TCF 112 Section 001: Motion Pict Hy Criticism

Spring 2013

3 Credit Hours
Primary Instructor: Dr. Jeremy Butler
Core Designation: Humanities, Fine Arts
Syllabus subject to change.
Note: This syllabus contains one or more sections which have restricted viewing. Some content may require only a valid university login, while other content may be limited to students registered for the class.

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Course Description

Development of the cinema, with emphasis on relation of technical advances to film content and style.  


From the Student Records System

No prerequisites found.

Student Learning Outcomes

The student will learn about the history of film and be able to identify some of the major conceptual models (e.g., formalism, genre theory, auteurism, and so on) that have been applied to that history.  

Exams and Assignments

  • There will be three objective (multiple choice, true/false) readings tests over the course of the semester. These closed-book tests will consist of questions drawn from the readings and the films, but not the lectures. They will be worth 15 points each.
  • Additionally, closed-book mid-term (25 points) and final (30 points) exams will be given. These exams will consist of questions drawn from the lectures and referring to the films.

Policy on Missed Exams & Coursework

Make-up tests/exams will be given at the discretion of the instructor. No tests/exams will be given before their scheduled dates.

Outline of Topics

Please refer to the online course schedule for an outline of lecture topics, film screenings, reading assignments and various course resources (including lecture notes).

Grading Policy

Grades will be posted on Blackboard Learn.

Grading scale:

A+ 97-100   C+ 77-79    F  59 and below
A  93-96    C  73-76
A- 90-92    C- 70-72
B+ 87-89    D+ 67-69
B  83-86    D  63-66
B- 80-82    D- 60-62

Required Texts

UA Supply Store Textbook Information


In a sense, there are three "texts" for this course:

  • The course readings: Gerald Mast, Bruce F. Kawin, A Short History of the Movies, Abridged Eleventh Edition (New York: Longman, 2012). There are several versions of this book; be sure to get the correct one.
  • The course lectures
  • The course films

Mast & Kawin will supply the student with the basic facts of film history. The lectures augment those facts with specific interpretations of them. The films themselves illustrate both the readings and the lectures.

Please note: The "class notes" are not required. They are optional. All notes are also available online at no charge.

Attendance Policy

Roll is usually not taken. However, If attendance at class sessions is poor, roll may be taken and factored into the grades.

Extra Credit Opportunities

Typically, two or three extra credit opportunities will be offered, worth no more than 3 points.

Other Course Materials

All films will be shown on DVD and Blu-ray discs in class. There will be no other screenings of the films. Films that are legally available online are marked with an "OV" link in the "Outline of Topics."

Credits are available from the Internet Movie Database. Follow the links below to find credits.


Policy on Academic Misconduct

All students in attendance at the University of Alabama are expected to be honorable and to observe standards of conduct appropriate to a community of scholars. The University expects from its students a higher standard of conduct than the minimum required to avoid discipline. Academic misconduct includes all acts of dishonesty in any academically related matter and any knowing or intentional help or attempt to help, or conspiracy to help, another student.

The Academic Misconduct Disciplinary Policy will be followed in the event of academic misconduct.

Disability Statement

If you are registered with the Office of Disability Services, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible to discuss any course accommodations that may be necessary. If you have a disability, but have not contacted the Office of Disability Services, please call 348-4285 or visit 133-B Martha Parham Hall East to register for services. Students who may need course adaptations because of a disability are welcome to make an appointment to see me during office hours. Students with disabilities must be registered with the Office of Disability Services, 133-B Martha Parham Hall East, before receiving academic adjustments.

Severe Weather Protocol

In the case of a tornado warning (tornado has been sighted or detected by radar, sirens activated), all university activities are automatically suspended, including all classes and laboratories. If you are in a building, please move immediately to the lowest level and toward the center of the building away from windows (interior classrooms, offices, or corridors) and remain there until the tornado warning has expired. Classes in session when the tornado warning is issued can resume immediately after the warning has expired at the discretion of the instructor. Classes that have not yet begun will resume 30 minutes after the tornado warning has expired provided at least half of the class period remains.

UA is a residential campus with many students living on or near campus. In general classes will remain in session until the National Weather Service issues safety warnings for the city of Tuscaloosa. Clearly, some students and faculty commute from adjacent counties. These counties may experience weather related problems not encountered in Tuscaloosa. Individuals should follow the advice of the National Weather Service for that area taking the necessary precautions to ensure personal safety. Whenever the National Weather Service and the Emergency Management Agency issue a warning, people in the path of the storm (tornado or severe thunderstorm) should take immediate life saving actions.

When West Alabama is under a severe weather advisory, conditions can change rapidly. It is imperative to get to where you can receive information from the National Weather Service and to follow the instructions provided. Personal safety should dictate the actions that faculty, staff and students take. The Office of Public Relations will disseminate the latest information regarding conditions on campus in the following ways:

  • Weather advisory posted on the UA homepage
  • Weather advisory sent out through Connect-ED--faculty, staff and students (sign up at myBama)
  • Weather advisory broadcast over WVUA at 90.7 FM
  • Weather advisory broadcast over Alabama Public Radio (WUAL) at 91.5 FM
  • Weather advisories are broadcast via WUOA/WVUA-TV, which can be viewed across Central Alabama. Also, visit for up-to-the-minute weather information. A mobile Web site is also available for your convenience.

Cell-Phone Policy

Cell phones must be turned off.Cell phones must be turned off during classtime--especially during screenings. Text messaging is not permitted during class. Any use of cell phones during exams will be considered academic misconduct.

GPA Requirements

College of Communication & Information Sciences majors must earn a "C" or better in all required and elective courses in their major. A "C" or better is required in all external courses required by the major whether they serve as a prerequisite to a major course or are simply required by the major. This means a "C" of any kind.

Cultural Diversity Statement

This course encourages different perspectives related to such factors as gender, race, nationality, ethnicity, sexual
orientation, religion, and other relevant cultural identities. This course seeks to foster understanding and inclusiveness related to such diverse perspectives and ways of communicating.