SAC 331 - Film Genres and Types
Section: 001 The American Musical
Term: FA 2009
Subject: Screen Arts and Cultures (SAC)
Department: LSA Screen Arts & Cultures
Requirements & Distribution:
Advisory Prerequisites:
FILMVID 236 or SAC 236.
May be repeated for a maximum of 9 credit(s). May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:

We will make a careful analytical study of representative major films spanning the history of the American musical. The emphasis of the course will be on musicals conceived as films, not on adaptations of Broadway shows [though we will examine two of those as well to see what happens in the process. Each week there will be one film, two hour-and-a-half lectures and mandatory small discussion groups scheduled at your convenience. There are no prerequisites. Nevertheless, the course is not "An Introduction to the Movies." Previous work in film history, theory, mechanics, critical analysis, and aesthetics couldn't hurt. And for this particular outing, neither could a little knowledge of music, but it's not imperative.

Our focus will be on the essential characteristics of the American musical film, its history, and its various styles and "languages" over the decades. Should film study be new to you, do not feel insecure. You will not be alone, and the course's reading will give you a solid foundation. I will also be happy to recommend preparatory reading. The obligatory purchase of a pass covers the cost of seeing films, all of them at the Michigan Theater. Some reading [Giannetti's UNDERSTANDING MOVIES or an alternate text if that is old news to you]. The subject matter of this major American film genre is enticing and, clearly, a lot of fun, but it is also eminently suitable for serious [which does not mean "solemn"] study. If you harbor the deplorable opinion that rigorous standards for composing analytical/critical prose are inappropriate for film courses, this class is not for you. Three 2-page papers [harder to write well than 5-pagers]; final exam; no "Incompletes" except under catastrophic circumstances. Anyone who insists that "media" takes a singular verb flunks.

SAC 331 - Film Genres and Types
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
TuTh 1:00PM - 2:30PM
002 (LAB)
M 7:00PM - 10:00PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

Text: Giannetti, Louis. UNDERSTANDING MOVIES , 11th Ed. Prentice-Hall, 2007. [The 10th Ed. Will do despite minor changes in the newer one. So will the 9th.] Those familiar with Giannetti [or a similar text] and/or those conversant with the basic principles, concepts, terminology and techniques of film analysis should read the alternate text: J. Dudley Andrew's THE MAJOR FILM THEORIES [Oxford Univ. Press, 5th Ed. 2004]. Nothing would prevent beginners or advanced students from reading both books. A third text, Timothy Corrigan's A SHORT GUIDE TO WRITING ABOUT FILM, though not required, is strongly recommended for insecure writers. 
You may order books on the Internet rather than go to the local book stores, which will have them -- but at a higher price, new or used. Three good sources of reasonably priced new, used and even out-of-press books are: 
alibris. Com
ISBN: 9780132336994
Understanding movies, Author: Louis Giannetti., Publisher: Pearson-Prentice Hall 11th ed. 2008
Other Textbook Editions OK.
ISBN: 9780195019919
The major film theories : an introduction, Author: J. Dudley Andrew., Publisher: Oxford University Press Reprint. 1976
Other Textbook Editions OK.
ISBN: 0321412281
A short guide to writing about film, Author: Timothy J. Corrigan., Publisher: Pearson/Longman 6. ed. 2007
Other Textbook Editions OK.
Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

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