Florida Gulf Coast University
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A. IDS 3305 - Issues in Media, Literature, and the Arts

What film is:
"Film as dream, film as music. No art passes our conscience in the way film does, and goes directly to our feelings, deep down into the dark rooms of our souls." - Ingmar Bergman (b. 1918), Swedish stage and film writer, director.

Well, maybe not:
"The making of a picture ought surely to be a rather fascinating adventure. It is not; it is an endless contention of tawdry egos, some of them powerful, almost all of them vociferous, and almost none of them capable of anything much more creative than credit-stealing and self-promotion." Raymond Chandler (1888-1959), US author.

I. Your Instructors
Mr. Terry Dugas and Mr. Hollis Alpert
FGCU Office: WGCU 33
FGCU Office Hours: Monday, 5:30 - 6:30 PM
FGCU Phone -- 590-2315
590-2310 (fax)
E-Mail address: tdugas@fgcu.edu
WWW Home Page: http://ruby.fgcu.edu/courses/Tdugas/IDS3305/Fall98/powerpoint

II. General Course Information:
IDS 3305 looks at how films reflect (and sometimes predict) cultural, political, and historical change. The course explores how films work technically, aesthetically, and culturally to reinforce and challenge how we view ourselves.

III. Course Objectives and Written Requirements:
A. Course Objectives
1. To recognize and use the basic technical and critical language of film making.
2. To understand how cinema reflects the culture of its era.
3. To understand how cinema predicts cultural change.
4. To understand how cinema creates cultural change.

B. Written Requirements
1. There will be three take home tests based on the material in the textbook. These test grades will be averaged together and count 1/3 of your final grade.
2. There will be two written papers, based on limited research and an analysis of one or more films. The length will be 750 - 1000 words, and they must be typed. The two paper grades will be averaged together and will count 1/3 of your final grade.
3. There will be a comprehensive final exam which will count 1/3 of your final grade.
4. Extra credit will be given based on class and WebBoard discussion. Trust us, take advantage of the extra credit!
The WebBoard URL is http://onyx.fgcu.edu/~107/

IV. Course Components:
A. In class lectures and discussion. There will be 7 class meetings where Mr. Alpert and I will discuss the techniques of film making, the historical and cultural impact of films, and discuss the relationship between film and other arts.

B. Film screenings and discussion. There will be 7 required film screenings and discussion. These films illustrate important points developed in class and will be accompanied by a presentation by Mr. Alpert and, time permitting, discussion. These screenings will be open to the public through the Division of Continuing Education.

C. Supplemental programs broadcast over WGCU-TV, cable and commercial channels.
I also teach a telecourse for Edison Community College, "A History of American Cinema." There are weekly broadcasts on WGCU-TV which are relevant to this class. I urge you to grab a couple of blank videotapes and enjoy these videos.

The syllabus for this course is on-line at http://www.naples.net/~dugast/film

Through the course of the semester, WGCU will also air documentaries covering various elements of film. We'll keep you posted on these, as well.

D. A textbook, Understanding Movies, by Louis Giannetti

E.Three take home tests covering Understanding Movies
September 28, November 2, and November 23

F. Two written assignments.
These papers will be between 3 and 4 pages and will be a combination of research and personal opinion. We will assign topics or you can choose a topic. But all topics must be approved.
Due October 12 and November 30
They MUST be typed!

G. A Comprehensive Final Exam

H. Class and WebBoard discussion
Unfortunately, we have little time in class for discussion, often the most rewarding (and fun) part of a class like this. So we'll rely heavily on WebBoard to fill that role. We're not giving a specific percentage of your grade to WebBoard discussion. Instead, we're leaving it as "extra credit." But, trust us, it can make a significant impact on your final grade!
The WebBoard URL is http://onyx.fgcu.edu/~107/

V. Grading Procedure:
A. The take home tests will be objectively graded based on how well you understand the material.

B. Your written assignments will be graded subjectively. We'll look at how much you write and in what detail. Clarity of thought and expression will also count (can we read it, does it make sense.)

