School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) 320

CTCS 190g Introduction to Cinema (4 units)
Rated one of the top six USC classes you cannot afford to miss and fulfilling the GE-A requirement, this course explores the formal properties of movies and their social context: narrative form, performance, art direction and mise-en-scene, cinematography, post-production, sound design, genre, style, and the production process - how movies are made, how they work their magic on us, how we can improve our perceptive abilities when it comes to filmgoing, and how the wider cultural, sociopolitical, and industrial environment of film shapes our perceptions of the world. A perennial favorite, CTCS 190 fills fast. Open to all majors. You must register for the lecture as well as a discussion section.

CTCS 191 Introduction to Television and Video (4 units)
This course provides an introduction to the history, institutions, forms and critical analysis of television, and its relationship to the cultures around it, including other media and arts. It is designed to expand your knowledge of American and global television by exploring issues such as genre, style programming, branding, industrial structures, and the social and cultural significance of television. We look at television programs as cultural artifacts and industrial products that reflect and refract such issues as class, consumerism, gender, race, sexuality, and national identity. The course is intended to help you develop a historical and critical framework for understanding television, broadly conceived to include broadcast, cable and streaming platforms, and to become critically informed viewers and practitioners.

CTCS 192gm Race, Class, and Gender in American Film (4 units)
This course analyzes how issues relating to race, class, and gender have been addressed and depicted in American film, and how the cinematic representations of those topics have affected opinions and attitudes in mainstream U.S. culture. By studying historical representations alongside more contemporary images, the course aims to explain the role cinema plays in creating and influencing ideas around American identity. This course satisfies USC’s General Education requirement. Screenings include: Bombshell (2019), The Banker (2020), The Blind Side (2009), Real Women Have Curves (2002), Pleasantville (1998), Mulan (1998), Enter the Dragon (1973), Platoon (1986), In & Out (1997), among other titles.

CTCS 394 History of American Cinema since 1960 (4 units)
Hollywood may form its backbone, but American cinema is so much more than "the industry"
— especially since the major studios lost their stranglehold on production following World War II. In this course, we'll explore significant developments that have occurred since Classical Hollywood dissolved. New Hollywood auteurs and big-budget blockbusters will be studied alongside various independent and documentary movements, situating each within their economic, creative, cultural, and technological contexts.

CTCS 407 African American Cinema (4 units)
This course is a historical survey of African American cinema from the 1960s through the present. While the course is mindful of pre-1960s film history, the focus will be on the last sixty years of Black film history in America. The course will highlight various films, filmmakers, actors, other creative figures, aesthetics, themes, and controversies, while linking this historical approach to the social, cultural and political issues that have evolved in American society over this sixty-year period. Further, the course will use developments in Black cinema as a broader framework for discussing American social, cultural, and political history, from the era of the Civil Rights Movement through the very recent present. Screenings include: Malcolm X, 13th, A Raisin in the Sun, Coffy, Boyz N the Hood, Dead Presidents, Zola, Coming to America, Free Angela and All Political Prisoners, Daughters of the Dust, and One Night in Miami, among other titles.

CTCS 409 Film Censorship (4 units)
A historical survey of film and television censorship from the origins of motion pictures to the present day, with emphasis on specific censorship cases from the United States and around the globe. We will study the foundations of the Motion Pictures Producers and Distributors of America (forerunner to today's MPA), the Production Code Administration, the development of the studio ratings system, approaches to censorship in the streaming era, and contemporary political Courtney White.

CTCS 464 Film and/or Television Genres (4 units)
Vampires on Film
A year past Nosferatu's centenary, cinematic bloodsuckers continue to fascinate us. Horror, sensuality, eroticism, and political commentary intermingle in this genre born on the footstep of modernity. Join your favorite Transylvanian-born professor in a survey of the long-lasting vampire mythos and its continuing appeal. Screenings will likely include Nosferatu itself, alongside a variety of American and international takes on the vampire film: Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Vampire's Kiss, Twilight, Mr. Vampire, Renfield, El Conde, Vampyr, Irma Vep, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, Let The Right One In, From Dusk til Dawn, and others. Professor: George Carstocea.

CTCS 464 Film and/or Television Genres (4 units)
The Action Film
Violence & speed. Quips and oners. Bodies under maximum stress. Genre origins and inflections. Franchises & B movies. Stuntwork: choreography and safety, fistfights and gun battles, car chases and car crashes. Course focuses on Hollywood films with limited attention to non–US cinema. Examples may include: 48 Hrs., The Adventures of Robin Hood, Collateral, Commando, Crank, Die Hard, Dirty Harry, Domino, Face/Off, Foxy Brown, Hard Boiled, Jackass 3D, John Wick, Mad Max: Fury Road, Long Kiss Goodnight, Mission Impossible 3, Ong Bak, The Other Guys, Point Break, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Rambo, Under Seige 2: Dark Territory, The Warriors, The Woman King.

