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Syllabus Framing Time and Space: Cinematic Narration and Visual Style - 50036
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Last update 06-09-2017
HU Credits: 2

Degree/Cycle: 1st degree (Bachelor)

Responsible Department: communication & journalism

Semester: 2nd Semester

Teaching Languages: English

Campus: Mt. Scopus

Course/Module Coordinator: Dr. Tobias Ebbrecht-Hartmann

Coordinator Office Hours: Mondays, 12:00-14:00

Teaching Staff:
Dr. Tobias Ebbrecht Hartmann

Course/Module description:
This course introduces basic elements of film style and narration such as mise en scène, staging and montage based on the concept of ‘frame’. How do films organize cinematic space and time and how can the concept of frame improve our understanding of film and the cinema? Frame is thus conceived on various levels of meaning as the smallest material unit of film as well as adjustment of an image. The concept contains references to film theory, ethics and art history, includes the question of including and excluding through framing and examines the On and Off of the cinematic image.

Course/Module aims:
The course will provide a general introduction to basic film theoretical concepts and also to certain tendencies in international film history from the 1960s to the present. The aim of the course is to make the students familiar with basic tools of film analysis and help them to understand cinema in the context of its historical development and in connection with other visual media and arts.

Learning outcomes - On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:
• understand and analyze film language
• use and apply particular theories of film and visual arts
• have an inventor of instruments to analyze visual media
• contextualize film and other (new) media within the history of cinema and audio-visual media of the 20th century
• orientate within the history of cinema in general and European cinema in particular

Attendance requirements(%):
80 %

Teaching arrangement and method of instruction: The teaching is based on the development of the concept of framing as a useful tool for film analysis. At the same time the structure of the seminar follows the historical development of cinema in the USA and in Europe. Main sessions are concerned with the specific aspects of cinematic narration and style that are applied to and demonstrated through particular films. All sessions are based on corresponding texts, which must be read for each session. The lessons are based on both the input of the lecturer and the joint discussion of the films and the texts as well as on group work and students’ presentations during class.

Course/Module Content:
The first sessions will develop the concepts and meanings of frame and framing and introduce the different levels of framing in cinema. The following sessions will discus different stylistic and narrative devices in relation to particular films. Films and topics will be:
• Framing Space in The Searchers (1956, John Ford)
• Framing Emotion in Imitation of Life (1956, Douglas Sirk)
• Revealing Relations – the static and low-angled camera in Tokyo Story (1953, Yasujioro Ozu)
• Deserted Space in Il deserto rosso (1964, Michelangelo Antonioni)
• Deserted Time in Der geteilte Himmel (1964, Konrad Wolf)
• Deserted Relationships in Martha (1974, Rainer Werner Fassbinder)
• Frames and Borders in Der Himmel über Berlin (1987, Wim Wenders)
• Art, Frame & Film in The Draughtsman’s Contract (1982, Peter Greenaway)
• Misé en Scéne and Long take in Stranger Than Paradise (1984, Jim Jarmusch)
• Windows, Doors and Frames in Mein langsames Leben (2001, Angela Schanelec)

Required Reading:
• Wolfgang Kemp, The Narrativity of the Frame. In: Paul Duro (ed): The Rhetoric of the Frame, Cambridge 1996, pp. 11-23.
• Anne Friedberg, The Virtual Window. From Alberti to Microsoft, Cambridge, MA 2006 (Chapters 1,2&4)
• David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson, Film Art. An Introduction, Reading, MA 1980, pp. 109-136.
• Thomas Elsaesser/Malte Hagener, Film Theory. An introduction through the senses, London 2010 (Chapter “Cinema as door”)
• Stephen Heath, Narrative Space. In: Screen 17.3 (1976), pp. 68-112.
A full reading list will be provided at the beginning of the seminar.

Additional Reading Material:

Course/Module evaluation:
End of year written/oral examination 70 %
Presentation 30 %
Participation in Tutorials 0 %
Project work 0 %
Assignments 0 %
Reports 0 %
Research project 0 %
Quizzes 0 %
Other 0 %

Additional information:
Students needing academic accommodations based on a disability should contact the Center for Diagnosis and Support of Students with Learning Disabilities, or the Office for Students with Disabilities, as early as possible, to discuss and coordinate accommodations, based on relevant documentation.
For further information, please visit the site of the Dean of Students Office.