Five College Associate Professor of Film/Video Production
Baba Hillman, Five College associate professor of film and video, grew up in Japan, Venezuela, and Panama. She received a B.A. from Duke University, and an M.F.A. from the University of California, San Diego.
Her films and videos have screened in festivals and museums including Rencontres Paris/Berlin, Anthology Film Archives, MIX, European Media Festival 2000 (Osnabruck), Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, Corcoran Gallery/Washington Project for the Arts, and L.A. Freewaves. Her performance/media work has been presented internationally.
She was director of Teatro Movimento, a multi-media performance group based in Florence, Italy and has worked as a performer and choreographer with Etienne Decroux, Eleanor Antin and Sledgehammer Theatre. She has taught film, video and performance in France, Italy and Canada.
Her films include "Passage du Désir," a feature length experimental film shot in Paris and Madrid. The film explores desire and memory in the context of the experience of the exile; one whose relationship to history, place, language and sexuality is continually thrown into question. She is currently working on "Zones de Non-Droit," a film about five sisters living in La Rose des Vents, a banlieue housing project in the Seine-Saint Denis region north of Paris.
Hillman has received grants and awards for her work from the French Ministry of Culture, the Marion and Jasper Whiting Foundation, the California Arts Council, the Maryland Arts Council and the Italian city governments of Florence, Lecce, and Certaldo.
This film production/theory course will address cinematic representations of the body in relation to the architecture and space of cities including Mexico City, London, Dakar, Los Angeles, Tokyo, San Francisco and Paris. We will consider the determining roles of the camera and the body within films that center on the performance of shifts in cultural identities, emphasizing the body as the primary site of negotiation of identity. We will question how cinematic languages function as aesthetic systems that reflect the ways in which the body is coded in terms of gender, race and class. Screenings include works by Jia Zhang Ke, Robert Fenz, Tala Hadid, Jean Vigo, Nagisa Oshima, Ousmane Sembene and Abdellatif Kechiche as well as documentation of installation works by Masayuki Kawai, Isaac Julien, Francis Als and Mona Hatoum. The course will include workshops in cinematography and performance. Students may work in 16mm, Super 8, video and intermedia installation and will complete 3 projects. Instructor permission required.
Division III Projects Class: Film, Video, Photography and Interdisciplinary Media: This is an advanced production/theory class open to Division III concentrators who are in the process of developing their projects in film, video, photography, interdisciplinary media or installation. The course will emphasize individual working methods, beginning with the process of developing ideas, grounding themes within a conceptual framework and continuing through shifts and revisions. The course will also concentrate on cinematography, writing, performance and directing in the context of students' projects, as well as strategies of structuring work, using a set of central questions and assignments as a guide. Students will develop, by the end of the fall semester, a rough cut or first draft of their projects. The course will include screenings and workshops by visiting artists and filmmakers as well as visits to museum and gallery exhibits. Instructor permission required.
This is an advanced production/theory course for video and film students interested in developing and strengthening the element of performance in their work. How does performance for the camera differ from performance for the stage? How do we find a physical language and a camera language that expand upon one another in a way that liberates the imagination? This course will explore performance and directing in their most diverse possibilities, in a context specific to film and videomakers. The emphasis will be on development of individual approaches to relationships between performance, text, sound and image. We will discuss visual and verbal gesture, dialogue and voice-over, variations of approach with actors and non-actors, camera movement and rhythm within the shot, and the structuring of performance in short and long form works. Screenings and readings will introduce students to a wide range of approaches to directing and performance from artists including Tala Hadid, Wong Kar Wai, Ousmane Sembene, The Wooster Group, Nagisa Oshima, Marina Abramovic, Anri Sala, and Abdellatif Kechiche among others. Instructor permission required.
Writing for Film: Text and Image in Transnational Cinema and Installation. This production/theory class will introduce students to scripts and texts by independent filmmakers and installation artists who are questioning what it means to work in a transnational context and to negotiate conflicts between notions of the local and the global, notions of national identity and the postnational. These filmmakers are working in hybrid combinations of essayistic, poetic, fictional and non-fictional forms. Many of them work in a context of multiple languages and seek to express the rupture of cultural displacement, and the ways in which it impacts questions of representation. We will study works by filmmakers and installation artists including Pedro Costa, Anri Sala, Mona Hatoum, Eija-Liisa Ahtila, John Akomfrah, and Ousmane Sembene. The course will include workshops in writing voice-over, dialogue and visual text for the screen as well as workshops in editing image to text. Students will write and shoot two short projects and one longer project in film or video. Instructor permission required.
Five College Associate Professor of Film/Video Production
Mail Code PF
Jerome Liebling Center 103
893 West Street
Amherst, MA 01002