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Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film Studies

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  • Objectives
    Students learn to analyze films in order to develop a better understanding of them and their relation to society. Some courses examine film as one of the most important arts of the twentieth century while others explore its social and political roles. Three screening rooms are equipped with 16mm and 35mm projection, and weekly screenings in courses and seminars use these formats whenever possible, together with close analysis in digital formats.
  • Academic Title
    Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film Studies
  • Course description
    Minor in Film Studies — 24 credits (Fall admission only)
    Specialization in Film Studies — 66 credits*

    *Admission to the Specialization is not offered in the first year. Students in the Major may apply to transfer to the Specialization after completing specific first-year courses.

    Sample courses include:

        * Animation, digital 3d animation
        * Analytical drawing
        * Technical aspects of animated filmmaking
        * History of animated film
        * Character animation
        * From idea to storyboard
        * Film aesthetics
        * Filmmaking
        * Image
        * Sound
        * Montage
        * Acting and directing for the screen
        * Writing for film
        * Production design
        * History of film to 1959
        * Studies in film directors
        * Le cinéma québécois
        * Experimental film
        * Women and film
        * Aspects of national cinemas
        * Studies in film genres

    FMST 200 Introduction to Film Studies (6 credits)
    A survey acquainting the student with the art of the film. The technical and critical terminology of film studies is discussed. Popular literature on film, such as reviews, is analysed and the more specialized film literature is introduced. Directors whose films are usually viewed include Bergman, Eisenstein, Fellini, Ford, Hitchcock, Kurosawa, Lubitsch, Keaton, and Welles. Weekly screenings.

    FMST 211* History of Film to 1959 (6 credits)
    The evolution of the forms and themes of world cinema from its origin to 1959, in relation to its cultural, social, and political contexts. Special emphasis is placed on film historical methodology, focusing on approaches based on genre, auteur, national cinemas, social history, particular cinematic modes, or other frameworks. Weekly screenings.
    *Students in Cinema programs who require FMST 211 should complete the course as part of their first 30 credits.

    FMST 211* L’histoire du cinéma jusqu’à 1959 (6 crédits)
    Ce cours couvre l’évolution des formes et des thématiques cinématographiques depuis leur début jusqu’à 1959 et les place dans leur contexte culturel, social et politique. L’accent est mis principalement sur la méthodologie de l’histoire du cinéma tout en privilégiant plusieurs angles d’approche: genre, cinéma d’auteur, cinéma national, histoire sociale, forme cinématographi-que particulière ou d’autres grilles. Visionnements hebdomadaires.
    *Si ce cours figure au programme d’une personne inscrite en Cinéma, il devrait faire partie des 30 premiers crédits.

    FMST 212* Film Aesthetics (6 credits)
    A study of the aesthetics of film. Topics include film criticism, theories about the fundamental elements of film, and comparisons between films which do not depend on their date of production. Problems of film description, interpretation, and evaluation are discussed. Weekly screenings.
    *Students in Cinema programs who require FMST 212 should complete the course as part of their first 30 credits.

    FMST 214 English-Canadian Film (3 credits)
    A survey of English-Canadian film from the earliest surviving works to the present. Topics include fictional, documentary, animated, and experimental film, and the role of the National Film Board is discussed. Weekly screenings.

    FMST 215 Le cinéma québécois (3 crédits)
    Tour d’horizon du cinéma québécois mettant l’accent sur des œuvres contemporaines. Les films sont examinés en fonction de leur valeur culturelle et politique. On y traite également de la structure de l’industrie du cinéma au Québec et du rôle joué, entre autres, par l’Office national du film. Visionnements hebdomadaires.
    NOTE: Ce cours peut, à l’occasion, être offert en anglais. / Course may occasionally be taught in English.

    FMST 217 First Nations and Film (3 credits)
    A survey of representation by and of aboriginal peoples in film and video. The emphasis is on the Americas, but important works from other continents are included. Films and videotapes, both mainstream and experimental, are discussed in the context of contemporary aesthetic issues, socio-cultural history, and post-colonial theory. Weekly screenings.
    NOTE: Students who have received credit for FMST 398H may not take this course for credit.

    FMST 311 Montage Aesthetic (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: FMST 212. An intensive study of montage as an element of film style. Beginning with the work of D.W. Griffith, developments in film editing are followed through French Avant-Garde and Russian films of the 1920s to contemporary film. Weekly screenings.

    FMST 312 Moving Camera Aesthetic (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: FMST 212. An intensive study of camera movement as an element of film style. Consideration is given to relations between long takes, deep-focus cinematography, and camera movement, as well as to the role of camera movement in creating the signification of film. Films by Murnau, Renoir, Welles, Ophuls, and Snow are included among those viewed and discussed. Weekly screenings.

