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Viewing: FREN 230 A: Masterpieces of Fr Cinem

Last approved: Mon, 08 Oct 2018 19:15:09 GMT

Last edit: Thu, 04 Oct 2018 20:35:13 GMT

First Name Last Name Userid Title Home School Org Short Name
Molly McGlone mmcglone ASSOC DIRECTOR C School of Arts and Sciences The College
Fall 2018
Fall 2018
Masterpieces of Fr Cinem
This course will introduce students to key films of the French film canon, selected over a period ranging from the origins of French cinema to the present. Students will also be introduced to the key critical concepts (such as the notion of the "auteur" film genre) informing the discussion of films in France. The films will be studied in both a historical and theoretical context, related to their period styles (e.g. "le realisme poetique," "la Nouvelle Vague," etc.), their "auteurs," the nature of the French star system, the role of the other arts, as well to the critical debates they have sparked among critics and historians. Students will acquire the analytical tools in French to discuss films as artistic and as cultural texts. Please note: This course follows a Lecture/Recitation format. The Lecture (FREN 230-401/CIMS 245-401) is taught in English. For French credit: please register for both FREN 230-401 (lecture) and FREN 230-402 (recitation); the FREN 230-402 recitation is conducted in French. For Cinema Studies credit: please register for CIMS 245-401 (lecture) and CIMS 245-403 (recitation); both are taught in English.
CIMS 245 - French Cinema

Sector Requirements

Your department or program fields a variety of courses to meet distinct educational needs. Please explain how this course fits into your department's plan for participating in the general education curriculum of the College. The sector panel will want to know what is distinctive about this course along with the other courses your department lists in the sector that makes them suitable for the sector requirement.
We think that our department's mission is to give students the opportunity to explore a variety of cultural productions coming from the French-speaking world, without restricting our role to a) providing linguistic training, b) teaching French history and culture in a national context exclusively or c) privileging written literature at the exclusion of other arts. Alongside more traditional approaches, several of our courses at the 200-level give students the opportunity to discover and critically explore the historical, geographical, aesthetic and thematic diversity within French and Francophone studies. Focusing as it does on the outstanding cinematic production of France, French 230 allows for such exploration within the discipline by giving students the opportunity to reflect on art, creativity and representation through a medium other than literature.
Course usually offered in Fall term
Arts & Letters Sector
Philippe Charles Met
Standing Faculty
Standing Faculty
FREN 230, "Masterpieces of French Cinema," offered every fall, complements FREN 231 and FREN 232, which both fulfill the Arts and Letters sector requirement. FREN 230 is the filmic equivalent to FREN 231 and FREN 232 and covers the entirety of French cinema. French majors are required to take 12 courses to fulfill the major, five must be from among several 200-level courses, and an additional five courses are required from among the 300-level course offerings. FREN 230 is an essential component of courses available to majors at the 200 level. FREN 386, "Paris in Film," would logically follow FREN 230. We are submitting this course as part of the major/minor changes initiated last year to expand offerings in French and Francophone studies by adding two courses to our "Literature and arts" option: French 230 (Film) and French 233 (French and Francophone studies).

Also cross-listed with CIMS 245, this course can also be taken in English, offering students the opportunity to further their focus on cinema and media studies.
The lecture/recitation set-up has allowed the course to be successful and popular, attracting a diverse body of students (from among FREN and CIMS) and reflects the increasing importance of film-related courses and material in our program/curriculum. Students who take the FREN 230-401 lecture, register for the corresponding recitation (402) which is conducted in French. Students who register for the lecture under CIMS 245-401, take the CIMS recitation, conducted in English.
The purpose of this course is to provide an introduction to the history and scope of French cinema all the way to the present time through the analysis of key works of the French film canon. Particular attention will be paid to successive period styles (“le réalisme poétique”, “la qualité française”, “la nouvelle vague”, “le film de banlieue”, etc.) as well as various genres (war, drama, comedy, crime, etc.). A variety of critical lenses will be used (psychoanalysis, socio-historical and cultural context, politics, esthetics, gender…) to better understand the specificities and complexities of these films.
This course will help you enhance your analytical skills through the in-depth study of key scenes. You will learn to decipher the formal techniques specific to the film medium and be able to understand their pertinence in different contexts.

