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Film 2400

Film 2400. A History of Motion Pictures. Syllabus.

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Film 2400

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  1. Film 2400 A History of Motion Pictures

  2. Syllabus • "A film is‑‑or should be‑more like music than like fiction. It should be a progression of moods and feelings. The theme, what's behind the emotion, the meaning, all that comes later. After you've walked out of the theater, maybe the next day, or a week later, may be without ever actually realizing it, you somehow get what the filmmaker has been trying to tell you. “ • ‑‑Stanley Kubrick

  3. Time andLocation: Tuesday, Lecture 12:00-2:15 and Screenings on Friday, 12:00-2:15 Room 101, Computer Science Building • Instructor: Tom Begley • Office: Theatre 202 • E-MAIL: • OR • Phone: 823-2170

  4. WHO IS THIS GUY ANYWAY?(Brief Film/TV Resume) • I have been involved in some of the worst television shows of all time, including Superboy, Swamp Thing, and Seaquest DSV, to name a few. • I have worked on-screen and off on some of the worst motion-pictures of the last 30 years, including Corvette Summer, The Break, Shakma, Oscar, Matinee, Passenger 57, Beverly Hills Cop III, & Parenthood, to name a few.

  5. HOWEVER….. • I’ve also gotten to do a few cool things here and there. For instance, I worked on Props for Back to the Future III and got to serve as Project Manager(Props) for Back to the Future- The Ride at Universal (I am especially proud of the train…which, at the Grand Opening, appeared out of thin air carrying Michael J. Fox and Mary Steenburgen.)

  6. TO ADD INSULT TO INJURY... • I also did work on the former “American Tail” stage and Ghostbusters. • I was one of the props/weapons-masters on The Untouchables. • My character(Purple mohawk, skinny legs…) gets shot by Kurt Russell in Escape From New York as I come out of the sewer….

  7. I’m one of the 30,000 “hippies” in the Washington D.C. scene in “Hair”. • I’m one of the 1000 “spectators” in the stadium in “Parenthood”. Also in “Nothing In Common”. • I’m an extra in Arthur Penn’sFour Friends. • I Spent most of the 80’s propping national television commercials for Pampers, Crest Toothpaste, etc…. • In the 90’s, I had my biggest success as the artistic director for the Music Video “Runaway Train” by Soul Asylum. Also, David Lee Roth’s “Just a Gigolo” and Joan Jett’s “I Love Rock and Roll”.

  8. That was to atone for sins perpetrated while propping about 6 music videos for The New Kids On The Block and that dufus who did Achey-Breaky Heart... • I spent the 70’s as a roadie with : Kiss, Blue Oyster Cult, Hank Williams, Jr and (Oh Gawd…how embarrassing…) Yanni. • I have also served as Lighting Designer for Sawyer Brown, Don Williams, Buddy Guy & Junior Wells, Blue Oyster Cult, and on two occassions had the opportunity to light Frank Sinatra, The Violent Femmes, Echoe and the Bunnymen, & The Butthole Surfers.

  9. I also taught high school at a Dominican Convent for two years, worked in the Nashville (Yeech!!!) music industry, was the Area-Coordinator for Set-Design, Construction, and Special Effects for Full-Sail Center for the Recording Arts for two years, Taught at Webster University in St. Louis, and have now been a proud member of the Theatre Department here at UCF for 7 years (78 shows). • My Shoe-Size is 13 1/2.

  10. Oh Yes, I Almost Forgot... • Somewhere along the way I attended St. Louis University, Loyola University, Trinity College (Dublin, Ireland), Wayne State University, Northwestern University, University of Texas (Houston), and Webster University. • Someday I hope to actually GET a graduate degree.

  11. NOTES AND DISCLAIMERS: • All reasonable accommodation will be made for students with special needs. • Only websites linked from the class site at should be used for research • DON’T believe everything you read on the internet.

  12. OTHER NOTES AND DISCLAIMERS: • By its very nature, this class is intended for adults. Some films and lectures may contain strong language, graphic violence, and partial nudity. • This syllabus is subject to change at the discretion of the instructors.

  13. Well, the lectures won’t containany nudity at all. (Believe me, that would clear the room faster than a Pauli Shore movie.)

  14. The Book • Required Text: Gerald Mast and Bruce Kawin, A Short History of the Movies, • 9th edition (New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1996). • (Pssst….Have a look at •

  15. Screenings: • The syllabus contains a list of the films that are required viewing for this class. Screenings will be in CS101. An attached list of recommended screenings is available to you for extra credit. For one (1) point extra credit on your final grade (not to exceed five (5) points total, you may submit the following information on a one/two, typed sheets of paper.