    FMST 313 Film Comedy I (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: Second-year standing.* An intro-duction to film comedy in the silent and sound eras. The visual and verbal sources of comedy are analysed through the study of films ranging from Mack Sennett and Buster Keaton to Woody Allen and Jacques Tati. Weekly screenings.
    *66 or fewer credits remaining in degree program.

    FMST 315 Topics in Film Theory (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: Second-year standing.* This course closely examines a variety of theoretical writings concerned with aesthetic, social, and psychological aspects of the cinema. Students study the writing of classical theorists such as Eisenstein, Bazin, Balázs, and Kracauer, and/or contemporary thinkers such as Metz, Mulvey, Bordwell, and Jameson. Questions addressed in the course may include the nature of cinematic representation, film language, the relationship of film to other forms of cultural expression, and to racial and gender identity. The specific topics vary from year to year according to the special-ization of the instructor. Screenings of films and film clips are included in the course.
    NOTE: Students who have received credit for this topic under an FMST 398 number may not take this course for credit.
    *66 or fewer credits remaining in degree program.

    FMST 318 Experimental Film (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: Second-year standing.* An exami-nation of experimental film emphasizing devel-opments from the late forties to the present. The New American Cinema is considered in relation to other North American and European experimental cinemas, and examples of the historical antece-dents of recent experimental films are viewed and discussed. Weekly screenings.
    *66 or fewer credits remaining in degree program.

    FMST 321 Studies in Film Directors (6 credits)
    Prerequisite: FMST 211 or second-year standing*. A concentrated study of the work of several major directors, principally narrative, from different periods in film history. Each director’s work is examined in detail with representative films from distinct periods. The films are considered in terms of thematic and stylistic consistency and variation as well as biographical, social, and political factors. Weekly screenings.
    *66 or fewer credits remaining in degree program.

    FMST 322 History of Film since 1959 (6 credits)
    Prerequisite: FMST 211 or second-year standing*. A cross-cultural historical examination of selected aspects of world cinema since 1959, including trends in documentary and experimental film. The principal focus on European and American cinema is contextualized through reference to Canadian, Japanese, and Third World film. A range of perspectives is introduced, including genre and auteur study, formal analysis, and feminist analysis. Films are studied in their poli-tical and cultural contexts. Weekly screenings.
    *66 or fewer credits remaining in degree program.

    FMST 323 History of Animated Film (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: Enrolment in the Major in Film Animation or the Minor in Film Animation, or second-year standing*. A survey of animated film from the first decade of the twentieth cen-tury to the present. Styles of animation ranging from abstract experimental film of the 1920s, to the Disney Studio, to computer animation are viewed and discussed. The contribution of the National Film Board of Canada and particularly that of Norman McLaren is considered. Weekly screenings.
    *66 or fewer credits remaining in degree program.

    FMST 325 Film Acting (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: Second-year standing.* A study of film acting centred on examining performances and individual scenes from films. Among the issues studied are the creation of star personas, casting against type, the influence of the script in the performance, the use of improvisation, the gesture system in silent film acting, ensemble acting, stylization, and exaggeration. Weekly screenings.
    *66 or fewer credits remaining in degree program.

    FMST 327 Third World Film (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: Second-year standing.* A survey of Third World films seen in relation to their cultural, political, and aesthetic environment. Films are selected from areas such as Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, South and East Asia. Weekly screenings.
    *66 or fewer credits remaining in degree program.

    FMST 328 Non-fiction Film Since 1956 (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: Second-year standing*. A cross-cultural survey of contemporary developments in the documentary film. The course begins with the precursors of cinéma-direct in North America and Europe during the fifties, and extends through the most recent applications of cinéma-direct in the emerging cinemas of the Third World. Emphasis is placed on both the artistic achievement and the theoretical, cultural, and political context of the non-fiction film during this period of technological and aesthetic transition. Weekly screenings.
    *66 or fewer credits remaining in degree program.

    FMST 329 Women and Film (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: FMST 211 or second-year standing*. An examination of films made by women, film criticism written by women, and the portrayal of women in films. These topics are considered within the context of film history and with an emphasis on their relation to ideas in contem-porary feminist theory. Weekly screenings.
    *66 or fewer credits remaining in degree program.

