updated 11-1-2004
august 30 monday

first day of class!  highlights for the day include a lecture on the concept of the cinematic/sinematic body, a brief mediation on the conflict of artists (poet/sculptor) in Percy Bysshe Shelley's OZYMANDIAS, loud music by Springsteen (Candy's Room) and Beck (Hollywood Freaks--lyrics in the sinematic bodies archive below), unsolicited photography by the professor, and, last but not least!, a screening and quick discussion of CSODA POK by panOptic.

september 1 wednesday

today opens to the glorious heavy guitar rumblings of the pixies; in our seminar, we go over the basic groundrulez of the class--no spitting, cell-phoning, or whining allowed. gratuitous displays of intellectual prowess, however, are both encouraged and appreciated; later this same day, we begin our screening of BILLY WILDER's SUNSET BOULEVARD and received our first READING ASSIGNMENT: finish NATHANAEL WEST's DAY OF THE LOCUST for NEXT WEDNESDAY, September 8, 2004.

september 6 monday

NO CLASS--LABOR DAY; you are encouraged, of course, to read ALL of WEST's amazing LOCUST NOVEL. As you read DAY OF THE LOCUST, keep your eyes on Homer's hands--think about the relationship of Homer with his hands and how that relates to his doings with the "fairer" sex.  ALSO and AT ALL TIMES: keep the image of Tod Hackett's painting and the relationship between ART and CINEMA foregrounded as you read. If Shelley's OZYMANDIAS was the secret story of a "war" between a SCULPTOR and a POET, then LOCUST can be read as a "war" or a "romance" between a PAINTER and HOLLYWOOD.

september 8 wednesday

we will continue our screening of WILDER's SUNSET BLVD and begin our discussion/analysis of DAY OF THE LOCUST.

September 10, Friday

Today you received a "MICRO-ESSAY" assignment via email; here is that assignment:

micro-essay assignment one! 

Due September 20, 2004, MONDAY, at the beginning of class.  The specifics?  TYPED! TWO-PAGES TOPS! NO COVER PAGE or FOLDER, a STAPLE is fine.  YOU MUST PUT YOUR GTAs NAME on the TOP OF THE ESSAY ABOVE your name. You should have an EYE-GRABBING TITLE. WRITE as if your LIFE depended on it. DO NOT try to guess what we want; merely douse us with the exhilirating force that is YOUR imagination.  What will you write?  Fill in the blanks and complete the following paragraph. TWO pages tops! Can't write that LITTLE? then EDIT EDIT EDIT 

It does not take a great stretch of the imagination to argue that Nathanael West and Billy Wilder share some significant and significantly twisted interests.  For instance, West's Day of the Locust (1939) spends much of its time focusing on ______________________________________ 
___________________; while Billy Wilder's Sunset Boulevard unfolds as an exposé of________________________________________________.  Let's look at one key moment from each work that makes the case for a West/Wilder tale of collusion. [continue this essay selecting specific textual outtakes from West's novel and references to specific scenes/images from Wilder's movie to make your case strong.] 

Having focused on one of the places where the novelistic vision of West and the cinematic eye of Wilder overlap, let us conclude by identifying one of the places they conflict.  Where Nathanael West's satiric fiction illustrates _________________________________ 
___________________, Billy Wilder's tragic comedy seems a tad more interested in_______________________________________. 

sept 13 monday

continue discussion of LOCUST (you MUST have the book finished b4 entering our room!). Also, we will continue our screening of BOULEVARD. ALSO! the KENNETH ANGER book, HOLLYWOOD BABYLON is IN at the bookstore.  Please begin perusing this decadent volume.

sept 15 wednesday

read the first 81 pages of John Berger's WAYS of SEEING and continue your reading in ANGER's HOLLYWOOD BABYLON--all the time you are reading identify connections between WILDER, WEST, ANGER and BERGER. In class we will return to the concept of "sinematic bodies" as we move amidst literature (WEST), film (WILDER), gossip (ANGER) and oil painting (BERGER).

september 20 monday

take-home micro-essay due! finish reading John Berger's WAYS OF SEEING; also, randomly read ANY ten chapters from ANGER's hollywood babylon. 

september 22 wednesday

we will complete our discussion of WILDER, WEST, BERGER and ANGER. time permitting, we will screen a key 10 minute sequence from GIANT directed by George Stevens--in a bizarre twist, the professor will pause the film and madly attempt to do battle with SARGE from GIANT.  More bizarre yet? The professor's strange puppet-show with his hands during his document presentation of BERGER's WAYS OF SEEING.

september 27 monday

enter class having carefully read SCENE FROM THE MOVIE GIANT by TINO VILLANUEVA; guest lecture by the one and only MIKE HIGH today!

septermber 29 wednesday

we will continue our discussion of SCENE FROM THE MOVIE GIANT--Time permitting, we will also begin to talk about some of the photography in Sill's SIX WOMEN PHOTOGRAPHERS--in particular CARRIE MAE WEEMS's work.  Consider the following question as you read:  IS IT POSSIBLE TO READ JOHN BERGER'S SEMIOTIC MEDITATION, WAYS OF SEEING, AND TINO VILLANUEVA'S POETIC MEMOIR, SCENE FROM THE MOVIE GIANT, AS VERSIONS OF EACH OTHER? AS MIRRORS? HOW SO?

