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124266 KO Critical Media Analysis (2021W)

Ready for her close-up: Re-thinking the femme fatale in American Film Noir

6.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 12 - Anglistik
Continuous assessment of course work
REMOTE
Fr 08.10. 12:15-13:45 Digital

Registration/Deregistration

Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).

Details

max. 26 participants
Language: English

Lecturers

Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

This is a digital CMA class. Attendance is mandatory.
All registered students need to be present in the first session or they will lose their spot in the CMA class.

Friday 15.10. 12:15 - 13:45 Digital
Friday 22.10. 12:15 - 13:45 Digital
Friday 29.10. 12:15 - 13:45 Digital
Friday 05.11. 12:15 - 13:45 Digital
Friday 12.11. 12:15 - 13:45 Digital
Friday 19.11. 12:15 - 13:45 Digital
Friday 26.11. 12:15 - 13:45 Digital
Friday 03.12. 12:15 - 13:45 Digital
Friday 10.12. 12:15 - 13:45 Digital
Friday 17.12. 12:15 - 13:45 Digital
Friday 07.01. 12:15 - 13:45 Digital
Friday 14.01. 12:15 - 13:45 Digital
Friday 21.01. 12:15 - 13:45 Digital
Friday 28.01. 12:15 - 13:45 Digital

Information

Aims, contents and method of the course

Film noir, as feminist film scholar Ann Kaplan points out”offers a space for the playing out of various gender fantasies”(Kaplan, 1998:10). Analyzing the role of femmes fatales in American films noir reveals the complexities of ‘doing femininity’ in patriarchal cultures, since fantasies of women “are sociohistorically based and thus affected by the position of women in any given historical moment”(Grossman, 2009:3).

Based on Judith Butler’s idea how“gender is not exactly what one ‘is’ nor is it precisely what one ‘has’”(Butler, 2004:42) this CMA class sets out to investigate gender dynamics in early American films noir. If gender relations are understood to reflect “the material interests of those who have power and those who do not”(Brittan, 2004:41), then the role of the femme fatale is worth a more deeper investigation.
Building on approaches laid out by feminist film scholars such as Laura Mulvey, Janey Place, Ann Kaplan and Julie Grossman, this course invites students to do “a more nuanced and sympathetic reading of the women”(Grossman, 2009:1) way too easily branded as seductive evil-doers by film critics back in the 1940s&1950s.
Four films from the early period of film noir constitute the primary texts of this class. Relying on the tools from narrative film analysis and feminist film studies students are asked to do a close reading of all films.
Topics of discussion will include:
• How femme fatale characters reflect male post World War Two anxieties about changing gender roles in U.S.society.
• How the treatment of femmes fatales in films noir reveals the toxic sides of patriarchal 
 power structures instead of glorifying them.

Movie List:
Mildred Pierce(Michael Curtis, 1945)
The Postman Always Rings Twice(Tay Garnett, 1946)
In a Lonely Place(Nicholas Ray, 1950)
The Big Heat (Fritz Lang, 1952)

Assessment and permitted materials

The films on the film list are the PRIMARY material for this class.
Students will be required to read a small number of secondary material as well. All reading materials are provided via MOODLE.

Students will be asked to hold short presentations in class, hand in written assignments and take a final written test
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic this will be done either via digital means or 'offline'. More information will follow shortly.

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

The final mark will be based on the results of the final written test, the written assignments and the in-class presentation as well as the in-class participation of the students.The final written test will be based on the course sessions and the required reading, consisting of short questions and essay questions to choose from.

The Final Mark is put together from:
Attendance & In-Class participation -15%
Written Assignments - 20%
In-Class Presentation - 20%
Final Written Exam - 45%

Examination topics

The final mark will be based on the results of the final written test, the written assignments and the in-class presentation as well as the in-class participation of the students.The final written test will be based on the course sessions and the required reading, consisting of short questions and essay questions to choose from.

Key-concepts of masculinity and television studies are the focus of this CMA. In the final test students will be asked to demonstrate their understanding of some of masculinity studies/television studies key concepts.

Reading list

Grossmann, Julie. "Re-thinking the femme fatale in film noir: ready for her close-up".
Kaplan, E. Ann. "Women in film noir".

Association in the course directory

Studium: BA 612, BEd 046/407
Code/Modul: BA07.3; BEd 08a.2, BEd 08b.1
Lehrinhalt: 12-4260

Last modified: Tu 21.09.2021 12:48