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Hello all,

Are the materials for this course still online somewhere? (Or is there a kind soul who may be able to provide them?) A recent trip to Los Angeles inspired me to revisit film noir in a comprehensive for the first time in a decade and Summer of Darkness is perfect for what I want, but obviously long since passed. I’ve emailed TCM with the same question but haven’t received a reply. Any tips out there, even if it is just a syllabus? All I’ve found is the TV schedule. Many thanks in advance for any suggestions!


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Here is the syllabus:  I may be able to get you some other things...It is available to me through review.  Can't attach it so will try to copy.  Course Overview:
In this nine-week course, we’ll go back in film history to investigate the "The Case of Film
Noir"—the means, motives, and opportunities that led Hollywood studios to make these hardboiled
crime dramas, arguably their greatest contribution to American culture.
This course will run concurrently with the Turner Classic Movies "Summer of Darkness”
programming event, airing 24 hours of films noir every Friday in June and July 2015. This is
the deepest catalog of film noir every presented by the network (and perhaps any network),
and provides an unprecedented opportunity for those interested in learning more to watch
over 100 classic movies as they investigate “The Case of Film Noir.”
Both the course and the associated films will enrich your understanding of the film noir
phenomenon—from the earliest noir precursors to recent experiments in neo-noir. You will be
able to share thoughts online and test your movie knowledge with a worldwide community of
film noir students and fans.
Course Outcomes:
Students will:
• gain a deeper appreciation of classic Hollywood movies
• be able to identify the characteristics of a film noir
• able to explain the origins and history of film noir
• be able to perform close analyses of films noir
Instructor Bio:
This is the second time I am teaching this course on the Canvas Network, and the first time in
conjunction with TCM's "Summer of Darkness" film noir festival. I received my Ph.D. in Critical
Studies from USC's School of Cinematic Arts. I am the co-author of The Maltese Touch of Evil:
Film Noir and Potential Criticism (University Press of New England, 2011). I am the co-host of
the long-running podcast series, "Out of the Past: Investigating Film Noir." In addition to my
interests and expertise in film noir, I am Executive Director of iLearn Research at Ball State
University where I specialize in teaching and learning innovations for online, blended, and
face-to-face environments.
None. This course welcomes all students interested in film noir and is intended for learners at
all levels. If you have limited knowledge of film studies and/or film noir, I have provided
additional web resources in the first module ("Getting Started") that are likely to be helpful to
you. Please review them prior to watching the first lecture of this course. In the first module,
you can also take two short ungraded quizzes to assess and help you determine your current
level of understanding of key film terms and film noir, prior to taking this course.
TCM Presents Into the Darkness Course Syllabus
Ball State University, 2015
"TCM's Summer of Darkness" Film Schedule:
A great opportunity in this course is the ability to watch over
100+ films noir on TCM in June and July 2015. This is a rare
chance to see noir movies with a community of learners. Airing
every Friday in June and July, plan ahead to watch as many
films as you can, or to set your DVRs for later viewing. If you
don't have access to TCM, this course will provide you free
links to public domain films noir you can view on the Internet.
Student Responsibilities and Online Etiquette:
This course will have a large number of students from all over the world. There will be
students with a lot of film noir knowledge, and others just learning about film noir for the first
time. Please act responsibility in all communications and discussions with the other students.
This course does not allow vulgarity, personal attacks, rude posts, or any other kinds of
disrespectful language or abusive engagement with other students. Please treat the other
students in this course with the same standards and common courtesy as if you were in a
traditional face-to-face classroom with an instructor present. Please respect the time of other
students in this course, as everyone is voluntarily participating in these learning activities.
Since we will have students from all around the world, please be sensitive to different cultural
backgrounds and beliefs and take that into consideration when you are posting a comment or
Beyond enrolling in the Canvas course, you will also be asked to participate on social media,
a video annotation project, and on TCM message boards. Each of the websites and web tools
outside of the Canvas Network have different rules and user agreements, so please make
sure you are familiar with the policies and rules of those other service providers.
Flexible Learning Options:
One of the challenges of teaching a large open online course is recognizing that different
students will have different goals and time commitments as they are participating in this
course. This learning experience has been designed to be flexible. You can choose amount
of time you want to commit to this course. Each weekly lesson is anchored by a short video
