Communication and Culture | Production as Criticism
C335 | 2993 | Jacob Smith

CMCL-C 335: Production as Criticism
(Topic: Music Video and Film Musical)
Class Number:  2993

Tu 1:30P-4:00P
Registration in a lab is also required.
See Class Schedule for Lab Times

CMCL C335 carries a lab fee.  See registration bulletin for details.

Instructor: Jacob Smith
Office: Mottier 256
Office Hours: by appointment
Phone: 5-0844

Ever since its debut in 1981, MTV has had a powerful effect on
American culture and image production. The rapid-fire style of music
video was increasingly found in television and film throughout
the1980s, and this dialog can be seen to have become even more
intimate of late, with the recent successes of video-directors-
Hollywood auteurs, Spike Jonez (Being John Malkovich, Adaptation)
and Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind). But MTV
is only the most recent site of interaction between these two
influential cultural institutions of the last century, American
popular music and Hollywood film. This course provides a broad
survey of the styles and contexts of film musicals and music video.
How have American popular music and dance been represented in
Hollywood film and music video? What have been the implications of
these modes of representation? How has musical performance been
integrated into Hollywood narratives?  How have makers of musical
films in other nations like France, India or Taiwan mobilized these
forms and changed them? Students will test these historical and
theoretical perspectives in video production labs. Several lab
assignments over the course of the semester will acquaint students
with the basics of filming, editing and sound recording, as well as
offering opportunities to explore the dynamics of sound, music, and
image that have been used in the works we will study.  An important
aspect of this facet of the class will be to investigate the ways in
which production can serve as a vital site of cultural criticism:
how the myriad decisions made in sound and image production are used
to create meaning.