FAVz035 Information Explosion from Educational Films to Blockbuster Movies

Faculty of Arts
Autumn 2012
Extent and Intensity
2/0/0. 5 credit(s). Type of Completion: zk (examination).
Charles Acland (lecturer)
Mgr. Luděk Havel, Ph.D. (assistant)
Guaranteed by
prof. PhDr. Jiří Voráč, Ph.D.
Department of Film Studies and Audiovisual Culture - Faculty of Arts
Contact Person: doc. Mgr. Lucie Česálková, Ph.D.
Supplier department: Department of Film Studies and Audiovisual Culture - Faculty of Arts
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is also offered to the students of the fields other than those the course is directly associated with.
The capacity limit for the course is 120 student(s).
Current registration and enrolment status: enrolled: 1/120, only registered: 0/120, only registered with preference (fields directly associated with the programme): 0/120
fields of study / plans the course is directly associated with
there are 46 fields of study the course is directly associated with, display
Course objectives
This series of lectures will address the role of ideas about media technology as they appear in, and are advanced by, moving image culture and industries. We will specifically examine how our current digital society has its roots in film and media pedagogy from the mid-20th century. And though many scholars now accept that film is a cross-media entity - whether in terms of technology, industry, or use - we will examine how this intermediality has been a longstanding feature important to the development of what we think of as “the information society.” We will also treat the historiographical and methodological implications of re-valorizing previously neglected pockets of film and media history, and the challenges we now face in the analysis of global film culture.
Lecture 1 (Nov. 5; 12.30-14.05): “Always Already Big Data” This talk introduces the turn to “digital humanities,” traces the origins of some of its foundational claims, and elaborates the implications for film and media studies.
Lecture 2 (Nov. 5; 14.10-15.45): “Edgar Dale and the Information Explosion” This talk treats one of the leading American voices in the audiovisual instruction movement, showing how his ideas grew from the advancement of film appreciation to a concern with global media saturation.
Lecture 3 (Nov. 6; 12.30-14.05): “Delivering Blockbusters” This talk challenges existing narratives about how the term “blockbuster” came to be associated with movies, unearthing its use as a popular description of a WWII military ordinance of the Allied forces.
Lecture 4 (Nov. 6; 14.10-15.45): “Cosmopolitan Artlessness” This talk looks at how American blockbusters of the 1950s established connections with technological innovation, prestige, and internationalism, and in the process set up taste hierarchies that continue to influence contemporary big-budget movies.
Lecture 5 (Nov. 7; 10.50-12.25): “The End of the Quiet Years of James Cameron” This lecture proposes the concept of the “technological tentpole,” in which blockbusters are not only cross-media entities but also vehicles to advance new technological systems. This is discussed with a focus on the recent wave of 3D technologies and on the surprising success of Avatar.
Graduate Seminar (Nov. 7; 12.30-14.05): This seminar will involve a guided discussion of international contemporary film practices, with a special focus on research methods and modes of cross-cultural comparison.
  • Introduction.
  • Case studies.
  • More above.
  • Charles Acland, 2007, Residual Media, an edited collection, University of Minnesota Press, pp. 416.
  • Charles Acland, 2003, Screen Traffic: Movies, Multiplexes, and Global Culture. Duke U. Press, pp 337.
  • Charles Acland, 2012, Swift Viewing: The Popular Life of Subliminal Influence, Duke University Press, pp. 328.
  • Charles Acland, 2011, Useful Cinema, edited with Haidee Wasson, Duke University Press, pp. 386.
  • Charles Acland, 1995, Youth, Murder, Spectacle: The Cultural Politics of “Youth in Crisis,” Boulder, CO.: Westview Press, pp. 176.
Teaching methods
Lecture with demonstrations and a discussion.
Assessment methods
Entrance test. Mandatory participation 100%. Test.
Language of instruction
Further comments (probably available only in Czech)
Study Materials
Information on completion of the course: Full time students: 100% presence at the lectures is required. Distance students: two absences are tolerated.
The course is taught only once.
The course is taught: in blocks.
General note: Kurz probíhá v rámci projektu č. CZ.1.07/2.2.00/28.0044 Inovace uměnovědných studijních oborů na Filozofické fakultě MU, který je spolufinancován Evropským sociálním fondem a státním rozpočtem České republiky. Viz. www.phil.muni.cz/music/opvk.

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