lecture (20-30 minutes) that establishes the basic themes of that module. After viewing the
video, you can choose to plunge deeper into additional readings and notes on the lecture,
listen to podcasts that provide a model of close analysis of specific films, and participate in
the course's discussions on social media and on the message boards. At the end of each
weekly module, you can take a quiz that tests your knowledge on the current module.
Course Completion Certificate:
If you want to earn a completion certificate for this course, you will have to complete five
weekly quizzes and take one final exam. Your cumulative score for the quizzes and exams
must be 70% or greater to earn a certificate.
Quiz 1 15% of final grade
Quiz 2 15% of final grade
Quiz 3 15% of final grade
Quiz 4 15% of final grade
Quiz 5 15% of final grade
Final Exam 25% of final grade
TCM Presents Into the Darkness Course Syllabus
Ball State University, 2015
Weekly Schedule:
Week One: Getting Started/New Students Start Here (June 1 – June 6, 2015)
Week One is your orientation to the course. All of the set-up information for the course can be
found in this first module. Make sure you complete all set up tasks before starting Week 2
(regardless of when you join this course). There is no lecture in Week 1.
Week Two: The Heist: What is Film Noir? (June 7 – June 13, 2015)
Themes Covered: Film noir as a new kind of film; defining film noir; approaches to the study of
film noir
Learning Activities:
• Engage with "A Daily Dose of Darkness" (five minutes a day, Mondays-Thursdays)
• Watch "The Case of Film Noir – Part 1: The Heist"
• Read "Notes on Lecture 1: The Heist"
• Read "Summer of Darkness" Viewing Guide and select your films to watch
• Listen to the podcast on The Maltese Falcon
• Participate on Twitter and join in discussions on the message boards
• Take Quiz 1
Week Three: The Set-Up: Film Noir and its Influences (June 14 – June 20, 2015)
Themes Covered: Cinematic precursors to noir; noir and other art forms (photography,
painting, jazz, theater); literary precursors to noir, especially hardboiled detective fiction
Learning Activities:
• Engage with "A Daily Dose of Darkness" (five minutes a day, Mondays-Thursdays)
• Watch "The Case of Film Noir – Part 2: The Set-Up"
• Read "Notes on Lecture 2: The Set-Up"
• Read "Summer of Darkness" Viewing Guide and select your films to watch
• Listen to the podcast on Murder My Sweet
• Participate on Twitter and join in discussions on the message boards
• Take Quiz 2
Week Four: The Means: Film Noir and the Studio System (June 21 – June 27, 2015)
Themes Covered: Overview of the Hollywood studio system (1930s-1950s); A vs. B pictures;
the visual motifs of film noir
Learning Activities:
• Engage with "A Daily Dose of Darkness" (five minutes a day, Mondays-Thursdays)
• Watch "The Case of Film Noir – Part 3: The Means"
• Read "Notes on Lecture 3: The Means"
• Read "Summer of Darkness" Viewing Guide and select your films to watch
• Listen to the podcast on Detour
• Participate on Twitter and join in discussions on the message boards
• Take Quiz 3
TCM Presents Into the Darkness Course Syllabus
Ball State University, 2015
Week Five: Fourth of July Break / No Class (June 28 – July 4, 2015)
There is no class this week due to the holiday, but this is also a great week to get caught up if
you are behind in the class.
Week Six: The Motives: Film Noir Themes and Characters (July 5 – July 11, 2015)
Themes Covered: The psychological and philosophical underpinnings of film noir; "tough
guys" and femmes fatale as central characters in film noir
Learning Activities:
• Engage with "A Daily Dose of Darkness" (five minutes a day, Mondays-Thursdays)
• Watch "The Case of Film Noir – Part 4: The Motives"
• Read "Notes on Lecture 4: The Motives"
• Read "Summer of Darkness" Viewing Guide and select your films to watch
• Listen to the podcast on The Killers
• Participate on Twitter and join in discussions on the message boards
• Take Quiz 4
Week Seven: The Opportunity: Film Noir in the Postwar Period (July 12 – July 18, 2015)
Themes Covered: The role of World War II and the ensuing postwar period (from 1946 into the
1950s); the Hollywood blacklist; the role of censorship; the rise of television
Learning Activities:
• Engage with "A Daily Dose of Darkness" (five minutes a day, Mondays-Thursdays)
• Watch "The Case of Film Noir – Part 5: The Opportunity"
• Read "Notes on Lecture 5: The Opportunity"
• Read "Summer of Darkness" Viewing Guide and select your films to watch
• Listen to the podcast on The Hitch-hiker
• Participate on Twitter and join in discussions on the message boards
• Take Quiz 5
Week Eight: Cracking the Case of Film Noir (July 19 – July 25, 2015)
Themes Covered: Review of the course; Bringing all the evidence together
Learning Activities:
• Engage with "A Daily Dose of Darkness" (five minutes a day, Mondays-Thursdays)
• Read "Cracking the Case of Film Noir: Some Final Thoughts"
• Read "Summer of Darkness" Viewing Guide and select your films to watch
• Listen to the podcast on Touch of Evil
• Participate on Twitter and join in discussions on the message boards
• Review for final exam
Week Nine: Final Exam and Special Guest: Eddie Muller (July 19 – July 25, 2015)
If you want to earn a certificate, you have to take the final exam. Also, we conclude the course
with a one-hour online video discussion about film noir with TCM's on-air host for "Summer of
Darkness," Eddie Muller. Visit our Canvas course site for more information about this event

