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Faculty

Colin Capers

Colin Capers
207-288-5015, ext. 5811 | ccapers@coa.edu

Colin focuses on the historical, theoretical and cultural contexts of moving picture imagery in all mediums. He divides his time between teaching and his work as a film projectionist and programmer outside of the College. He has been experimenting in video since 1992, has exhibited recently as an installation artist, and won the emerging filmmaker award at the 2009 Lumina festival in Waterville, Maine.

B.A. College of the Atlantic, 1995
M.Phil. College of the Atlantic, 2008




Courses Taught

HS654Film Theory

How do motion pictures express ideas? Why do we respond to them in the ways we do? Film theorists have approached these questions from contexts as diverse as formal composition (sound, mise-en-scene, color, cinematography and editing), signs and symbols (semiotics), cultural and/or gender concerns, and psychoanalysis. In this class, we will practice using these and other theories to understand and analyze moving pictures. Each week we will screen one or two feature length movies as well as a number of short films. Screenings will be complemented by source texts from critics, theorists, artists/filmmakers and cinephiles. Students may choose to take this course as writing intensive; those who do will be required to write and revise three or four critical response essays based in analytical frameworks covered in the course. All students will be required to complete a final research paper and presentation. Students should expect to spend 7-9 hours a week in class meetings, labs and screenings (in addition to writing, research). Students will be evaluated on papers, final project and participation in discussions. Writing Focus option. Level: Introductory/intermediate. Previous art class recommended. Class limit: 12. Lab fee: $30 *WFO*

AD378History of Filmmaking (1895-1945)

This course explores the history, production and meanings of motion pictures. Using various films as case studies, we will look at the development of film forms, techniques and genres, beginning in the 1890s and progressing through the first fifty years of cinema history. The films studied will include: narrative, avant-garde, documentary, and animation. Students will learn concepts of film analysis and criticism. Students will have opportunities to practice critical skills in class discussions, and in research and writing assignments. Students will be evaluated based on attendance, participation in class discussion, and written papers. Writing focus option. Level: Introductory. Class limit: 15. Lab fee: $35. *HY* *AD* *WFO*

AD438History of Filmmaking (1946-Present)

D. W. Griffith, pioneer of early cinema, prophesied in 1924 that by 2024 cinema would have been instrumental in "eliminating from the face of the civilized world all armed conflict". Where have things gone wrong? Cinema is a powerful medium that in many ways is still struggling to find its place among the other arts; there are many promising byways that have been overlooked or under-explored. This course explores the histories, production and meanings of motion pictures. Using various films as case studies, we will look at the development of film forms, techniques and genres from 1946 to the present - the second half of cinema history. Films studied will include examples of narrative, documentary, animation, and the avant-garde. Students will learn concepts of film analysis and criticism, and will have opportunities to practice critical skills in class discussions and in research and writing assignments. Evaluation will be based on attendance, participation in class discussion, written papers, and research presentations. Film gives us the opportunity to, in the words of David Lynch, "get lost in another world...to dream in the dark". Who decides which dreams we will see? Through an understanding of where cinema has been we can more effectively shape its, and our, future. Writing Focus option. Level: Intermediate. Lab fee: $35. *AD* *HY* *WFO*

HE1010Human Ecology Core Course

Human Ecology is the interdisciplinary study of the relationships between humans and their natural and cultural environments.  The purpose of this course is to build a community of learners that explores the question of human ecology from the perspectives of the arts, humanities and sciences, both in and outside the classroom.  By the end of the course students should be familiar with how differently these three broad areas ask questions, pose solutions, and become inextricably intertwined when theoretical ideas are put into practice.  In the end, we want students to be better prepared to create your own human ecology degree through a more in depth exploration of the courses offered at College of the Atlantic.  We will approach this central goal through a series of directed readings and activities.

Level:  Introductory.  Lab fee: $25.  Meets the following degree requirements: HE

HS778Introduction to Screenwriting

This class explores the craft of writing for the screen. We will read a wide range of screenplays and teleplays, examining approaches for projects varying in length and dramatic scope. A study of basic Hollywood three-act structure will be balanced against a range of alternative strategies. Plot, character, dialogue and format will all be covered. Students will write throughout the term, and will have the option of focusing on several short (5-15 minute) scripts, one mid-length (30-45 minute) script, or the first half of a feature-length (90 minute) script. All writing will be reviewed in group critiques, allowing students to benefit from multiple perspectives and to hear their dialogue in the mouths of others. Students will be expected to revise each piece through several drafts. Workshop sessions will be augmented by weekly screenings. Some background in creative writing or narrative theory is helpful but not essential. Evaluation will be based on class participation, overall conceptual coherence, and quality of written work. Level: Introductory/Intermediate *HS* Limit 12. Lab fee: $30

HS669Philosophy at the Movies

The enormous success of movies has proven their entertainment value, but movies have also been used to explore concepts and situations that are on the frontiers of imagination and serve as a unique medium for articulating the limits of human possibility. Films can not only be taken as illustrations of various philosophical issues but can also be seen as a unique way of working through philosophical issues that can hardly be stated in other media. This class will examine a series of films that raise issues dealing with the nature and limits of the human and natural worlds. Besides the usual discussion classes, there will be evening "lab" classes each week devoted to screening films of conceptual interest. A series of short analytical papers will be required. Level: Introductory/intermediate. Class limit: 20.

