Appreciation of Film

Course Details

Course Number
Section Number
Fall 2017
Fain Fine Arts Center
Classroom Number
Days & Times

Midwestern State University

Mass Communication


Film Appreciation – MCOM 2213

FALL 2017 FA C111, R 2PM – 4:50 pm


Instructor: Jonathon Quam

Office: Fain Fine Arts Bldg. D105


Phone: 940.347.4849

Office Hours:






Jonathon D. Quam (view Profile)

Course Objectives

Course Identification: This class will introduce students to the study of film and its relationship to
society, culture, and technology. Understanding film requires reading it from a number of perspectives: as a
technology, as a business, as entertainment, as art, and perhaps most importantly, as a socio-cultural artifact
which, to some extent, reflects the cultural conditions under which it is produced and received. Towards
that end, the class will introduce and explore a wide variety of issues related to the study of film:
production, distribution, reception, aspects of film form and style, genre, auteur theory, realism, and
formalism. The class will also introduce broader concepts of ideology and representation as theorized
within cultural studies, and provide an overview of film history in relation to issues of human diversity. !
Students will begin to develop the necessary skills for analyzing film form and meaning in relation to the
larger spheres of culture and ideology. !
Students who are unwilling to explore issues of race, class, gender, and sexuality within an educational
framework should consider enrolling in another class.


Course Expectations

Course Requirements & Grading:


Required Text:  Pramaggiore and Wallis, Film: A Critical Introduction (Third Edition)


Online Discussion………………………... 15%

Midterm Examination ................................ 15%

Final Examination....................................... 20%

Film Review (1000-1250 words)................ 15%

Film Presentation........................................ 15%

Film Analysis (1000-1250 words) ............. 20%

Late work will not be accepted. Both the midterm and final will be a written film analysis that is done after
screening a selected work in class. Notes will be taken during the screening. The films selected for these
exams will not be made available prior to the test. Papers are to be turned in at the beginning of class on the
date they’re due. Any late work will receive a failing grade. Grading will be based on your comprehension
and use of theory, methodology, and terminology discussed in class. 
Course Activities: This class will consist of lectures, in and out of class screenings, and writing
*Viewing Assignments and/or writing assignments may be used to fulfill senior portfolio
requirements. The film review will require you to attend a theater screening of a film. Start saving
now if necessary but you should be able to get by for around seven dollars for a matinee. Supposed
lack of funds will not exclude you from this assignment. 
Attendance: This course meets only once a week, so attendance is required at every class. Beyond
university approved absences the student will lose 10% of their final semester grade for any absences for
any reason. 
Course Conduct: Classroom behavior should not interfere with the instructor’s ability to conduct the class
or the ability of other students to learn from the instructional program. Unacceptable or disruptive behavior
will not be tolerated. Students who disrupt the learning environment may be asked to leave class and may
be subject to judicial, academic or other penalties. This prohibition applies to all instructional forums,
including electronic, classroom, labs, discussion groups, field trips, etc. The instructor shall have full
discretion over what behavior is appropriate/inappropriate in the classroom.
Academic Integrity: Academic integrity is a responsibility of all university faculty and students. Faculty
members promote academic integrity in multiple ways including instruction on the components of
academic honesty, as well as abiding by university policy on penalties for cheating and plagiarism. 
Plagiarism: Academic dishonesty includes both cheating and plagiarism. Cheating includes but is not
limited to (1) using or attempting to use unauthorized materials to aid in achieving a better grade on a
component of a class; (2) the falsification or invention of any information, including citations, on an
assigned exercise; and/or (3) helping or attempting to help another in an act of cheating or plagiarism.
Plagiarism is presenting the words or ideas of another person as if they were your own. Examples of
plagiarism are (1) submitting an assignment as if it were one’s own work when, in fact, it is at least partly
the work of another; (2) submitting a work that has been purchased or otherwise obtained from an Internet
source or another source; and (3) incorporating the words or ideas of an author into one’s paper without
giving the author due credit. Any writing that is not the work of you or your group members is
plagiarism. Students in this course are expected to adhere to the MSU Student Honor Code. 
Withheld Grades/Semester Grades Policy: Ordinarily, at the discretion of the instructor of record and
with the approval of the academic chair/director, a grade of WH will be assigned only if the student cannot
complete the course work because of unavoidable circumstances. Students must complete the work within
one calendar year from the end of the semester in which they receive a WH, or the grade automatically
becomes an F. If students register for the same course in future terms the WH will automatically become an
F and will be counted as a repeated course for the purpose of computing the grade point average.
Senior Portfolio Requirement: Please note that all mass communication majors are required to submit a
portfolio as part of their Internship course (Internship is a prerequisite to Senior Production). This
requirement is a part of MSU¹s reaccreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and
is non-negotiable. Through the portfolio, students are required to demonstrate communication competence
through the written word and visual communication; two examples of each competency are required. 
As you go through this and other classes, you are responsible for saving course work that could be included
in your senior portfolio. 
Please see me, your adviser, the department chair or any mass communication faculty member for handouts
with more information ("Mass Communication Portfolio Competencies" and "Mass Communication
Portfolio FAQ"). These handouts are also available on our department web page:
Privacy: Federal Privacy Law prohibits me from releasing information about students to certain parties
outside the university. Thus, in almost all cases I will only discuss your grades and other academic matters
with you. Do not have your parents call me! You’re college students and will be treated as such. Also, I will
only correspond with you via email if your name is in the email address. 
Disability Support: Please inform me if you are a student with a disability and need accommodation in
this class. Students with a disability must be registered with Disability Support Services before classroom
accommodation can be provided. MSU provides students with documented disabilities academic
accommodation (Disability Support Services, Clark Student Center, Room 168). 
Final Caveat: The professor reserves the right to change any part of this syllabus for any reason.
Sufficient notice will be given to students if changes to the syllabus are deemed necessary.