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Hi, I can still access the notes from the lessons through my completed courses, however they were not done in a pdf format as the newer courses are.  It would take much copying and pasting so I would need some time, but I would be happy to do it as long as it's not breaking any rules.  For instance, here is Part 1:

Part One: 
Entering Noir Country

Pay attention to the first few minutes of a film. Right after the studio logo is prominently displayed, a filmmaker has a job to do: namely, to establish the film's story world and get you in a certain frame of mind. While many opening sequences might seem perfunctory, they are your entrance into the narrative and evince a visual style that fits the tale to be told. At first glance, not much appears to be happening during the opening credit sequence of Out of the Past (RKO Pictures, 1947). Yet there are subtle details and deliberate shots designed to draw you in, establish the movie's mood and atmosphere, and set the stage for the action to come. Like many films noir, Out of the Past begins on the open road. The camera follows a single car from an angle that intentionally restricts your knowledge of key information. First, it is not clear where the driver is headed--the only visible road sign points in many possible directions. Second, it is not clear who the driver is. We only see him from behind with his head covered by a fedora. Driving with his back to us, the mysterious opening leads to several questions: Who is this man? What's his backstory? Where is he headed? What does he want? What will he do when he gets there? Beyond a shadow of a doubt, even during the credit sequence of this archetypal noir film, there is no mistaking that you, as well as the unknown driver, have entered noir country. We will be spending the next nine weeks exploring this, and other bleak and bitter environs of noir country, as we hurtle headlong deeper and deeper into the shadows. 

Like the opening of Out of the Past, this course has to set up its premises and establish its mood and atmosphere. In this regard, I recognize that each student will come to this course with their own backstory and their own objectives. You might be a lifelong learner, a film noir fanatic, a TCM viewer, a university student, an online learner, a retiree, a movie geek, or any number of other personas that would make this course something you want to check out. You might have already seen dozens, even hundreds, of noir films, and now want to dig deeper into what makes them tick. Or you might have seen very few films noir and you are curious what all the fuss is about. Regardless of your starting point or your final destination, by joining this course you are agreeing to go on a collaborative journey into the darkness of film noir. At the onset, it would help me if I knew a bit more about you and your backstory. I would like to ask you to answer a few questions, so that I can suggest a customized learning plan just for you:

[Then it goes into the next page, which I think was a survey, now closed]

Let me know if this works for you. 

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Hi again,

Here is Lecture Note #1, "The Heist - Part 1 of 4: No Bottom".  

This was the first lesson for the week of 6/7-6/15, 2015.