VI. About the Instructors:
Terry Dugas
I'm Director of Programming and Production for Southwest Florida Public Television and Associate Director for Distance Teaching and Learning for FGCU. I've spent the last 21 years in television, working in both commercial and public broadcasting. I've won national awards for my work in public TV and have produced, directed, or written over 50 nationally distributed television shows.

This is also my 22nd anniversary as a college teacher. I started teaching Film History and Criticism in 1975 for the University of South Carolina. I was also a full time faculty member of Seton Hall University, teaching film and television production, history, and criticism. I've also been an adjunct for Edison Community College for the past five years. For Edison, I teach History of American Cinema, Freshman English, Introduction to Broadcasting, and Internet Research.

I've written articles for a half dozen film and television journals and was a film critic for several years for magazines and newspapers in South Carolina.

I'm also an Internet consultant and Past President of the Naples Free-Net.

Hollis Alpert: Standing Tall in His Profession
By Terry Miller, Naples Press Club

Hollis Alpert's many novels and nonfiction books include several bestsellers. He co-founded the National Society of Film Critics while he was with the Saturday Review under Norman Cousins (and went with him as managing editor when Cousins launched another magazine), taught at Yale, New York and Southern Methodist universities, and co-authored Playboy's immensely popular Sex and the Cinema series.

Following thousands of articles, the author/lecturer/instructor was the founding (and only) editor of American Film Magazine, produced by the American Film Institute. So it is no surprise that he wrote not one but two best-selling autobiographies.

Alpert certainly rivals in interest most of the hundreds of people he has written about. For example, there is the story of the man who didn't know he was lampooned. After the publication of a lengthy and heavily researched New York Times Magazine article on Jerry Lewis, Alpert was hailed by the comedian as America's greatest journalist. The journalist assumes Lewis, unlike the article, was not being sardonic.

For Alpert, life began in central New York State and his early years were spent there and in Philadelphia. Enlisting in the Army, the 90-day wonder went to Military Intelligence at the Pentagon, then was assigned to Patton's army as a combat historian. While writing long histories for the Army, he wrote short stories for such publications as the New Yorker.

Following the war, Alpert headed for New York City, where he continued his fiction writing and began freelancing nonfiction, including book reviews for the Saturday Review. He joined the fiction staff of New Yorker Magazine, but reading manuscripts while trying to devour and write about books became unwieldy and he snapped at an offer to do film reviews for Saturday Review. "It took less time to see a movie than to read a book," Alpert quips.

The movie critiques, in his words, "caused such an uproar" that editor Norman Cousins asked for more. Ultimately, Alpert was given a regular column, and when Cousins was deciding which of several film reviewers to keep, his choice came down to Alpert and Arthur Knight. Knight was a good loser and years later asked his close friend Alpert to co-author the Playboy series.

While working at one magazine and writing the film column, Alpert was freelancing articles about celebrities and personalities for Esquire, Cosmopolitan, McCall's, Woman's Day and others. When his first novel, Summer Lovers, also did well, he quit his day job for full-time freelancing.

He had two full-time editing jobs after New Yorker. Aced out at Saturday Review, Cousins launched World Magazine and drafted Alpert, who became managing editor and led a drive targeting the older publication's audience. Saturday Review's owners eventually sold out to World.

Alpert later was sought by George Stevens, Jr., head of the Kennedy Center, to found and, for six years, edit American Film Magazine, which was bankrolled its first year by the National Endowment of the Arts. He later became a full-time writer of biographies from his base on Shelter Island, N.Y.

Alpert is the author of several nonfiction books, including his first one, about the Barrymores. Oh, about Alpert's autobiographies: He ghosted Lana Turner's and Charlton Heston's. Alpert has yet to write his own. Our loss.

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This is an official FGCU web page. Designed by Terry Dugas and revised 6/18/98.
© Terry Dugas 1998 tdugas@fgcu.edu

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