Week 1

Course Introduction: Course Mechanics, Basic Concepts & Terminology

Lecture: Chapters 1 & 2

Screen: La Jeteé (Dir. Chris Marker, 1962), World of Tomorrow (Dir. Don Herzfeldt, 2015)



Week 2

Narrative & Cinematography

Lecture: Chapters 4 & 6

Screen: Adaptation (Dir. Spike Jonze, 2001)



Week 3

Visual Design (Mise en Scene) & Authorship

Lecture: Chapters 5 & 14

Screen: Dr. Mabuse: The Gambler (Dir. Fritz Lang, 1922) Metropolis (Dir. Fritz Lang, 1927), M (Dir. Fritz Lang, 1931), Scarlet Street (Dir. Fritz Lang, 1945)



Week 4



Writing About Film

Lecture: Chapter 3

Screen: Night and Fog (Dir. Alain Resnais, 1956)



Week 5

Editing (Montage)

Lecture: Chapter 7

Screen: Mad Max: Fury Road (Dir. George Miller, 2015)



Week 6

Sound & Genre

Lecture: Chapters 8 & 13

Screen: Alien (Dir. Ridley Scott, 1979)



Week 7

Alternatives to Narrative Film

Lecture: Chapter 9

Screen: Harlan County, USA (Dir. Barbara Kopple, 1977), Time Piece (Dir. Jim Henson, 1965)



Week 8






Week 9

Star Studies, Spectatorship & Audiences

Lecture: Chapter 12

Screen: Rear Window (Dir. Alfred Hitchcock, 1954)



Week 10

Culture, Cultural Studies, & Hollywood

Lecture: Chapters 10 & 15

Screen: Persepolis (Dir. Marjane Satrapi, Vincent Paronnaud, 2007)



Week 11

Representations of Race & Social Contexts

Lecture: Chapter 11

Screen: Do The Right Thing (Dir. Spike Lee, 1989)



Week 12

Representations of Sexuality

Lecture: Chapter 11

Screen: Happy Together (Dir. Wong Kar-wai, 1997)



Week 13




Week 14

Representations of Gender

Lecture: Handout

Screen: We Need to Talk About Kevin (Dir. Lynne Ramsay, 2011)



Week 15

Representations of Class

Lecture: Handout

Screen: Moonlight (Dir. Barry Jenkins, 2016)



Week 16


FINAL EXAM Thursday 12/14, 1-3PM



Final Exam

12/14/2017 1PM-3PM

Submission Format Policy

Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.

Plagiarism Policy

Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception.

Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters.

We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student.

We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed.

Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, (940) 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement

The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor

All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Writing Proficiency Requirement

All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed the 6 hours of Communication Core and and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.

Campus Carry

Senate Bill 11 passed by the 84th Texas Legislature allows licensed handgun holders to carry concealed handguns on campus, effective August 1, 2016. Areas excluded from concealed carry are appropriately marked, in accordance with state law. For more information regarding campus carry, please refer to the University’s webpage at

If you have questions or concerns, please contact MSU Chief of Police Patrick Coggins at