History of International Cinema, Part I, Silent Era

28500
48500
ArtH 285/385, ENGL 293/487, MAPH 336
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Winter
  • 1999-2000
Y. Tsivian

This is the first part of a two-quarter course. The two parts may be taken individually, but taking them in sequence is helpful The aim of this course is to introduce students to what was singular about the art and craft of silent film. Its general outline is chronological. We will discuss main national schools and international trends of filmmaking.

Seminar: Sound Theory/Sound Practice

61000
ENGL 485
  • Graduate
  • Winter
  • 1999-2000
J. Lastra

This course will examine the emergence of sound technologies in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries with a view toward developing a sophisticated and coherent set of issues, terms and concepts to aid in the understanding of sound media. Topics will range from the role of technical media in modernity through questions of audienceship, listening, and acoustic form, to basic questions of representation as they are inflected by mechanical, and now digital means of reproduction. Adorno and Benjamin's studies of the historical meaning of representational technology and mechanical reproduction will serve as touchstones, but we will also address more "vernacular" forms of sound theory developed by technicians, musicians, critics, and audiences, and the more exotic investigations of avant-garde artists like Vertov, Eisenstein, Raymond Roussel, John Cage, Pierre Schaeffer, Edgard Varèse, and William Burroughs. We will pay particular attention to innovative works in audio-visual media that have shaped the boundaries of aesthetic and theoretical exploration in film, video, opera, musique concrète, and performance.

Seminar: New Deal Culture: Stage, Screen, and the Public Sphere in the 1930s

62000
ENGL 668
  • Graduate
  • Winter
  • 1999-2000
L. Kruger

In this seminar, we will use the concept of the institution-the social, economic, and dramaturgical, as well as audience parameters of legitimate culture and its challENGLers-as the ground for revaluation of New Deal culture, and in particular, the claims to legitimacy by competing counterpublic spheres, such as workers and African-Americans. The object of the course will be to develop an analysis of the potential and limits of social critical culture in New Deal America by synthesizing theoretical, historiographic and primary sources. We will read Federal Theater Project, Broadway, agitprop, and Harlem Suitcase Theater plays and analyze Hollywood, March of Time, and radical documentary films. Our readings and analysis will be informed by Bourdieu's theoretical work on the sociology of taste, Christa and Peter Bürger on the institutions of art, Habermas, Negt, Kluge, and others on the public sphere, Victor Turner on the anthropology of social drama, and Williams on the sociology of performance. We will also consider the contributions of contemporary commentators from Kenneth Burke to the activists of the Film and Photo League and the League of Workers Theaters.

The Films of Billy Wilder

26300
ENGL 289, GSHum 209
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 1999-2000
M. Hansen

Known primarily for films that establish him as a Hollywood insider (Double Indemnity, Sunset Boulevard, Some Like It Hot), Billy Wilder began his five-decade-long career in Weimar Germany and France and returned to Germany in 1945, where he worked on a documentary on Nazi death camps (Todesmühlen / Mills of Death) and A Foreign Affair. Through close readings of exemplary films, we will explore Wilder's range from gentle ethnographer of modern life to caustic satirist of American society and the culture industry, focusing on issues of authorship and reception (in particular his exclusion from the auteurist canon). In addition, we will consider his uneven relation to Hollywood genres, his systematic blurring of boundaries between comedy, romance, and drama.

Reading Course

29700
Consent of faculty adviser and Director of Undergraduate Studies
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 1999-2000
Staff

Students are required to submit the College Reading and Research Course Form.

B.A. Essay

29900
Consent of instructor
  • Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 1999-2000
Staff

Students are required to submit the College Reading and Research Form. May not be counted toward distribution requirements for the concentration, but may be counted as a free-elective credit.

