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ENG 2300 Spring 2006 Syllabus
Film Analysis: Through the Eyes of a Child

Cathlena Martin
Section: 1794
Office: Turlington 4409 or Image Lab on 4th Floor of Rolfs Hall
Office Hours: Thursday 10-2 in the Image Lab
Mailbox: 4301 Turlington
Class Times: MWF per 7 / R per E1-E3
Class Room: CBD 310 /Turl 2333
Class Website:
Class Gradebook:
Class Wiki: (password: film)
Class Blog:

Don't know if we will use these or not, but they are there if you want to explore them.
Class GoogleGroup:
Class GoogleGroup Email:

Course Overview:
This class is an introductory class devoted to an overview of film techniques, film vocabulary, and film history.

Because of the numerous film genres and movements that use childhood, this introductory film course uses the theme of children and childhood to link the film screenings. This class is not a special topics course, but a general introduction to film analysis; therefore, I am not teaching children’s culture through film, but am using films with children and childhood themes to span the breadth of an introductory film course.

The tag line of this class is “Film Analysis: Through the Eyes of a Child.” This which constructs a paradox with which to examine our films and with which we ourselves approach the films. While theorists like Laura Mulvey have discussed the camera as an active male gaze, we will look films where the camera creates an intrinsically adult gaze with the child as a subject. For this film class we will use films with the theme of children and childhood to analyze and study both film history and film theory. However, just because the films deal with childhood does not mean that they are all about Happy Elves, woodland creatures, and butterflies (think opening to A Series of Unfortunate Events). Some of these films will be disturbing and require a mature audience. And while we need a mature gaze to watch the films and to discuss them, because this is an introductory class, we are all approaching the films with the eyes of children unused to screening films in a rigorous way.

While this is NOT a film appreciation course, you will hopefully gain a deeper appreciation of film as you study and analyze it. Also, this IS a 6,000-word Gordon Rule class (per the Gordon Rule established by the Florida Legislature), you must meet the writing volume minimums in order to pass the course.

Course Objectives:
1. To gain a general introduction to film and film analysis.
2. To learn and practice applying theoretical and analytical strategies for viewing and writing about film.
3. To learn techniques and vocabulary for reviewing and analyzing film.
4. To involve films within the context of film history and film theory.
5. To learn techniques for improving stylistic clarity, concision, cohesion, and coherence.
6. To share ideas, philosophies, and writing strategies related to film and writing and develop individual and collaborative writing processes.
7. To critique and revise your own documents and peer’s writings to insure that they fulfill their audience and purpose.
8. To gain a greater appreciation for the medium of film and its meaning.

Texts (available at Goerings):
Bordwell, David and Kristin Thompson. Film Art: An Introduction 7th Edition. Boston: McGraw Hill, 1979, 2004.

We will be reading articles from Braudy, Leo and Marshall Cohen. Eds. Film Theory and Criticism 6th Edition. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1974, 2004, but I will post them on the wiki. You do not have to purchase this book, unless you want it as a resource.

Recommended Materials:
Style Guide - MLA Handbook or Pocket Style Guide
Pen light

Screening Selection (you do not have to purchase these):
The Kid (1921)
M (1931)
The 400 Blows (1959)
The Shining (1980)
Wizard of Oz (1939)
Ma Vie En Rose (My Life in Pink) (1997)
Freeway (1996)
Taxi Driver (1976)
The Dangerous Lives of Alter Boys (2002)

Other possible films:
Bicycle Thief (1948)
Labyrinth (1986)
La Jetee (1962) – (could show with Donnie Darco (2001))
Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)
Man with a Movie Camera (1929)
Citizen Kane (1941)
Jin-Roh (1998)
Shane (1952)

Online Helps:
Yale Film Analysis
Internet Movie Database
Media Resource Library

Class Policies and Requirements

Writing Help: You are expected to be familiar and fluent with the conventions of standard written English. Those needing extra help with such conventions should also purchase a writing handbook and be prepared to visit the Writing Center, as well as sign up for writing conferences with me.

Attendance: This class is developed around discussion. Absences not only affect you, but they affect your classmates and eventually your group members. Therefore, to learn professionalism and team work, and because class attendance is critical to your understanding of class material, you are allowed only three absences over the course of the semester. After three absences, your final grade average will be dropped a letter grade for every day missed. The first three absences will alter your Professionalism, Participation, and Attendance grade.

This class has four class sessions per week. The screening period on Thursday nights does count as a class period and will go on your record as an absence if it is missed. However, you are welcome to bring friends to the screening periods as well as movie snacks and drinks.

You are responsible for contacting me or a class member to find out what material you missed and any work that was assigned. If work is due in class on the day of the absence, the work is due in my email or mailbox before class. Tardies (arriving late in class or departing class early) are not acceptable because they are disruptive, and, beyond any excused tardies, class participation grade and overall grade will be affected (3 tardies = 1 absence).

If you participate in a university-sponsored event (music, theater, field trip, or athletics), you must provide me with documentation from an appropriate authority. These will be considered excused absences.

Class Participation: In addition to attending class, you are also expected to contribute class discussions, group work, and participate in workshop sessions with your peers. Learning is not a solitary process, but one that necessarily involves others and I thus consider class participation a very important part of achieving this class’s goals.

