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A Course in Horror

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Author Topic: A Course in Horror  (Read 56 times)
Unholy Beast
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« on: September 09, 2007, 04:08:29 am »

                       

C LIT 272 FILM GENRE
 
THE HORROR FILM
Conventions, Institutional History, and Ideology
 
We scream and laugh at horror movies. We sometimes love them and sometimes think they're too low-class. How did horror films develop into a distinctive form of cinematic experience? What are the formal conventions, historical factors, and cultural assumptions that define the horror film as a genre? We will look at works from early expressionism and the Frankenstein cycle to Hitchcock and East Asian productions to clarify -- and often challenge -- the definition of THE HORROR FILM.
 

 

 

Hours:  Mondays and Tuesdays, 1:30 - 3:10 (screenings; exact duration depends on length of film), AND
  Wednesdays and Thursdays 1:30 - 2:50 (lectures) , AND
  Fridays 1:30 - 2:20 OR 2:30 - 3:30 (TA sections) 
     
  CLUE sections available on T, Th 6:30 - 8 pm , at MGH 278, with Lynne Walker   


Classroom:  Kane Hall 110

5 credits; VLPA; NO WRITING CREDIT

 

Main Instructor:   Yomi Braester
  Office: C-504 Padelford
  Office hours: Th 10:30-12:30 or by appointment.
Students are encouraged to let Yomi know in advance that they intend to come during office hours.
  e-mail: yomi@u.washington.edu
  course website: http://faculty.washington.edu/yomi/272%20-%20horror%20genre.html
   
TAs: Gossamer Kuik gossamer@u.washington.edu
  Lance Rhodes lr@u.washington.edu
  Lynne Walker dlwalker@u.washington.edu
  Thomas Zhuoyi Wang zhuoyi@u.washington.edu

 

 
Course Description
Assignments
Grading Components
Policies and Procedures
Readings
Class Schedule




 

Students are very strongly advised to attend all lectures, discussion sections, and the scheduled in-class screenings. Quizzes are based on all of the above.
Written assignments:
    (1) Biweekly quizzes: Every other Friday (weeks 2, 4, 6, and Cool a quiz will be administered. The questions will be based on the last two weeks' reading and class discussions, and will center on both facts and film analysis.
    (2) Final quiz: Another quiz will be administered on the last day of class (week 10), which will include questions about the entire course.




GRADING COMPONENTS

Biweekly quizzes 4 x 15 =  60
Final Quiz   30
Section assignments 10 x  1 =  10

Grade conversion: Various teachers on campus have devised their own conversion tables. Although the instructor may eventually decide to use a more lenient system, students should expect to be graded according to the official UW conversion table, posted on many web sites, such as that of the Division of Spanish and Portuguese.



Policies and Procedures
 
- The course adheres to UW’s rules on plagiarism.
- Students with disabilities are encouraged to inform the instructor or TA, who will do their best to provide the relevant accommodations.
 
 
Assigned texts and movies
Assigned texts:
Rick Altman, Film/ Genre (at the University Bookstore - check availability)
Louis Gianetti, Understanding Movies (at the University Bookstore)
Barry Glassner, "Dubious Dangers" (on e-reserve).
David J. Skal, The Monster Show (at the University Bookstore)
Stephen Teo, "Ghosts, Cadavers, Demons, and Other Hybrids" (on e-reserve)
Fatimah Tobing Rony, "King Kong and the Monster in Ethnographic Cinema" (on e-reserve)
Linda Williams, "Gender, Genre and Excess" (on e-reserve)
   
Films, on reserve at the Odegaard Media Center: 
Ridley Scott, Alien
James Whale, Bride of Frankenstein 
Charles Barton, Bud Abbott and Lou Costello Meet Frankenstein
Pang Brothers, The Eye
John Woo, Face/Off
David Cronenberg, The Fly 
Ishiro Honda, Godzilla, King of the Monsters!
Don Siegel, Invasion of the Body Snatchers
F. W. Murnau, Nosferatu 
Michael Powell, Peeping Tom
Rupert Julian, Phantom of the Opera
Alfred Hitchcock, Psycho   
Gore Verbinski, The Ring
Hideo Nakata, Ringu
 
Horror film on the Web:
www.dvdhouseofhorror.com
internet movie database (www.imdb.com
scarecrow video (www.scarecrow.com)
horror haven (www.geocities.com/thehorrorhaven)



 

Class Schedule (SUBJECT TO CHANGE - LAST MODIFIED on 1/17)     
  WEEK 1
   
Monday, 1/5 Introduction: Film/Genre/Horror
   
Tuesday, 1/6 cancelled due to weather



   
Wednesday, 1/7   David Cronenberg, The Fly  (1986, 95 mins.)   
   
Thursday, 1/8  Horror film and generic conventions
  Read for today: Louis Gianetti, Understanding Movies, Chapter 1 (Photography)
   
Friday, 1/9 Prepare for discussion: Pauline Kael on The Fly
       
 
  WEEK 2
   
Monday, 1/12 The body and the camera
  Read for today: Louis Gianetti, Understanding Movies, Chapter 2 (Mise-en-scène)


   
Tuesday, 1/13   F. W. Murnau, Nosferatu  (1922, 94 mins.)   
   
Wednesday, 1/14 The history of seeing 
  Read for today: David J. Skal, The Monster Show, pp. 17-61 ("You Will Become Caligari!") 
   