  16. The Papers • You should know the following for each credit screening: • 1. Title • 2. Year • 3. Director • 4. Plot • 5. Major Star or actor/actress • 6. HAVE AN OPINION. (WHY you think we saw THIS film is a good place to start….)

  17. BIG NO-NO’s…... • DON’T EVER write a paper for me on a film you haven’t seen. I’ll know. Really. • DON’T use profanity or familiar colloquialisms in your papers (i.e., “Dude, I totally hated this flick….) • DON’T worry about disagreeing with me. I’m used to it. I’m married.

  18. TRY NOT TO: • Fall asleep during a screening. If you happen to, DON’T SNORE. You might wake me. If you fall asleep during a lecture, expect to get picked on for the rest of the semester and get nicknamed “Sleepy”. If I have to nickname you “Dopey”, we’ve got a REAL problem...

  19. Also Remember…. • I’ve now seen each of these films approximately 130 times (except for Rocky Horror, which I saw 262 times until my fish-nets wore out…). • If I seem distant, it is only because my brain is full.

  20. Other Resources: • We have assembled a Film History Resource Web-Site at for your use and enjoyment. • USE IT DAILY. THIS IS NOT OPTIONAL.

  21. Grading: • A POINT SYSTEM is used based on the following elements: • 1. Quizzes: 5XIO =50 points • 2. Midterm Exam =50 points • 3. Final Exam =100 points • 4. Attendance at Screenings 15X5 =75Total Points Possible: 275 • A =275‑247 B=246‑220 C=219‑192 D=191‑165 F=164 and below

  22. ClassSchedule: • Week 1 • Course Introduction • Lecture: Tom Begley • In Class Film: "Before The Nickelodeon"* SCREENING: "Trip to the Moon" George Melies • *"The Great Train Robbery," Edwin S. Porter

  23. Week 2 • Beginnings • Lecture: Tom Begley • In Class Films: *"Biography: D.W.Griffith” • *SCREENING: "Birth of A Nation" (excerpts) TEXT: Chapter 3,

  24. Week # 3 • The Creation of Hollywood: The Studios • QUIZ#1 • Lecture: Tom Begley • *In Class Film: "The Creation of United Artists" • *SCREENING: "The Gold Rush,"Charlie Chaplin. TEXT: Chapter 3

  25. Week#4 • The OTHER Hollywood • Lecture: Tom Begley *In Class Film: "Expressionism and Surrealism" • *SCREENING: Nosferatu"". • TEXT: Chapter 4 • ON THE WEB: "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" • TEXT: Chapter 4

  26. Week #5 • Week #5 Meanwhile, Back in the USA--- Vaudeville, The 3 Stooges, and Why You Still laugh when Curly says, "LOOK at the Grouse!" • Lecture: Tom Begley • Screening: "The Coconuts" (Marx Brothers) OR "Animal Crackers" TRIPLE-BONUS EXTRA CREDIT SCREENING FOR THE INTELLECTUALS: • "The Battleship Potemkin"

  27. Week #6 • Week #6 The Origins of the Propaganda Film. • Lecture: Tom Begley • In Class Film: "Triumph of The Will" (excerpts)/The Making of 'Casablanca'" • TEXT: Chapter 5 • SCREENING: "Casablanca"

  28. Week #7 • The Golden Age of Hollywood: 1930‑1939 • Lecture: Tom Begley • QUIZ #2 • In Class Film: "The Making of ‘Citizen Kane’“ • *SCREENING: "Citizen Kane" Orson Welles TEXT: Chapter 6

  29. Week #8 • MIDTERM EXAM DUE • Threat of Television: the 50's • Lecture: Mr.. Tom Begley • n Class Film: "Directors" • *SCREENING: "Rebecca" TEXT: Chapter 8

  30. Week #9 • Week # 9 The 1950's-1960's: Kubrick, Penn, and The Avant Garde: • Lecture: . Tom Begley • SCREENING: "Dr.Strangelove" OR "A Clockwork Orange" OR "2001: A Space Odyssey" OR "Bonnie and Clyde" • TEXT: Chapter 9

  31. Week # 10 • Week #10 Social Revolution and Change in Film: The 70's And and Why People My Age Can't Remember Them.... • Lecture: Tom Begley • SCREENING: "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" • TEXT: Chapter 10

  32. Week #11 • "Raiders", "Star Wars", and the Beginning of the End/ QUIZ#4 • OR "Bring Me the Head of Jar-Jar Binks”: * Postmodernism & Satire Lecture: Tom Begley *SCREENING: "Army of Darkness" Raimi TEXT: Chapter 11

  33. Week #12 • Foreign Avant Guard: Who's out there,What's a Kurasawa?, and Why do the French INSIST on being Obtuse? Lecture: Tom Begley Screening: "City of Lost Children" • Text: Aren't we done with the bloody book yet???

