Cinema and the Sister Arts

Graduate Courses

CINE 548 - Cinema and the Sister Arts

ARTH 583 | COML 587 | ITAL 588

This course explores film as a pan-generic system constructed of other art forms. Ricciotto Canudo, in a classic taxonomy, calls it “the Seventh Art” (after the plastic arts Painting, Architecture, Sculpture, and the kinetic arts Dante, Poetry, and Music). The interrelationships between film and its sister arts will be discussed 1) with respect to the historical emergence of cinema in the first decades of the 20th century as a new medium that evolved from antecedents in Old Master painting, photography, and (melo)drama; 2) as a reflection of an individual director's own style and programmatic choices (e.g., Visconti in his relationship with opera); 3) to consider how the conscious citation and appropriation of non-verbal narrative forms function emblematically to enhance cinematic meaning (e.g., embedded tableaux vivants that reproduce famous paintings; in musical commentary on a soundtrack; in the incorporation of folksongs to serve "realism"; in the use of dance as a metaphor for social interaction or sexual seduction). Emphasis will be on Italian cinema with occasional comparisons that draw in films and texts from other national cultures. Each week class discussion will focus on one film. Students will present a final class report on a film of their choice (with prior approval of instructor)and submit a final paper based on the report of 15-20 pp. Reading knowledge of Italian desirable but not required. Open to upper-level undergraduates and graduate students. No prerequisites.

last updated 06/17/2014 - 2:18pm

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