Institution code: COMM2489 (RMIT University - Vietnam campus)
Teaching period: Trimesters 1, 3/2016 & Trimester 2/2017
Role: Course Coordinator & Lecturer
I taught and substantially revised this course so that it would (1) address theoretical deficiencies elsewhere in the program curriculum, (2) give prominence to Southeast Asian cinemas instead of focussing exclusively on East Asian & South Asian cinemas, and (3) align with learning objectives set by the university.
Innovations within this course include:
1. Elevating the rigour of academic content assigned for this course, as this course is pitched at the third-year level. Particularly, course materials cover the basics of semiotics, feminist film theory and genre theory. Students are trained to not only understand the basic principles of these theoretical lenses, but also to apply them to reading media texts.
2. Cementing academic literacy through diversifying assessment. Course assessments include (1) a group presentation on cinema histories Asia, (2) an academic essay critiquing film industries in Asia, and (3) a video essay investigating a topic of cinema studies in Asia.
3. Facilitating creative and collaborative learning through the various stages of the group video essay project. Particularly, students are encouraged to engage in academic materials with a view to produce non-traditional outputs that might be of relevance and interest to their future career in the communication industry.
Week 1: Asia’s National Cinemas: Locating the National within the Regional
Screening: Snippets of various Asian cinema examples
Week 2: Cinema of Vietnam: Vietnamese women on the screen
Screening: The Vertical Ray of the Sun (2000) By Tran Anh Hung
Week 3: Cinema of Japan: Genre cinema/B movies
Screening: Tokyo Drifter (1966) By Seijun Suzuki
Week 4: Cinema of China: Traditions and Modernities
Screening: Shanghai Dreams (2005) By Wang Xiaoshuai
Week 5: Student presentations: Cinema Histories in Asia
Week 6: Cinema of Hong Kong: Post-nostalgic Hong Kong on the screen
Screening: In The Mood For Love (2000) By Wong Kar-wai
Week 7: Cinema Industry Research Week (Independent learning week)
Week 8: Cinema of Indonesia: Memories of violence
Screening: The Act of Killing (2012) By Joshua Oppenheimer
Week 9: Cinema of South Korea: Gateway to Asian popular culture
Screening: Oldboy (2003) By Park Chan-wook
Week 10: Cinema of Laos: Contemporary Laos and the Western gaze
Screening: The Rocket (2013) By Kim Mordaunt
Week 11: From Manga to Anime: Animation on the screen
Screening: Akira (1988) By Katsuhiro Otomo