Capra and Hollywood

24000
34000
ENGL 236/486
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 1999-2000
J. Chandler

Consent of Instructor Primary focus will be on Capra's programmatic series of films from the 30s and 40s, especially Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Meet John Doe, It's a Wonderful Life, and The State of the Union. But we will also attend to a range of other achievements: his pioneering contributions to screwball comedy (e.g., Platinum Blonde and It Happened One Night); his less widely-known early work for Columbia Pictures (e.g., The Miracle Woman, American Madness and The Bitter Tea of General Yen); the best of his silent films (Strong Man and Long Pants); and his contributions to the Why We Fight series of educational/propaganda films. The course will attempt to locate Capra both within the contexts of comparable Hollywood filmmaking (work by Ford, McCarey, Sturges, and Hawks) and the long history of sentimentality and spectatorship that extends back through Dickens and into the eighteenth-century emergence of the sentimental novel and its theorization. We will also deal with Capra's preoccupation with his cinematic "authorship," which will mean some attention not only to his signature gestures in the films but also to biographical issues. Finally, we will consider recent films that conspicuously redeploy "Capraesque" modes of representing ethical and political experience in America: e.g., The Hudsucker Proxy, Hero, It Could Happen to You, Groundhog Day, and Dave. One short paper and one long, and a take home exam.

Eastern European New Wave

24400
34400
Ger 349, CompLit 320, EEuro 249/349
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 1999-2000
K. Trumpener

Throughout Eastern Europe, New Wave filmmaking emerged in the late 1950s as part of a larger political and cultural de-Stalinization process and in response to earlier modes of Communist film culture. This course follows the attempts of New Wave filmmakers to reform socialism (and the cinema as an institution), and their search for a form adequate to describe political life and historical experience in their full complexity. Screenings include pathbreaking films from Poland (Wajda, Zanussi, Skolimowski, Kieslowski); the Soviet Union (Kalatozov, Paradjanov, Kozintsev); the German Democratic Republic (Wolf, Beyer, Klein); Hungary (Jancsó, Makk, Kovács, Meszáros, Tarr); Czechoslovakia (Nemec, Forman, Chytilová, Jakubisko); and Yugoslavia (Makavejev). All films will be subtitled; knowledge of relevant languages and (film)cultures welcome but not necessary.

Advanced Photography

27700
37700
COVA 278
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 1999-2000
L. Letinsky

COVA 101, 102, or consent of instructor Throughout the quarter, students concentrate on a set of issues and ideas that expand upon their experience and knowledge, and that have particular relevance to them. All course work is directed towards the production of a cohesive body of either color or black-and-white photographs. An investigation of contemporary and historic photographic issues informs the students' photographic practice and includes visits to local exhibitions, critical readings, darkroom techniques, and class and individual critiques. Lab fee $40.

Issues in Film Music

28100
38100
Music 229/309
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 1999-2000
B. Hoeckner

This course will explore the role of film music from its origins in silent film, its significance in the classical Hollywood film, to its increasingly self-reflexive use in recent cinema (both avant-garde and commercial, Western and non-Western). We will look at the ways music plays a central role both as part of the narrative and as non-diegetic music, how its stylistic diversity contributes another semiotic universe to the screen, and how it becomes a central qualifying agent in twentieth-century visual culture. Readings will include selections from Prendergast's, Film Music: A Neglected Art, Gorbman's Unheard Melodies, Kalinak's Settling the Score, Chion's Audio-Vision, Brown's Overtones and Undertones, Marks's Music and the Silent Film, as well as a number of theoretical texts by authors such as Eisler/Adorno, Eisenstein and Kracauer. Since the course will partly focus on technical, compositional, and stylistic aspects of film music, some reading knowledge of music will be helpful, but is not a prerequisite.

Styles of Performance and Expression from Stage to Screen

28200
38200
ArtH 293/392, Russ 280/380
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 1999-2000
Y. Tsivian

This course will focus on the history of acting styles in silent film (1895-1930) mapping "national" styles of acting that emerged during the 1910s (American, Danish, Italian, Russian) and various "acting schools" that proliferated during the 1920s ("Expressionist acting," "Kuleshov's Workshop," et al.). We will discuss film acting in the context of various systems of stage acting (Delsarte, Stanislavsky, Meyerhold) and the visual arts.