Methods of Assessment

2 response papers (maximum of 1½-2 pages each, or 600 words), each consisting in a microanalysis of a specific sequence. 30%
2 term papers (approximately 6 pages, or 1,500 words each), which will test students' ability to think critically and develop a well-structured, well-argued thesis based on a choice of topics, and on issues discussed in class. 40%
Weekly quizzes: every Monday the class will begin with a short, factual 5-question quiz based on the Powerpoint lecture of the previous week. The lowest grade will be dropped.
This Arts & Letters request is a hold over from a course approval in 17A that never got coded into the system. Active student participation is encouraged, as it is essential to the success of the course and will make up 20% of the overall grade. This will include the weekly posting of 2 detailed and thought-provoking questions/comments on the Canvas discussion board, by Monday noon. One question will be a critique of a point made in the article; the other will concern an issue that is not addressed in the article.

Sector I - Society


Sector II - History and Tradition


Sector III - Arts & Letters

Because this is a film course, interpretive strategies for analyzing visual and aural texts are developed; this applies as well for literary texts to the extent that a critical/theoretical text is parsed and discussed as part of the analysis of each film. A wide array of theoretical tools (psychoanalysis, aesthetics, feminism, gender, etc.) is used throughout. Section work is more specifically devoted to close reading/interpretative approaches via microanalysis.
The two term papers, in particular, are crucial opportunities for critical thinking, analysis and interpretation. I consistently encourage my TAs to closely monitor students' progress, read drafts or rewrites, etc.
Each film is an opportunity for discussing and appreciating the creative process, be it from a biographical, technical or analytic perspective. The potential tension inherent to film making between auteurist objectives, teamwork and production constraints creates unique conditions for insight into the creative process.
This course has a broad approach (historically, culturally and thematically) since it provides an overview of French cinema. The broader context (cultural, social, political, philosophical, religious) as well as the continuing relevance of the films under scrutiny are consistently brought to bear on class discussions and analysis.

Sector IV - Humanities and Social Science


Sector V - Living World


Sector VI - Physical World


Sector VII - Natural Sciences and Mathematics


Administrative Field

Proposal was reviewed in 17A but not acted upon. Committee notes are found in "reviewer comments", the Syllabus attached is the revised 2nd syllabus, and the answers to the questions are as follows: 1) this is a question I have been pondering myself and I tend to concur that an increased length for the written assignments might be in order in the English section. I propose: 10 pages, or 2,500 words, for each term paper in that section. For the response papers the short format is actually an integral part of the difficulty of a synthetical exercise - I am therefore less inclined to assign disparate word counts there. 2) I am on the fence on this one, to the extent that the response papers, if much shorter than the term papers, specifically test and “reinvest” the type of analytical and technical work that is being done in each section on a weekly basis - hence the weight given to the response papers. That said, I am happy to tweak the percentage distribution a bit: 25% and 45%.
College Humanities and Social Science Panel
Molly Mcglone (mmcglone) (Thu, 04 Oct 2018 20:35:13 GMT): The HSS committee met today and reviewed your/our request to have French 230 sectored in Arts and Letters. They have asked me to relay the following two queries to you, before they can approve the request: 1) The first is about the amount of writing for those who would take the course in English. Some members of the committee felt that while the amount of writing in adequate for the French section, the amount should be different, i.e, more substantial in English. Would it be possible to have a different writing assignment (ie higher number of pages) for the English section? 2) The second has to do with the percentage distribution between papers, for both the French and English sections, with the 2 response papers amounting to 30% and the term papers 40%. Some felt that the short response papers weigh in too heavily in the final grade. Can you better justify the percentage distribution or perhaps readjust it to give more weight to the term papers?
Key: 543