Part One:
No Bottom


Whenever we see a pattern, or notice a resemblance, or identify things that belong to the same family tree in the arts--whether it is in the movies, painting, music, you name it--we tend to give a name or a label to it: to help identify it, to shorthand its importance and relevance. In movies, sometimes those resemblances or moments that we see are connected through the work of an individual. Think of names or labels such as the Queen of Film Noir (a label that has been applied to several of our most luminous actresses of the classic era such as Gloria Grahame, Barbara Stanwyck, Ann Sheridan, or Lizabeth Scott), the Master of Suspense (Alfred Hitchcock), or the King of the B's (often used to describe director Edgar Ulmer). In and of itself, a label is nothing more than a classification--a shorthand that helps us celebrate and remember a terrific body of work that share thematic and stylistic similarities. However, there can be a downside to applying labels: any label can obscure the full range of that work as much as it can reveal it. That reality of labels only intensifies as the body of work we are discussing gets larger and larger. Think about the way we typically discuss hundreds of individual films as forming a creative cluster: Westerns, gangster films, female melodramas, heist films, detective thriller, etc. These labels help us organize our thoughts and discuss our approaches to large bodies of films that share similarities and traits worth considering, yet they also provide us the chance to discuss how certain films don't fit, challenge, or go against the grain of those labels. 

I begin with a point about labels, patterns, resemblances, traits, and naming conventions, because we are confronted in this course with one of the most challenging and important labels of the classical Hollywood era: film noir. And this is a film term that literally has "no bottom." No one has yet gotten to, nor is anyone likely ever going to get to, the bottom of the mystery of film noir. However, we still have much we can learn and share as we plunge into its darkest depths. And because film noir has no bottom, that is why we need to continue to watch these films with fresh eyes and seek out new discoveries and new insights. 

This week, we will continue our investigation into the central question of this course: What is film noir? That pivotal question can and will be approached from a variety of perspectives, but let's start by going back in time--back before 1946, back to a point in film history before anybody ever heard of the term, film noir. This is a great week to do such an investigation because we have the chance to watch nine films on June 12th (TCM's Summer of Darkness) that wrapped their productions between 1942 and 1945. When those early 1940s films were made, no one (not any writer, any director, any critic) had yet labeled any of these films as film noir. 

If this all seems like a bit of paradox, let me explain. Film noir is a label for a certain kind of Hollywood film, that as we will hear shortly in the first video lecture, was first applied in 1946 by French film critics. Films such as The Maltese Falcon, Journey into Fear, The Glass Key, Laura, Murder My Sweet, or Detour, among many others, were not made as at that time as "film noir." We only perceive them as film noir in retrospect or in hindsight. If we could go back in time and ask them on the set, the filmmaking crews on those films would have told you they were making a tough detective thriller or a gritty melodrama. But they would not have said they were making a film noir. For example, here are some of the ways these films were described by contemporary film reviewers at the time. Of Murder My Sweet, critic Bosley Crowther of the New York Times hailed it as a "superior piece of tough melodrama." (1945) A critic for the Los Angeles Times described Detour as "one of the most poignant and disturbing stories to reach the screen in any year." (1945). But you could comb through all of the contemporary newspaper accounts on these films before 1945 and you won't stumble across any writer or critic who typed these two little words into their reviews: film noir. 

Film noir, as we use it today, simply did not exist as part of the cultural discourse prior to 1946. So as we investigate our central questions on film noir, we should acknowledge the strange and enduring power of that particular label, film noir, when it finally did come out of the shadows and into the light in 1946. One has to admit, regardless of whatever struggles we might find in attempting to pin down exact definitions of what film noir is or what it means, that the critics, in their first investigations and viewings of these films, knew something was different about these films--they saw that these films were grittier and more disturbing than other films at that time--and they wrote about it. When a couple of sharp French critics in 1946 went searching for a name or label to describe these new kinds of films, they sensed the need for yet another new label. And we can acknowledge, with great confidence almost 70 years later, when they proposed labeling these movies as "film noir," they nailed the name that stuck. 



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  • 2 weeks later...

Would it seem ridiculous to request sharing information to access the course? I don't know what harm it could cause other than someone perhaps sabotaging later film class which I would hope sounds ridiculous. I would love to comb through the material almost as if auditing the class. I love film noir and of course I've been able to take every class but the noir one. I would be willing to swap info through direct message for someone who perhaps missed one of the other classes but was able to take the noir one. 

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