IMAGE CREDIT: Carrie Mae Weems, Mirror, Mirror (1987); silver print 

cool lit site run out of SDSU's LIT program--Lanzbom, he of the guitar, is involved; check it out anyway!
october 4, 2004

In class, we will begin screening BLOW-UP, directed by the one and only Michelangelo Antonioni--in preparation for the screeening, reread or, if you are totally lame, READ for the first time pages  129 to 155 in BERGER's WAYS OF SEEING (believe it or not, p. 155 may be the most important "paragraph" of that chapter.

october 6, 2004

BLOW-UP continues its run in our crazy auditorium; additionally, TODAY you get your hands on the prompt/questions sheet for the ANALYTICAL IMAGINATION CHALLENGE, aka, your major essay for the year!
october 11, MONDAY

we continue screening antonioni's meditation on photography! as you watch the film think back on your reading of berger; come to class prepared to read a passage from berger that DIRECTLY relates to Antonioni's opus. also, over the weekend, "READ" & "SEE" SILLS book of photography--is it possible to build a rationale for competing photographic philosophies between Antonioni's "THOMAS" and the real photographer's SILLS anthologizes in her volume?

october 13, WEDNESAY

we will finally finish hanging out with BERGER, ANTONIONI and SILLS. the professor, in retelling the mysteries of PLATO's cave allegory, reveals a peculiar affinity for hand-puppets.  also, read VERY carefully, the three page extract from Susan Sontag's ON PHOTOGRAPHY.

october 18, 2004 MONDAY

come into class having read the first 99 pages (the end of Chapter 6, part 2) of HUXLEY's BRAVE NEW WORLD. try to forget that most of us were forced to read this book in high school.  that is really too, too soon for most folks to figure out the canny and uncanny realities of Huxley's vision/nightmare.  keep BERGER, ANTONIONI, and SILLS foregrounded, the whole issue of mechanical REpresentation in your mind's eye, as you read this masterwork of 20th Century Literature.

october 20, 2004 WEDNESDAY

read to page 145 (the end of Chapter 9) as you thrill to the excesses of "orgy-porgy," "soma," and superstar telecelebrity JOHN, "The Savage."

october 25, MONDAY

read to page 229 (to the end of Chapter 16) in BRAVE NEW WORLD.  As you read, consider the satiric power of Huxley--how does his satire differ from West's; what about Cindy Sherman's? 

october 27, WEDNESDAY


NOVEMBER 1, Monday

Peeping TOM by Michael Powell is screened in the BIG HOUSE, Hardy Tower 140; brace for the sinematic centerpiece of our class project!


Peeping TOM continues!

Memorable Quotes from  Peeping Tom (1960) 
Mark Lewis : Do you know what the most frightening thing in the world is? It's fear. 

Vivian : What would frighten me to death? Set the mood for me, Mark. 
Mark Lewis : Imagine... someone coming towards you... who wants to kill you... regardless of the consequences. 
Vivian : A madman? 
Mark Lewis : Yes. But he knows it - and you don't. 

Mr. Peters : Got a question for you. Which magazine sells the most copies? 
Mark Lewis : Those with girls on the front covers and no front covers on the girls. 

Mrs. Stephens : Instinct's a wonderful thing, isn't it, Mark? A pity it can't be photographed. If I'd listened to it years ago, I - I might have kept my sight. I wouldn't have let a man operate I had no faith in. 


NOVEMBER 8, Monday
Read to the top of page 121 in DENISE CHAVEZ's LOVING PEDRO INFANTE (first page opposite); during seminar we will both grapple with the sensational and sensationally warped vision of Michael Powell AND the delicious prose of Denise Chavez.
CHAVEZ readings continue to around p.200.
NOVEMBER 15, Monday
CHAVEZ readings to around p.300
NOVEMBER 17, Wednesday
Finish Chavez NOVEL; begin reading Spiegelman IN THE SHADOW OF NO TOWERS book!
The completed essay is due November 19th @12noon in the special box in front of my office, AH4117--no late papers accepted; no emailed papers accepted. MAKE SURE YOUR GTA'S NAME IS CLEARLY TYPED ON THE FRONT PAGE OF YOUR ESSAY. NO COVER PAGE NECESSARY.

Monday November 22, 2004

Thanksgiving WEEK-- no class for SINEMATIC BODIES, E220.

Wednesday November 24, 2004

Enjoy your holiday--peace to you and your various beloveds!

Monday, November 29, 2004

Spoken Word/Jazz/Gospel; walk into the room having carefully "read" and having carefully listened to the SPOKEN WORD CD

Wednesday, December 1, 2004 TBA

ENTER THE class having read the entire SPIEGELMAN book.

Monday, December 6 , 2004 
LA Playwright OLIVER MAYER and rising star MARLENE FORTE come to our sinematic den to delight us with some cutting edge theatre-work. Literature as we know it, was born in the raucous festivals of ancient Greece; it is fitting that we close the year with a blast from the mother of LIT!
Wednesday December 8, 2004

Final exam today in class--the exam is comprehensive and CLOSED BOOK, so bring a pen and nothing else. After class, the MIMES will run amuck on campus! Bring your outfit, makeup and attitude!