FILM STUDIES AND VISUAL COMMUNICATION | Università degli studi di Bergamo


Modulo Generico
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Scheda dell'insegnamento

Per studenti immatricolati al 1° anno a.a.: 
Insegnamento (nome in italiano): 
Insegnamento (nome in inglese): 
Film Studies and visual communication
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Attività formativa Caratterizzante
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Didattica Convenzionale
Annualità Singola
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Discipline storiche, delle arti e dello spettacolo
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Educational goals

The proposed educational goals of both courses are coherent with the most recent literature concerning Art Studies as part of L-ART/04 (Museology and critique of restoration), L-ART/06 (Cinema, Photography and Television) and L-ART/04. The goals are also coherent with the general framework of the PMTS MA Course, with reference to the AREA “Languages, Art, Culture”, devoted to tourism as linguistic and social practice, analysed in historical and cultural contexts.
At the end of the module the students will have a better understanding of films and cinema, and they will be able to describe and to comment films and parts of films. In addition, they will possess methods to analyze and represent film contents, with particular attention to aspects concerning places as cultural constructions, and human presence. Moreover, Part A of the module will offer an understanding of methodological, aesthetic and psychological questions involved with the viewing of a film. Part B will offer an understanding of aesthetic structures, narratological functions and cultural constructions of space in films set in Italy, Europe, and United states.

Course content

Part A: Basic issues concerning film studies (15 hours).
The course will present film studies focusing on the key concepts, on the specific terminology and on the analysis of shots, scenes, and technical parameters. Film production, film form, narration, mise-en-scene, photography, editing and sound will be presented and explained.
Films: Our Hospitality (1923) by Buster Keaton, The Wizard of Oz (1939) by Victor Fleming, Citizen Kane (1941) by Orson Welles, The Maltese Falcon (1941) by John Huston, A Man Escaped (1956) by Robert Bresson.
Part B1: Cities: Images and Representations in Contemporary Cinema (6 hours).
This part of the course will focus on the cinematic representations of cities in Italy (Venice) and France (Paris). Particular attention will be paid to the cinematic representations of space and actions not only for narrative ends, but also as explorations of actual touristic destinations. Switches between present and past will be explored too, in order to discover different layers of urban imaginaries.
Films: The Tourist (2010, by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck), Midnight in Paris (2011, by Woody Allen).
The vision of all the films is compulsory.
Part B2 (10 hours): Seen From a Distance: Italy and the US in Film.
This seminar analyses how American films from the 1950s on create an idealized image of Italy and Italians, determining cultural referents and identity through the usage of iconic monuments or floating signifiers (such as the Vespa or gelato in Roman Holiday). As a point of comparison, we will also briefly look at how Hollywood defines city and landscapes in the US.

Textbooks and reading lists

1) David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson, Film Art. An Introduction, New York, McGraw-Hill, 2001, chapters 1. Film as Art, 2. The Significance of Film Form, 3. Narrative as a Formal System, 4. The Shot: Mise-en-Scene, 5. The Shot: Cinematography, 6. The Relation of Shot to Shot: Editing, 7. Sound in the Cinema (pages: 260).
2) Sue Beeton, Film-Induced Tourism, Clevedon, Channel View, 2005 (pages: 245).

Teaching methods

Part A. Lectures, viewing of scenes from the films with analysis and commentary, slides. Particular attention will be paid to the technical terms concerning film and cinema.
Part B. Classes will be a mixture of different forms of teaching, changing between lectures (imparting basic concepts and notions) and group discussions (discussing range, pertinence and relevance of the concepts and notions introduced), (short) film screenings and the interpretation of the film scenes presented.

Assessment and Evaluation

Parts A and B1: Interview.
Students are asked to read the texts regarding the theme, to have a knowledge of the films with reference to aspects of the matters and topics presented by the authors. During the interview they are expected to be able to introduce, comment, and analyze film or parts of films considered during the lectures.
Part B2: Written assignment.
For the final exam, students are asked to answer a question which sums up the results of what has been discussed in class (written test, three pages, see the paper attached). Students are presented the question as well as the exam modalities during the first class. They are free to chose between two deadlines for the papers to be handed in. Their papers will be evaluated according to the amount of how they are able to apply the theories and interpretations discussed in class to three films of their choice.

Further information

The module will be held during the second sub-term, from November 11 to December 19, 2019. For non-attending students there are no differences in the program. Films are available at the "Centro linguistico" and at external archives: Mediateca provinciale (Bergamo), Fondazione Alasca (Bergamo -, Tiraboschi Library (Bergamo). Materials for consultation will be shared with the students via web. Attending Erasmus students are asked to contact the lecturer at the beginning of the course.