What constitutes “independent film” in an era where both filmmakers who distribute their work online and boutique divisions within Hollywood studios lay claim to the term? English 345 addresses this question by examining the narrative, stylistic, industrial and cultural aspects of contemporary U.S. independent film. We will begin by examining the early work of John Cassavetes, the “father” of American independent film before turning to the burgeoning of independent cinema that began in the late 1980s. In addition to viewing films in class, students will attend selected screenings at the Seattle International Film Festival.
Students in the course work toward several goals: learning how to read film formally, contextually and ideologically and developing as critical thinkers and writers. By the end of the course, students should be able to:
Course activities promote active learning, with most class sessions including a mix of mini-lectures, discussion, and group work. My role is to provide the tools and resources; you will need to advance your own thinking and writing. I will pose questions, design activities to help you think through these questions, and respond to your ideas. Your role is to do the hard work—the critical reading, discussion, and writing. You will analyze films, generate ideas in electronic and face-to-face discussions, verbally analyze film clips, and construct written arguments.
Instructor: Kimberlee Gillis-Bridges
Meeting: M, 2:30-5:30 | TTH, 2:30-4:30
Rooms: Mary Gates 251 | Savery 166
Office: Padelford A-305
Office Hours: TTH, 12:30-1:30, and by appt.
Email: kgb [at] u [dot] washington [dot ] edu
Follow the links for more course information and materials:
Schedule of readings, assignment due dates and course activities.
PDF versions of all course handouts, links to film clips, and PowerPoint slides.
Descriptions, guidelines, and links to grading criteria for the presentation, clip annotation and essays.
Direct link to and instructions for using the course film response board.
List of course film titles and texbooks, with links to reviews.
Links to resources on course films, writing about film, and the Seattle film scene.
Copyright 2012. All rights reserved.
Questions? Email kgb [at] u [dot] washington [dot] edu