  34. Week #13 • Hope For Hollywood: Digital Actors, Digital Cameras, And Why "Orange County" sucks... • QUIZ#5 • SCREENING: "Lord of the Rings" Part I

  35. Week #14 • Where are you taking me and Why am I Going there?: Hollywood in the Digital Age • Lecture: Tom Begley • Screening: "Lord of the Rings" Part II

  36. Week #15 • Wrap-Up Discussion • Screening: TBA • FINAL EXAM DUE!!!! • FINAL EXAM FINAL EXAM FINAL EXAM

  37. Final Notes: • All papers must be typed • (double spaced ). Keep a copy. Late papers are dropped half a letter grade per day .You may resubmit one revised paper. Your original grade will be replaced with your revised grade. You may also e-mail me a draft copy at or

  38. Attendance and Lateness: • Regular attendance is necessary. All absences must be documented and explained. Your grade will drop after three (3) unexcused absences. It will drop further for every absence after that . Lateness is also unacceptable and, if frequent, results in the same penalties as absence. Needless to say, attendance at all required film screenings is mandatory. Work in class depends on acquaintance with the films. Absence from a film screening falls under the same rules as outlined

  39. “I’ll take ‘WHY JOHNNY CAN’T WRITE’ for 20, Alex…” • Referral to the Writing Center will assist you if you have spelling, grammar or stylistic problems. We will provide you with essential rules and advice. Their application is up to you. We will, however, work on recurring collective errors. If you have any questions, problems or difficulties do not hesitate to see me. I hold regular office hours and invite you to discuss your papers and ideas with me. • If you have any questions, problems or difficulties do not hesitate to see me. I hold regular office hours and invite you to discuss your papers and ideas with me.

  40. And Finally……. • NOBODY who has turned in all the assignments, taken all the tests, and saw all of the films has EVER • failed this class.

  41. HOWEVER, • About 30 of you will, on the average. • (This is about the same number of you, • who will, coincidentally and statistically, • be married and divorced by the age of 26.) Go figure….

  42. And Finally…. • PLAGIARISM: By far the easiest way to fail this class. I read EVERY word of EVERY paper you turn in. I check all of the major websites for term-papers, etc. Two years ago, 5 frat guys turned in the same essay. Trouble was, it was an essay that I wrote in 1980 and posted to a film-site.

  43. They don’t go here anymore. (Probably at UF by now…)

  44. Small Bits of Advice…. • This class is supposed to be fun. • I don’t give a damn what Siskel & Ebert think. I want to know what YOU think. • Some films on our list may be objectionable to some of you on moral/psychological grounds (A Clockwork Orange comes to mind). Alternates ARE available.

  45. REMINDER: • This a class of 420 people. I will try to learn your names. If I do, it is either because your work is outstanding in general or non-existent in particular. Try not to take offense at this. • PARTICIPATION is key to making this class fun. We will SHARE our opinions in equal measure.

  46. For Our Special-Needs Students: • (This category DOES NOT yet include narcolepsy.) • If you have a diagnosed handicap (A.D.D., Autism, Tourettes Syndrome, an Undergraduate Degree from U.F., etc.) PLEASE let me know early in the term. • I WILL ENDEAVOUR TO DO THE FOLLOWING:

  47. HOWEVER….. • Since not even I tend to know what I’m going to do next, this will not always be possible. I tend to be VERY animated.. (ever see a Sam Kinnison stand-up routine? Kind of like that, but without all of the swearing. OK, without some of the swearing….).

  48. TO REACH ME: • MY OFFICE HOURS ARE 07:30AM-09:00 Monday through Thursday. • MY OFFICE is in Theatre, Room 202. • MY OFFICE PHONE is (407)823-2170 (Ask for Tom, because if you ask for Mr. Begley they will have no idea who you want to speak to….) • E-MAIL:


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