    FMST 332 Issues in Independent Cinema (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: FMST 211 or second-year stand-ing*. An intensive study of selected tendencies in cinema produced outside the mainstream of the film industry. Topics may include documentary, video art, experimental or narrative film, or particular convergences of these modes of film practice. Topics will vary according to the instructor’s specialization.
    *66 or fewer credits remaining in degree program.
    NOTE: Students who have received credit for FMST 331 may not take this course for credit without permission from the School.

    FMST 335 Aspects of National Cinemas (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: Second-year standing.* An exami-nation of films as reflections of national cultures. Films by a range of directors representing one or several national groupings such as Japan, Brazil, Eastern Europe, Great Britain, or contemporary West Germany are discussed in the context of their aesthetic, cultural, and political aspirations. Weekly screenings.
    *66 or fewer credits remaining in degree program.

    FMST 337 Topics in American Cinema (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: Second-year standing.* A lecture or seminar course which provides an opportunity for the study of limited and more specialized aspects of U.S. cinema. Topics may include individual genres, directors, production studios, historical periods, or aspects of independent cinema. Topics vary from year to year according to the instructor’s field of specialization.
    *66 or fewer credits remaining in degree program.

    FMST 348 Special Topics in Art and Film (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: Enrolment in the Major in Art History and Film Studies; ARTH 200 and FMST 212; or written permission of the program director. A comparative examination of some aspects of film studies and art history.
    NOTE: Students who have received credit for ARTH 348 may not take this course for credit.

    FMST 350 Studies in Film Genres (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: Second-year standing*; FMST 211 or 322. An intensive analysis of one or two film genres, which assumes previous experience in film-genre studies. The genre is discussed in terms of its structural characteristics and the ways in which it is a product of specific social situations. Weekly screenings.
    *66 or fewer credits remaining in degree program.

    FMST 391 Sexual Representation in Cinema (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: Second-year standing* or six credits in the Minor in Interdisciplinary Studies in Sexu-ality. An investigation of cinematic sexual imagery as art, communication and socio-cultural phenom-enon. Weekly screenings of films and videos, representing fiction, experimental and documentary genres, as well as different historical and cultural contexts, are related to theoretical readings, both classical and contemporary, by authors from Freud and the Surrealists to Foucault and recent feminist and queer theorists. Contemporary issues such as pornography, autobiography, and the HIV epidemic are confronted. Learning is interdisci-plinary, interactive and group-oriented.
    *66 or fewer credits remaining in degree program.
    NOTE: Students who have received credit for this topic under an FMST 498 number may not take this course for credit.

    FMST 392 Representation and Sexuality: Queer Cinema I (3 credits)
    An interdisciplinary, cross-cultural survey of queer cinema and video. Selected phases in the historical trajectory of lesbian and gay film are highlighted, both underground and mainstream, including studies of representative major artists from Jean Cocteau and Dorothy Arzner to Patricia Rozema and Derek Jarman. Problems in the depiction of sexual minorities are analysed, and a selection of the principal aesthetic, theoretical and socio-political issues raised by queer theory and cultural production is introduced.
    NOTE A/See §200.3

    FMST 393 Representation and Sexuality: Queer Cinema II (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: FMST 392. An extension of FMST 392. An in-depth focus on selected historical, aesthetic, and theoretical issues, which vary from year to year according to the expertise of faculty.
    NOTE A/See §200.3

    FMST 398 Special Topics in Film Studies (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: Written permission of the School of Cinema. A course which provides an opportunity for the study of limited and more specialized aspects of film studies.

    FMST 399 Special Topics in Film Studies (6 credits)
    Prerequisite: Written permission of the School of Cinema. A course which provides an opportunity for the study of specialized aspects of film studies outside the scope of existing courses.

    FMST 409 Seminar in Women and Film (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: Written permission of the School of Cinema. An advanced course in the study of films made by women, as well as of the representation of women in films. The topics selected for study may vary from year to year and are considered within the context of film history, contemporary feminist philosophy, and feminist film theory. Students are expected to conduct independent research for class presentation.

    FMST 414 Seminar in Film Directors (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: Eighteen credits in Film Studies and written permission of the School of Cinema. A seminar for advanced students which provides for more concentrated study of the work of specific film directors. The director or directors whose films are chosen for study varies from year to year according to the instructor’s field of specialization.

    FMST 416 Seminar in Film History (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: Eighteen credits in Film Studies and written permission of the School of Cinema. A seminar for advanced students which provides for the study of limited and more specialized areas of film history. The areas chosen for study vary from year to year according to the instructor’s field of specialization.

    FMST 418 Seminar in English-Canadian Film (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: FMST 214 or COMS 316, and written permission of the School of Cinema. A seminar in which selected aspects of English-Canadian film are examined and discussed. The areas chosen for study vary from year to year according to the instructor’s field of specialization.

