CDM 443 | Course Introduction and Application Information

Course Name
History of Documentary Film
Code
Semester
Theory
(hour/week)
Application/Lab
(hour/week)
Local Credits
ECTS
CDM 443
Fall/Spring
3
0
3
4

Prerequisites
None
Course Language
English
Course Type
Elective
Course Level
First Cycle
Course Coordinator -
Course Lecturer(s)
Assistant(s) -
Course Objectives This course examines the documentary through a series of questions: What defines this genre or mode? What truths can documentary claim? In addressing these questions this course considers the documentary film in relation to a wide variety of contexts: historical, political, and aesthetic. Course materials will cover the documentary canon—a set of historically important films — and examine documentary’s recent resurgence as a popular mode of entertainment and as a mechanism of discourse.
Learning Outcomes The students who succeeded in this course;
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the history of documentary filmmaking.
  • Analyze key concepts in documentary filmmaking.
  • Explain various approaches and genres of documentary film.
  • Analyze the close relationship between documentary and social, cultural, political, economic and technological transformations.
  • Compare and contrast the differences and similarities between documentary and fiction film.
  • Critically analyze individual documentary films from different periods and genres in their contexts
  • Distinguish historical differences in documentary films.
Course Content The course will include 1 in-class presentation and two short exams.

 



Course Category

Core Courses
Major Area Courses
X
Supportive Courses
Media and Management Skills Courses
Transferable Skill Courses

 

WEEKLY SUBJECTS AND RELATED PREPARATION STUDIES

Week Subjects Related Preparation
1 Introduction to Documentary Bill Nichols, “Introduction” (pg. xi - xviii) and Chapter 1: How can we Define Documentary Film?”
2 How did the Documentary Come to Be? Screening: Nanook of the North, 1922, Robert Flaherty, 79 mins, and clips from various early documentaries such as Grass & A Propos de Nice Bill Nichols, “Chapter 5: How Did Documentary Filmmaking Get Started?”
3 Social Issues in Documentary Screening: Ekümenopolis, 2011, Imre Azem, 88 min. Bill Nichols, “Chapter 8: How Have Documentaries Addressed Social and Political Issues?” & “Chapter 4: What Makes Documentaries Engaging and Persuasive?” pages 212 – 253.
4 Ethics and Truth in Documentary Screening: Searching for Sugarman, 2012, Malik Bendjelloul, 86 min Bill Nichols, “Chapter 2: Why Are Ethical Issues Central to Documentary Filmmaking?”
5 The Documentary as Propaganda Screening sections of: Triumph of the Will, 1934, 120 mins. & Olympia, 1 hr., 51 mıns., 1938 Leni Riefenstahl, In-Class Quiz Sontag, S. (1975). “Fascinating Fascism”, New York Review of Books, 6 February 1975, pp. 73-105.
6 Forms of Documentary: Poetic Screening: Koyaanisqatsi, 1982 Godfrey Reggio, 87 min. Bill Nichols, “Chapter 6: How Can we Differentiate Among Documentaries?” pages 142 – 166.
7 Forms of Documentary: Expository Screening: Man on Wire, 2008, James Marsh, 94 min. Bill Nichols, “Chapter 6: How Can we Differentiate Among Documentaries?” pages 167 – 172.
8 Forms of Documentary: Observational Screening: Bob Dylan: Don’t Look Back, 1967, D.A. Pennebaker, 96 min. or İki Dil Bir Bavul, Orhan Eskiköy and Özgür Doğan, 2008, 81 mins. Bill Nichols, “Chapter 7: How Can We Describe the Observational, Participatory, Reflexive, and Performative Modes of Documentary Film?” pages 172 – 179.
9 Forms of Documentary: Participatory Screening: Grizzly Man, 2005, Werner Herzog, 1 hr, 44 mins. Bill Nichols, Chapter 7 continued, pages 179 – 194.
10 In-class Presentations
11 Forms of Documentary: Reflexive Screening: Stories We Tell, 2012, Sarah Polley.108 mins. Bill Nichols, Chapter 7 continued, pages 194 – 199.
12 Forms of Documentary: Performative Screening: Waltz with Bashir, 2008, Ari Folman, 90 mins. Bill Nichols, Chapter 7 continued, pages 199 – 212.
13 The Mockumentary Screening: Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, 2006, Larry Charles, 86 mins. Torchin, Leshu. “Cultural Learnings of Borat make for Benefit Glorious Study of Documentary”. Documenting the Documentary: Close Readings of Documentary Film and Video, New and Expanded Edition. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2014.
14 The Future of Documentary Screening: Tower, 2016, Keith Maitland, 98 mins. Final Exam Brody, Richard, “A Hitchcockian Re-Creation of the First Modern Mass Shooting”, The New Yorker, Oct 14, 2016
15 Semester review
16 Semester review

 

Course Textbooks

Bill Nichols, Introduction to Documentary, Indiana University Press, 2017 (3rd Edition).

References

Geoffrey Nowell-Smith, The Oxford History of World Cinema. Oxford University Press, 1996.

 

EVALUATION SYSTEM

Semester Requirements Number Percentage
Participation
1
20
Laboratory / Application
Field Work
Quizzes / Studio Critiques
1
20
Homework / Assignments
Presentation / Jury
1
30
Project
Seminar / Workshop
Portfolios
Midterms / Oral Exams
Final / Oral Exam
1
30
Total

Contribution of Semester Work to Final Grade
4
100
Contribution of Final Work to Final Grade
Total

ECTS / WORKLOAD TABLE

Activities Number Duration (Hours) Workload
Course Hours
Including exam week: 16 x total hours
16
3
48
Laboratory / Application Hours
Including exam week: 16 x total hours
16
Study Hours Out of Class
16
2
Field Work
Quizzes / Studio Critiques
1
6
Homework / Assignments
Presentation / Jury
1
8
Project
Seminar / Workshop
Portfolios
Midterms / Oral Exams
Final / Oral Exam
1
14
    Total
108

 

COURSE LEARNING OUTCOMES AND PROGRAM QUALIFICATIONS RELATIONSHIP

#
Program Qualifications / Outcomes
* Level of Contribution
1
2
3
4
5
1 To develop the habit of critical thinking in areas of cinema and digital media. X
2 To be able to comprehend and discuss theories, concepts and ideas that form the basis of cinema and digital media. X
3 To know and understand practices in areas of cinema and digital media as creative and/or business processes. To be able to see these processes from cultural and historical perspectives.
4 To cultivate awareness in the inter- and multi-disciplinary nature of cinema and digital media, thus developing a dynamic and flexible professional character capable of operating and communicating across a wide range of subject areas. X
5 To develop an understanding of the unity of theory of practice and practice of theory. X
6 To observe norms of work ethic and a thoroughgoing professional ethic.
7 Endowed with the virtues and skills of being self-disciplined, self-critical and self-managerial, to be able to both work independently and as member of a team. X
8 To have the fundamental knowledge and ability to use the technical equipment and software programmes in the areas of cinema and digital media and to possess advanced level computing and IT skills. (“European Computer Driving Licence”, Advanced Level)
9 To be able to follow developments in new technologies of cinema and digital media, as well as new methods of production, new media industries, and new theories; and to be able to communicate with international colleagues in a foreign language (“European Language Portfolio Global Scale”, Level B1). X
10 To be able to use a second foreign language at the intermediate level.
11 To be able to use and develop the acquired knowledge and skills in a lifelong process aimed at the achievement personal and social goals X

*1 Lowest, 2 Low, 3 Average, 4 High, 5 Highest