Realism or Leni Riefenstahl), which were seemingly not related to politics at all but indirectly reflected a deep social schism (German Expressionism), films that had overt modernist and revolutionary forms (Jean Luc Godard, Yılmaz Güney), movements that were mostly humanistic and innovative (neo-realism) and, lastly, films (from Turkish cinema) that are mostly classified as “independent” and/or “accented” (as Naficy once said) that focus on “minorities” and on the lives of the “marginalized”.
FA 48W: Neorealism and Magic Realism in Cinema: Italian Neorealism is one of the most influential, visually distinctive and thematically challenging wave in the history of cinema. The worldwide turmoil that shaped the neorealists’ visions then, can be traced in every aspect of the films produced during the very short time neorealism went on. The revolutionary changes and possibilities this wave emerged led other genres and waves to be born like French New Wave. This course aims to focus on the Italian Neorealism, the thematic and stylistic aspects of the wave by analysing the films of the most significant directors of the time. Once the roots of the Neorealism is fully established and the means and ways are absorbed, the course will shift to discover the magic realism that replaced realism in the European cinema of 1950s. The course will get to the root of the magical realism and similar tendencies in the cinema and the literature that procreated the magic realism definition in the first place. The course will also feed from Surrealism and Psychological Realism. During the semester, substantial works of literature and painting will be visited in order to get a broader understanding of different approaches of realism.
FA 498: Documentary Cinema: Since the mid-1800s, people have used still images (photography) and since the 1890s, moving images (first silent film, later sound film) to represent reality as they perceive and choose to represent it. The history of documentary cinema consists of a series of experimentations in the attempt to represent reality, taking its material from the historical world we live in. Since the very beginning, with these experimentations, debates about ethical, aesthetic, critical issues in filmic representation of reality have been unfolding. This course offers a critical look at the historical development of documentary cinema in the world: non-fiction film forms and modes, theories, and criticism. We will examine how filmmakers as cultural media producers have chosen to represent reality; how changing technologies and sensibilities have affected the way reality is represented in documentaries; and how nonfiction films have been used for different purposes.
- Not all of the courses are offered every semester.