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.
Course Description 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 Notes/Textbooks

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

Suggested Readings/Materials

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

 

EVALUATION SYSTEM

Semester Activities Number Weigthing
Participation
1
20
Laboratory / Application
Field Work
Quizzes / Studio Critiques
1
20
Homework / Assignments
Presentation / Jury
1
30
Project
Seminar / Workshop
Oral Exams
Midterm
Final Exam
1
30
Total

Weighting of Semester Activities on the Final Grade
4
100
Weighting of End-of-Semester Activities on the Final Grade
Total

ECTS / WORKLOAD TABLE

Semester Activities Number Duration (Hours) Workload
Theoretical 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
Oral Exam
Midterms
Final Exam
1
14
    Total
108

 

COURSE LEARNING OUTCOMES AND PROGRAM QUALIFICATIONS RELATIONSHIP

#
Program Competencies/Outcomes
* Contribution Level
1
2
3
4
5
1

To be able to define and discuss the history, underlying concepts and theories of cinema and digital media.

X
2

To be able to develop a storytelling idea for cinema and digital media arts by using creativity and critical thinking.

X
3

To be able to operate specialized technical equipment and competently use software in the fields of cinema and digital media arts. 

4

To be able to execute the main tasks in the pre-production, production and post-production of an audio-visual work at the basic level including screenwriting, production planning, operating the camera, sound recording, lighting and editing.

X
5

To be able to perform a specialized task at an advanced level either for pre-production, production or post-production of an audio-visual work.

X
6

To be able to discuss how meaning is made through works of cinema and digital media; in what ways economics, politics and culture affect visual representation; how the conditions of production, consumption, distribution and interpretation shape images.

7

To be able to perform specialized tasks for creating digital media narratives with interactive elements.

X
8

To be able to conduct a critical analysis of a film or a work of digital media arts from technical, intellectual and artistic points of view.

9

To be able to take individual responsibility of a film or a digital media work from scratch to product in a problem-solving manner.

X
10

To be able to work as a crewmember by following norms of ethical conduct and taking initiative to improve the ethical standards of his/her working environment.

11

To be able to collect data in the areas of Cinema and Digital Media and communicate with colleagues in a foreign language ("European Language Portfolio Global Scale", Level B1).

X
12

To be able to speak a second foreign language at a medium level of fluency efficiently.

13

To be able to relate the knowledge accumulated throughout the human history to their field of expertise.

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