HS756Post Colonial African Cinema

Africa was the last continent to develop a culture of filmmaking controlled by its indigenous peoples; 1966 saw the first African film to be produced independent of Colonial control (although still largely in an oppressor's language, in this case French). The fact that African film was nascent at a time of worldwide revolution, at a time in which most other filmmaking regions were entering second or third waves of creative renewal, combined with a historical lack of financial support for the filmmaking enterprise - a symptom of ubiquitous financial and political instability - has resulted in some of the most unique, diverse cinema of the past fifty years. Ranging from the established, artistic, state-regulated cinema of Burkina Faso to the populist, truly independent movies coming out of Nigeria (home of the second-largest film-producing industry in the world), the African continent has given birth to new voices and new models of production and distribution that challenge established norms. These models may offer a new paradigm for a worldwide industry which is struggling in the face of fragmented audiences and new, potentially more egalitarian, technologies. Although African films have been receiving worldwide acclaim for decades, it is only recently that many of these ground-breaking films have received attention or been available for viewing in the United States. Course texts, screenings and discussions will be supplemented by individual research projects. Level: Introductory/Intermediate. Recommended prerequisite: a course in film studies or anthropology. Class limit: 20. Lab fee: $40. *HS* *WF* optional

HS757Proust, Joyce, and Beckett: The Limits of Language

Samuel Beckett's early studies of the masterworks of Marcel Proust ("?la recherche du temps perdu," translated into English as "In Search of Lost Time") and James Joyce ("Finnegans Wake") are a useful starting point for examining the work of these three individuals as a particularly tightly-knit cluster of sensibilities working on the cusp of Modernism's slide into Postmodernism. All three writers were attempting to describe the totality of human existence, as particularly lived and reflected at the times they lived in. For Proust and Joyce this endeavor entailed a precise, expansive, and exhaustive technique, whereas Beckett responded with a contracted use of language reflecting a dwindling human capacity to comprehend our circumstance. All three authors challenged readers' perceptions of form and pushed language to the limits of its potential. In this course we will read extensively from "In Search of Lost Time," "Ulysses" and "Finnegans Wake" finishing with Beckett's trilogy of "Molloy," "Malone Dies," and "The Unnameable." Several of Beckett's short plays and late prose pieces will also be studied. These readings will be supplemented with critical, cultural, and historical studies by Badiou, Cioran, Campbell, Pinter, Kristeva, Luk?, Zizek, and others. Level: Advanced. Prerequisites: The Nature of Narrative or signature of instructor. Class limit: 15. Lab fee: $60. *HS*

AD488Watching Globally: Intro to Contemporary Cinema of the World

What happens to us when we walk into a movie theater? What are our expectations? To what degree are we prepared to be challenged or confronted by something new or different? Of approximately 5000 films produced yearly worldwide, fewer than 5% are given a general U.S. theatrical release. Of these 250, fewer than 30 come from outside the Hollywood system. There are wonderful, unique movies being made every day that most of us will never know exist. This is largely due to entrenched ideas of how to play it commercially "safe," but also has a great deal to do with a national isolationism which Hollywood films support and perpetuate. What are filmmakers in other countries focusing their attentions on? What stylistic choices are they making? How does one find out about these other films, let alone see them? In this class we will watch movies made within the last twelve years in Austria, Belgium, Burkina Faso, Canada, China, Greece, Hungary, Iran, Russia, Taiwan, Thailand and many other countries--films made by directors the rest of the world acknowledges as masters but who are virtually unknown in the U. S. Critical and theoretical essays from a variety of sources will offer detailed readings on the individual films as well as give a clear picture of how Hollywood functions to silence other voices and the ramifications of these practices on world finance and culture. Among topics covered will be: new media, the digital revolution, the changing face of copyright law, how movies can mask cultural assumptions and reinforce stereotypes or reveal new ways of seeing/perceiving. Evaluation will be based on class participation, weekly response papers, and a final paper/presentation.

Level:  Introductory. Prerequisites: none. Class limit: 15. Lab fee: $45 *AD*

HS2039Writing Seminar II: Argumentation

A logical sequence to Writing Seminar I, this course emphasizes argument and persuasion.  The assigned readings show students not only how others passionately and creatively argue points but how argument and persuasion are integral to writing effective papers on topics ranging from the need to diversify the student body to protecting Atlantic salmon.  Like Writing Seminar I, this course also requires library research and an understanding of different forms of documentation. Writing Seminar II is offered with Credit/No Credit grading option only.

Level: Introductory/Intermediate.  Prerequisites:  none,  Offered every year.  Class limit: 12.  Meets the following degree requirements: W