Thursday, 1/15 Mise-en-scène
  No reading for today
  FIRST QUIZ ADMINISTERED
   
Friday, 1/16 Prepare for discussion: Henrik Galeen on Nosferatu
   
   
  WEEK 3
   
Monday, 1/19 MLK Day -- NO CLASS
   
Tuesday, 1/20 Editing horror
  Read for today: Louis Gianetti, Understanding Movies, Chapter 4 (Editing).



Wednesday, 1/21   Rupert Julian, Phantom of the Opera  (1925, 93 mins.)
 
   
Thursday, 1/22 Gothic shadows
  Read for today: David J. Skal, pp. 63-79 ("Dread and Circuses")
   
Friday, 1/23 Prepare for discussion: Christopher Clotworthy on Phantom of the Opera
   
   
  WEEK 4




Monday, 1/26   James Whale, Bride of Frankenstein  (1935, 75 mins.)
 
   
Tuesday,1/27 Camp: Horror film looks at itself
  Read for today: David J. Skal, 113-159; 181-191 ("1931: The American Abyss" and part of "Angry Villagers")
   
Wednesday, 1/28 Narrative and genre
  Read for today: Rick Altman, Film/Genre, pp. 7-29; skim pp. 30-48
   



Thursday, 1/29   Don Siegel, Invasion of the Body Snatchers  (1956, 80 mins.)   
   
Friday, 1/29

 Prepare for discussion: Roger Ebert on The Bride of Frankenstein
SECOND QUIZ ADMINISTERED 
   
   
  WEEK 5
   
Monsday, 2/2 Cold war horror
  Read for today: David J. Skal, The Monster Show, pp. 211-261 ("I Used to Know Your Daddy" and "Drive-ins are a Ghoul's Best Friend")



Tuesday, 2/3   Ridley Scott, Alien  (1979, 117 mins.) PART I   




Wednesday, 2/4   Ridley Scott, Alien  (1979, 117 mins.) PART II   
   
Thursday, 2/5 Genre and gender
  Read for today: Fatimah Tobing Rony, "King Kong and the Monster in Ethnographic Cinema"
   
Friday, 2/6 Prepare for discussion: James Berardinelli on Alien
   
   
  WEEK 6
   
Monday, 2/9 Screams in space
  Read for today: Rick Altman, Film/Genre, pp. 69-82; Louis Gianetti, Understanding Movies, Chapter 5 (Sound)


   
Tuesday, 2/10   Gore Verbinski, The Ring (2002, 115mins.)
[ a remake of Hideo Nakata, Ringu  (1998, 96 mins.) ]

 
   
Wednesday, 2/11 Horror and TV culture
  Read for today: Rick Altman, Film/Genre, pp. 100-122
   
Thursday, 2/12 Narrative structure
  Read for today: Louis Gianetti, Understanding Movies, Chapter 8 (Story)
   
Friday, 2/13

 Prepare for discussion: SPLICEDwire on The Ring
THIRD QUIZ ADMINISTERED 
   
   
  WEEK 7
   
Monday, 2/16 Presidents Day -- NO CLASS
   
Tuesday, 2/17   Pang Brothers, The Eye  (2002, 98 mins.)   
   
Wednesday, 2/18 Ghosts and cadavers
  Read for today: Stephen Teo, "Ghosts, Cadavers, Demons, and Other Hybrids"
   
Thursday, 2/19 Horror and identity
  Read for today: Louis Gianetti, Understanding Movies, Chapter 3 (Movement).
   
Friday, 2/20 Prepare for discussion: Richard C. Walls on The Eye
   
   
  WEEK 8


   
Monday, 2/23   Alfred Hitchcock, Psycho  (1960, 109 mins.)   
   
Tuesday, 2/4 Psychological horror
  Read for today: Linda Williams, "Gender, Genre and Excess"


   
Wednesday, 25   Michael Powell, Peeping Tom  (1960, 101 mins.)   
   
Thursday, 2/26 The gaze as the sum of all fears
  Read for today: Louis Gianetti, Understanding Movies, Chapter 10 (Ideology).
   
Friday, 2/27

 Prepare for discussion: Bosley Crowther's 1960 review of Psycho; New York Times's A.O. Scott on The Passion of the Christ
FOURTH QUIZ ADMINISTERED 
   
   
  WEEK 9
   
Monday, 3/1   John Woo, Face/Off  (1997, 138 mins.) PART I   
   
Tuesday, 3/2   John Woo, Face/Off  (1997, 138 mins.) PART II   
   
Wednesday, 3/3 Redefining generic classification
  Read for today:David J. Skal, The Monster Show, pp. 307-351 ("Scar Wars"; "Rotten Blood")
   
Thursday, 3/4 REVIEW WITH TAs, upon request
   
Friday, 3/5

 Prepare for discussion: TBA
COMPREHENSIVE QUIZ DISTRIBUTED
   
   
  WEEK 10
   
Monday, 3/8 COMPREHENSIVE QUIZ DUE



 
 Charles Barton, Bud Abbott and Lou Costello Meet Frankenstein 
                            (1948, 83 mins.)   
   
Tuesday, 3/9 Cinematography and acting
  Read for today: Louis Gianetti, Understanding Movies, Acting.
   
Wednesday, 3/10 Horror and laughter: spook and spoof 
  Read for today: Barry Glassner, The Culture of Fear, pp. 3-19 ("Dubious Dangers")
   
Thursday, 3/11 FIFTH QUIZ ADMINISTERED 
   
Friday, 3/12
 NO MEETING 
 
  http://faculty.washington.edu/yomi/272horror.html
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