    FMST 419 Séminaire sur le cinéma québécois (3 crédits)
    Préalable: FMST 215 ou COMS 316, ainsi que permission écrite de l’École de cinéma. Un séminaire dans lequel des aspects sélectifs du cinéma québécois sont analysés et discutés. Les sujets d’étude choisis varient d’année en année selon la spécialisation de l’instructeur.

    FMST 421 Seminar in Film Script Analysis (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: Written permission of the School of Cinema. A study of the film script both as a basis for the construction of a film and as literature in its own right. Film scripts serving as illustrations of a variety of issues are used. Among these are point-of-view, voice-over, adaptation from novel and theatre to film, character development, multi-story narratives, and uses of dialogue. Several scripts by the same screenwriter are examined, as well as different drafts of the same script. The course requirement includes an oral presentation to be given in conjunction with one or more students in the class.
    NOTE: Students who have received credit for FMST 324 may not take this course for credit.

    FMST 422 Seminar in Film Theory and Criticism (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: FMST 212 and written permission of the School of Cinema. Theories including those of Sergei Eisenstein and André Bazin are studied both as explanations of the effects of films and as foundations for film criticism. The relation of contemporary theoretical writings, such as those in film semiology, to film criticism is discussed. Weekly screenings.

    FMST 423 Seminar in Comparative Stylistic and Formal Analysis (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: Written permission of the School of Cinema. An intensive course in the analysis of film style. Films are examined using an analytical projector in order to discover their formal and thematic structures. The contribution of cinema-tographers, editors, scriptwriters, directors, and performers to the development of a style are discussed. Weekly screenings.

    FMST 424 Seminar in Film Narrative (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: Written permission of the School of Cinema. An examination of conventions of film narrative from a theoretical and historical point of view. Innovations in narrative structure are discussed and consideration is given to the ori-gin, development, and transformation of narrative traditions in their cultural and aesthetic context.

    FMST 425 Seminar in Contemporary Film Theory (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: Written permission of the School of Cinema. A survey and analysis of major recent theoretical approaches to film. Among the topics discussed are auteurism, semiotics, textual anal-ysis, ideological criticism, psychoanalysis, femi-nism, and neo-formalism. The seminar includes screenings, discussions of weekly readings, and oral presentations by the students.
    NOTE A/See §200.3

    FMST 426 Professional Internship I (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: Second-year standing* in the Major in Film Studies or the Specialization in Film Studies; written permission of the School of Cinema. A Film Studies student who has been commissioned to work in such areas as film research, archival work, editing film publications, or writing film criticism, may seek permission to apply three credits towards the Film Studies degree program. A written proposal describing the project must be submitted prior to the work taking place in order to determine the appropri-ateness of the level and scope of the project. The School of Cinema must be satisfied that the work will be done under the joint supervision of a qualified professional and a full-time Cinema faculty member.
    *66 or fewer credits remaining in degree program.

    FMST 427 Professional Internship II (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: Second-year standing* in the Major in Film Studies or the Specialization in Film Studies; written permission of the School of Cinema. A student repeating FMST 426 registers for credit under FMST 427.
    *66 or fewer credits remaining in degree program.

    FMST 428 Independent Study I (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: Written permission of the School of Cinema. A course of independent study in which the student may explore a specific area of film studies.

    FMST 429 Independent Studies II (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: Written permission of the School of Cinema. A student repeating FMST 428 registers for credit under FMST 429 provided the subject matter is different.

    FMST 448 Advanced Seminar in Art and Film (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: Enrolment in the Major in Art History and Film Studies; ARTH 348 or FMST 348; or written permission of the program director. A seminar designed to permit an in-depth course of study on some aspects of art and film history.
    NOTE A/See §200.3
    NOTE: Students who have received credit for ARTH 448 may not take this course for credit.

    FMST 450 Film Studies Specialization Seminar (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: Second-year standing* in the Specialization in Film Studies; written permission of the School of Cinema. This intensive seminar includes workshops in research methodology, in advanced study and career planning, and in the practice of criticism, publication, preservation, and programming. The relation of film studies to filmmaking practice, the role of changing tech-nology, and the current cultural context of the discipline are discussed by visiting experts from both within the University and the community at large. The course brings together all students in the Specialization in Film Studies.
    *66 or fewer credits remaining in degree program

    FMST 498 Special Topics in Film Studies (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: Written permission of the School of Cinema. A lecture or seminar course for advanced students which provides an opportunity for the study of limited and more specialized aspects of film studies.

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