HIstory of International Cinema, Part II, Sound Cinema to 1960

28600
48600
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
  • Spring
  • 1999-2000
T. Gunning

This is the second part of the international survey history of film covering the sound era up to 1960. It is strongly recommended that students take the first section first This survey will deal with issues of film form, industry organization and film culture during three decades, focusing on the crystallization of the Classical Hollywood Film as a key issue. But international alternatives to Hollywood will also be discussed, from the unique forms of Japanese cinema to movements like Italian Neo-realism and the beginnings of the New Wave in France. Film style, from the classical scene break down to the introduction of deep focus, stylistic experimentation and technical innovation (sound, wide screen, location shooting) will form the center of the course, while attention will also be paid to the development of a film culture. Texts will include Bordwell and Thompson, Film History: An Introduction, and works by Bazin, Belton, Sitney, Godard and others. Screenings will include films by Hitchcock, Welles, Rossellini, Bresson, Ozu, Antonioni, and Renoir.

Seminar: Cinema as Vernacular Modernism

67000
ENGL 587
  • Graduate
  • Spring
  • 1999-2000
M. Hansen

This seminar explores the proposition that cinema (in general? particular kinds of cinema?) during the first decades of the 20th century represented a form of "vernacular modernism" -- an aesthetic expression of, and response to, the social and cultural experience of modernity and modernization that was primarily market-based and at once threatened, influenced, and by-passed the institutions of art and literature. In addition to a sample of Hollywood films (slapstick comedies, Traffic in Souls, The Crowd, Gold Diggers of 1933), we will discuss films from Soviet Russia, Germany, France, and, depending on availability, China and Japan. In addition to thematic concerns such as crises of gender, sexuality and class, the contradictions of consumption, industrial labor and urban living conditions, we will focus on the formal and stylistic ways in which these films articulate the material fabric of everyday life, a new relation with things, a specifically modern sense of character, identity, and performance, as well as the ways in which they address and ENGLage their viewers. Readings will include debates on modernism and mass culture as well as more contemporaneous texts (Kracauer, Benjamin, Epstein, Dulac, Kuleshov, Shklovsky, selections from the magazine Close-Up).

Expressionism in the Visual Arts, Literature, and Film

67200
ArtH 461, Ger 468
  • Graduate
  • Spring
  • 1999-2000
R. Heller and Y. Tsivian

This pro-seminar will consider the intermedia indentification of the Expressionist movement, especially in Germany. As has happened with few other modern art movements, Expressionism has consistently been linked with the visual and literary arts, and also with film; however, the precise interactions and formal kinships of these manifold Expressionist manifestations, especially film, continue to lack critical comparative analysis. In this course we set out to explore sytematically these interstices.

South African Fiction and Film

24204
ENGL 24807
  • Undergraduate
L. Kruger

This course examines the intersection of fiction and film in Southern Africa since mid 20th Century decolonization. We begin with Cry, the Beloved Country, a best seller written by South African Alan Paton while in the US, and the original film version by a Hungarian-born British-based director (Zoltan Korda), and an American screenwriter (John Howard Lawson), which together show both the international impact of South African stories and the important elements missed by overseas audiences. We will continue with fictional and non-fictional narrative responses to apartheid and decolonization in film and in print, and examine the power and the limits of what critic Louise Bethlehem has called the “rhetoric of urgency” on local and international audiences. We will conclude with writing and film that grapples with the complexities of the post-apartheid world, whose challenges, from crime and corruption to AIDS and the particular problems faced by women and gender minorities, elude the heroic formulas of the anti-apartheid struggle era. (B)

PQ: Hum core plus Intro to Fiction and/or Intro to Film. No first years

Indian Art Cinema

24108
34108
SALC 20510
  • Graduate/Undergraduate
R. Majumdar

What do we mean when we refer to “art films” in the Indian context?  Is it fair to refer to the body of film works that come under this rubric as Indian national cinema?  Through a close analysis of films by Satyajit Ray, Ritwik Ghatak, Mrinal Sen, Shyam Benegal, Mani Kaul, Basu Chatterjee, M. S. Sathyu, Girish Kasaravalli, and Aparna Sen this course will analyze the different currents in Indian art cinema. 

Cinema and Comedic Modernism

67410
  • Graduate
X. Dong

Description forthcoming.

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