Class participation extends beyond just our MWF class periods. You are expected to contribute to the class message board/wiki/blog. These are an extension of class discussion.

Quizzes: I reserve the right to give quizzes at any point in the semester.

University and Departmental Policies
Plagiarism: Plagiarism is the unacknowledged borrowing of someone else’s work and is a serious offense with serious consequences. Plagiarism will result in a failing grade on the paper in question and can possibly result in a failure for the course. Please consult the University of Florida’s Honor Code for a thorough description ( Academic honesty requires that all work presented in this class be the student’s own work. Evidence of collusion (working with another student or tutor) or plagiarism (use of another’s ideas, data and statement without acknowledgment and/or extensive use of another’s ideas, data and statements with only minimal acknowledgment) will lead to the procedures set up by the University for academic dishonesty in the Honor Court. There is a clear distinction between learning new ideas and presenting them as facts or as answers, and presenting them as one’s own idea. Unless the work assigned is specifically designed to be completed in groups, all work must be individual.

Essentially, plagiarism means to present the ideas and/or words of someone else as one’s own. You commit plagiarism if you use (without credit):
~Any part of another person’s essay, speech, or ideas
~Any part of an article in a magazine, journal, newspaper; any part of a book, encyclopedia, CD-ROM, online WWW page, etc.
~Any idea from another person or writer, even if you express that idea in your own words.
~Any image from a print or online source.

UF Computer and Software Requirement: The following is the official UF policy on the student computer requirement: Access to and on-going use of a computer will be required for all students to complete their degree programs successfully. Effective with the Summer B 1998 term, the University of Florida expects each student entering the junior year, as well as each student new to the university, to acquire computer hardware and software appropriate to his or her degree program. Competency in the basic use of a computer is a requirement for graduation. Class assignments may require use of a computer, academic advising and registration can be done by computer, and official university correspondence is often sent via e-mail. While the university offers limited access to computers through its computer labs, most students will be expected to purchase or lease a computer that is capable of dial-up or network connection to the Internet, graphical access to the World Wide Web, and productivity functions such as word processing and spreadsheet calculation. Refer to the UF Computer and Software Requirement page for any questions ( as well as the CLAS computer policy (

Classroom Dynamics:
Because class participation relies heavily on individuals feeling comfortable expressing their opinions, you must always show respect for the diversity of opinions expressed in this class. You must also demonstrate respect for gender, racial, class, and ethnic differences among your colleagues and instructor.

Every student in this class is expected to participate in a responsible and mature manner that enhances education. Any conduct that disrupts the learning process may lead to disciplinary action.

Accommodations for Students with Disabilities: Students requesting classroom accommodation must first register with the Dean of Students Office. The Dean of Students Office will provide documentation to the student who must then provide this documentation to the Instructor when requesting accommodation.

Challenging a Grade: Any complaints about separate assignments should be addressed to me and not to the English Department. If you have any complaints on the final grade, you may see me or email me. However, because all of your grades are online, you should be aware throughout the entire semester where you stand in the class. But, if you find that you still have complaints after our meeting, you may express your complaints on a form in the English Department Office (4012 Turlington). The form and accompanying course material will be given to Sid Dobrin for further action. A review committee may decide to raise, lower, or keep the originally assigned grade. This decision is final. The material submitted will remain on file in the English Department Office. To file this complaint, you will need copies of all of your graded assignments.


You'll need your Gatorlink ID and password in order to access your grades through my online gradebook. Please keep a running total of your grades for yourself in case I miscalculate or there is a technical difficulty with the gradebook.

Your final grade will be calculated in the following manner:
Professionalism, Participation, Attendance 10%
Outside Viewing Report 10%
Journal and Blog10%
Formal Scene Analysis Essay 10%
In-class Discussion presentation in pairs 10%
Auteur presentation 15%
Theory and Ideology Critique 15%
Historical Movements and Genres Group Project 20%

Grading Scale:
A: 90-100
B+: 87-89
B: 80-86
C+: 77-79
C: 70-76
D: 60-69
E: 0-59

The University of Florida does not use “minus” grades. So you can’t receive a B- as your final grade for this course. However, other class work may receive minuses to allow for a more precise evaluation of the quality of your work. Rounding up for final grades is not an absolute.

Rubric: Here is the brief, general rubric for grades I assign to your papers (you should use the statements to determine how you might work toward a higher grade):

You did what the assignment asked for at a high quality level, and your work shows originality and creativity. Work in this range shows all the qualities listed below for a B, but it also demonstrates that you took extra steps to be original or creative in developing content, solving a problem, or developing a style. Since careful editing and proofreading are essential in writing, papers in the A range must be free of typos and grammatical or mechanical errors (papers with more than one or two errors cannot receive an A).

You did what the assignment asked of you at a high quality level. Work in this range needs revision; however it is complete in content, is organized well, and shows special attention to style.

You did what the assignment asked of you. Work in this range needs significant revision, but it is complete in content and the organization is logical. The style is straightforward but unremarkable.

You did what the assignment asked of you at a poor quality level. Work in this range needs significant revision. The content is often incomplete and the organization is hard to discern. Attention to style is often nonexistent or chaotic.

An E is usually reserved for people who don’t do the work or don’t come
to class. However, if your work is shoddy and shows little understanding of the needs of the assignment, you will receive a failing grade.