CTCS 466 Theatrical Film Symposium (4 units)
Theatrical Film Symposium, taught by world-renowned film critic Leonard Maltin, brings you face-to-face with leading film directors, writers, producers, and actors working today. Each week, students watch sneak previews of upcoming movies, followed by exclusive Q&As with the creative teams behind the films. Past semester screenings included Coco, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Colossal, Life, Land of Mine, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, The Shape of Water, American Made, and Thor: Ragnarok. Recent guests include Damien Chazelle, Adam Scott, Scott Derrickson, Taika Waititi, Lee Unkrich, JJ Abrams, James Franco, Jeff Nichols, Sylvester Stallone, Ryan Coogler, Bryan Cranston, Patricia Riggen, Charlie Kaufman, Atom Egoyan, Kevin Feige, and Judd Apatow.

CTCS 467 Television Symposium (4 units)
Taught by Mary McNamara, Pulitzer-prize winning TV Critic and Cultural Editor for the LA Times. Each week, students meet with current TV Creators and Showrunners for Q&As about writing and producing their shows. Recent guests include: Jon Favreau (The Mandalorian), Adam McKay (Succession), Alena Smith (Dickinson), Stephen Williams (Watchmen), Chris Mundy (Ozark), Susannah Grant (Unbelievable), David Mandel (Veep), Steven Canals (Pose), Sam Levinson (Euphoria), Raphael Bob-Waksberg & Kate Purdy (Undone), Joel Karsberg & Jesse Daniels (Surviving R. Kelly), Aline Brosh McKenna (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend), Marti Noxon (Sharp Objects), David Kajganich (The Terror), Tanya Saracho (Vida), Matt Duffer & Ross Duffer (Stranger Things), Liz Flahive & Carly Mensch (Glow), Hiro Murai (Atlanta), Noah Hawley (Fargo), Ron Moore (Outlander), Kenya Barris (black-ish), Prentice Penny (Insecure), Lang Fisher (Never Have I Ever), and Sarah Paulson and Jay Roach (Coastal Elites).

CTCS 464 Film and/or Television Genres (4 units)
Hollywood Cinematography
Cinematography is the key element of what we often think of as ‘cinematic style,’ and yet the field and its practitioners are greatly understudied in media studies (and in the media). In this course, we will explore the history of Hollywood style from the point of view of cinematography and cinematographers, as well as engaging with issues such as labor, technology, gender, race, and the collaborative nature of the production process. This class will focus primarily on American cinema and explore the soft style of Classical Hollywood, deep focus, film noir, realism, modernism, New Hollywood, and digital photography while considering the influence of other cinemas along the way.

CTCS 469 Film and/or Television Genres (4 units)
Sports, Media, and Culture
This course will analyze the representation (and misrepresentation) of sports and athletes in fiction film, documentary, and American media culture more broadly. The objective of this course will be to critically examine media that feature a variety of sporting examples, for the purpose of exposing the underlying themes that illuminate the role of sports in American society. The course is especially interested in media examples that offer complex representations of identity around issues such as race, class, gender, history, and the American Dream. The class is taught by Dr. Todd Boyd, a.k.a. Notorious Ph.D., one of the nation’s most widely recognized voices on issues of sports and culture. Overall, the course will study feature films, along with documentaries, and other media examples, in exploring connections across sports and society, sports and politics, sports and entertainment, and sports and fashion, among numerous other topics. Screenings to include: The Last Dance, Air, Uncut Gems, I Tonya, Venus and Serena, Ken Burns’ Muhammad Ali, O.J:Made in America, He Got Game, and One Night in Miami, among other titles.

CTCS 494 Advanced Cinema and Media Studies Seminar Analysis (4 units)
This seminar explores the relationship between visual media (e.g., cinema, television, and digital media) and the natural environment. Our environmental predicament originated in the industrialization of Western Europe, when, almost simultaneously with new forms of capitalist exploitation, mechanically reproduced media surfaced to document and preserve the natural world as it was disintegrating. #Earth will address questions such as: What can cinema and media studies contribute to the ongoing debate over the future of our planet? How have visual media historically explored the natural world and its alteration by industry? In what ways does media itself function as a natural environment? And finally, what has been media industries’ influence on the environment, and what can these material histories tell us about the nature of our social, political, and cultural life? Screenings include The Louisiana Story (1948, Flaherty), The Day Earth Caught Fire (1961, Guest), Zabriskie Point (1970, Antonioni), Mirror (1975, Tarkovsky), Life on Earth (1979, Attenborough), Daughters of the Dust (1991, Julie Dash), The Gleaners & I (2000, Varda), Wild (2014, Vallée), Okja (2017, Bong). Professor: Jelena Culibrk.