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Courses

Fall 2021
 

FSCP 81000/ Lorca, Buñuel, Dali: Theater, Cinema, Painting. [3 credits], Wednesdays, 4:15pm-6:15pm. (Cross listed with CL 86500, 
Instructor: Paul Julian Smith 

This course, which is taught in English, treats the drama of Federico García Lorca, selected films of Buñuel, and some fine art works by Dalí. It involves close reading of literary, cinematic and fine art texts and analysis of the voluminous and contradictory body of criticism on those texts. It also addresses such questions as tradition and modernity; the city and the country; and the biopic in film and television. The question of intermediality, or the relation between different media, will be examined in its historical and theoretical dimensions. The course will graded by final paper (50%), midterm exam (25%), and final presentation, weekly postings to course website and oral contribution to class (25%). 

 

FSCP 81000/ History of the Cinema II: 1930-present: “Tradition and the Individual Talent”, [3 credits], Tuesdays, 4:15pm-8:15pm. Cross-listed with MALS 77200).
Instructor: Ria Banerjee 

This course will engage with the history of cinema from the advent of sound to the present, and take a granular approach to studying particular movements within film history over the last half of the twentieth century. We will pick our way through the diverse and variously situated developments in global film, aiming for geographical breadth in developing our comparative understanding of film history over the almost-century that this course covers. In US cinema, we will study the history of United Artists as an independent production company, and the development of African American cinema from Oscar Michaux and Gordon Parks to Ava DuVernay and Shonda Rhimes. In post-World War II Europe, we will consider how movements like Italian Neorealism, the French New Wave, and New German Cinema overlapped with and departed from each other aesthetically and ideologically. Occurring simultaneously, we will consider the development of arthouse cinema in India in the 1950s-70s and its resistance to the overwhelming influence of the mainstream film industry that has come to be known as Bollywood. Other course modules might consider Dogme 95, US documentary films, and contemporary feminist responses to the New Latin American Cinema.  

As we travel through such distinct cinematic terrain, our course will consider the interplay between tradition and individualism, taking the poet T. S. Eliot’s famous essay on the subject as our point of departure. Eliot suggests that there is much porosity between the seeming monolith of “tradition” and individual expressions of aesthetics and ideology, leading us to question the alternate genealogies of film that we will study. We will take a similarly porous approach to our considerations of media beyond the strictly filmic—into photography, web artifacts, and streaming video, for instance.  

Students will be asked to contribute weekly discussion questions, to lead one seminar session along specified guidelines, and to produce a final research project developed in consultation with the instructor. While academic writing is welcomed, students will be encouraged to consider culminating responses to the course beyond the 15-20 page research paper, for instance by centering pedagogy in annotated syllabus design, creative projects like video essays, or researched non-academic writing.   

  

FSCP 81000/ Noir of the 1990s, [3 credits], Mondays, 4:15pm-8:15pm. Cross listed with ENG 87400
Instructor: Michael Gillespie 

This course takes an interdisciplinary approach to American cinema with a focus on noir films of the 1990s that considers their distinctive measure of genre not as fixed category but as discourse or what James Naremore calls “the history of an idea.” Students will study how these films consequentially restaged themes of criminality, detection, the social contract, the city, and the ambiguities of good and evil. Rather than defer to the classical noir model students will instead consider how this period posed distinct enactments of film form, historiography, culture, gender, sexuality, class, and race/ethnicity. Films might include the following: Cape Fear (Martin Scorsese, 1991),  Devil In A Blue Dress (Carl Franklin, 1995), Homicide (David Mamet, 1991), The Limey (Steven Soderbergh, 1999), The Grifters (Stephen Frears, 1990), Jackie Brown (Quentin Tarantino, 1997), Deep Cover (Bill Duke, 1992), Clockers (Spike Lee, 1995), Suture (Scott McGehee and David Siegel, 1993), The King of New York (Abel Ferrara, 1990), Swoon (Tom Kalin, 1992), Doom Generation (Greg Araki, 1995), Bound (Lana and Lily Wachowski, 1996), Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (David Lynch, 1992), and Strange Days (Kathryn Bigelow, 1995).