THE DIVISION OF CINEMA & MEDIA STUDIES
This perennial favorite is the gateway to majors and minors in cinema-television. Lectures accompanied by screenings explore the thematic and formal properties of film. Rated one of the top six “USC classes you cannot miss”(Saturday Night Magazine, 2004) and one of the top ten classes at USC (Saturday Night Magazine, 2012), this course dissects narrative, performance, visual design, composition, editing, sound design, genre, and style. Films include Hollywood classics like Sunset Boulevard and The Band Wagon, modern hits like Mad Max: Fury Road and Wall-E, international masterpieces like In the Mood for Love and Pan's Labyrinth, and a variety of others. Films shown in 35mm film and DCP.
Professor: Bob Buerkle
Description: This course introduces students to the study of television as a unique dramatic form with a history of business and creative practices that both overlap and diverge from that of feature film. The course will compare original programs produced by Netflix, Amazon and Hulu, to traditional broadcast models for show origination and for that of premium channels. Who is going to win in the battle between cable and streaming? What impact does the demise of Net Neutrality have on the future of TV? Will consumers really save money by cord cutting? These questions will be situated in a historical perspective on the business, regulatory and artistic changes in US TV. Screening include: Westworld; Freaks and Geeks; Occupied; The Handmaid's Tale; Friday Night Lights; Pose!; I Love Lucy; The Burns and Allen Show, and Twilight Zone.
Professor: Ellen Seiter
This course surveys the representation of issues related to race, class, and gender in American film. The class further investigates the ways that Hollywood cinema functions socially, culturally, and politically. Focusing on historical representation as well as contemporary images, the course looks to explain the role of cinema in creating and infleuncing perceptions around issues of American identity. This course satisfies USC’s General Education requirement. Screenings to include: Get Out, O.J. Made in America, The Beguilded (2017), Che (Part 1), Mudbound, Crazy Rich Asians, and Detroit among other titles.
Professor: Todd E. Boyd
Films can capture time and history, and replay memories. In this course, we will look closely at films that represent personal and political memories to ask how they impact our relationship with the past and present. We will weave together discussions of memory, personal and political history and fiction, while analyzing films that recuperate a certain version of past events, that construct the past for communities denied a recorded history, that appeal to popular memories or counter-memories, or that demonstrate the impossibility of complete remembrance. Screenings will include Sweet Hereafter, Nasty Girl, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Memento, Toy Story 3, Inside Out and more.
Professor: Priya Jaikumar
A survey of the Rock 'n' Roll Musical in the US and the UK. We will explore the new musical and social qualities of rock 'n' roll, and the discovery of ways in which these could be cinematically represented and elaborated. We will trace the Rock 'n' Roll film’s break from the Classic Hollywood Musical, but also explore the survival and reconstruction of the conventions and motifs of the earlier genre. The first part of the course will be specifically concerned with the period from 1955-1975 (e.g. Rock Around the Clock, King Creole, A Hard Day’s Night, Woodstock, Gimme Shelter, Superfly, Nashville, Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, and the second with films about later forms of the music-- including heavy metal and punk -- ending with two or three more recent musical films, those that have been important in your lives and chosen by the members of the class.
Professor: David James
This course will explore the world of contemporary animation through the industrial rivalry between Pixar and Dreamworks, and some of their competitors. In doing so, we will examine artistry and innovation, artistic and market competition, the culture of production, as well as gender and race politics. Numerous guest speakers will contribute to course conversations.
Professor: Thomas Kemper
CTCS-466: Theatrical Film Symposium (4 units)
Section: 18125R - Does not require D-Clearance
Theatrical Film Symposium, taught by world renown film critic Leonard Maltin, brings you face-to-face with leading film directors, writers, producers, and actors working today. Each week, students watch sneak previews of upcoming movies, followed by exclusive Q&As with the creative teams behind the films. 2018 screenings included Black Panther, The Shape of Water, A Quiet Place, The Death of Stalin, Avengers: Infinity War, Beautiful Boy, The Girl in the Spider's Web, If Beale Street Could Talk, and First Man. Recent guests include Barry Jenkins, Joe & Anthony Russo, Jennifer Lee, Guillermo del Toro, Vanessa Taylor, Jason Isaacs, Damien Chazelle, Taika Waititi, Abby Kohn, Lee Unkrich, JJ Abrams, Ryan Coogler, Sylvester Stallone, Patricia Riggen, Kevin Feige, and Judd Apatow.
CTCS-467: Television Symposium (4 units)
Section: 18126R - Does not require D-Clearance
Taught by Mary McNamara, Pulitzer-prize winning TV Critic and Cultural Editor for the LA Times. Each week, students meet with current TV showrunners for Q&As about writing and producing their shows. Recent guests include: Maclain & Chapman Way (Wild Wild Country), Patrick Somerville (Maniac), Aline Brosh McKenna (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend), Marti Noxon (Sharp Objects), David Kajganich (The Terror), Tanya Saracho (Vida), Matt Duffer & Ross Duffer (Stranger Things), Liz Flahive & Carly Mensch (Glow), Hiro Murai (Atlanta), Noah Hawley (Fargo), Ron Moore (Outlander), Cheo Coker (Marvel's Luke Cage), and Kenya Barris (black-ish).