Crime Cinema

Elective Courses

CINE 345 - Crime Cinema

FREN 380
401 |Philippe Met |TR 3-4:30pm

In the spirit of last year's horror cinema class (NOT a prerequisite) , this course will focus once again on two national cinemas, France and Italy, but looking this time at a different type of filmic output and genre: crime, and its various avatars (noir, thriller, renegade or vigilante cop film, mob movie, police detective film, etc.). France is the only country outside the US to have built up a large and consistent body of crime films which frequently garner critical recognition while generating popular appeal. Key historical phases and subgenres will be examined: psychological thrillers (Clouzot) and gangster flicks (Becker, Dassin) in the 50s; the stylized, male-dominated microcosm of Melville and the social commentaries of Chabrol's films in the 70s; neo-noir in the 80s (Corneau) and the current polar revival (Nicloux). Trend-conscious and on the look-out for the next big genre in the cycle of popular cinema, the Italian film industry eagerly turned to the crime format in the late 60s and the 70s when the peplum and spaghetti western markets started to show signs of saturation. The polizieschi and gialli of that period are heavily influenced by such American models as Dirty Harry and The French Connection, but may also be seen as a response to the troubled political climate of the ¡§Lead Years¡¨. Ideological sensibilities run the gamut from right wing to left wing; motifs and themes vary from cool action, car chases, fetishistic violence or sexploitation to power and corruption, the Mafia and terrorism, or conspiracy and paranoia. In addition to the illustrious (and distant) precedent of Visconti (Ossessione , 1943), filmmakers considered might include: Petri, Rosi, Di Leo, Argento, Sollima, Lenzi, or Martino. Issues of ethics, ideology, gender, sexuality, violence, spectatorship will be discussed through a variety of critical lenses (psychoanalysis, socio-historical and cultural context, aesthetics, politics, genderÿ). The class will be conducted in English.

last updated 06/25/2014 - 12:58pm

Cinema Studies Program
209A Fisher-Bennett Hall ⋅ 3340 Walnut Street ⋅ Philadelphia, PA 19104 ⋅ (215) 898-8782