Realism in Film

Elective Courses

CINE 201 - Realism in Film

ARTH 290 | COML 201
402 |Charney, Leo |M 2-5pm |FBH 224

This course examines the re-presentation of real life as an (the?) essential element of cinema, in both fiction and non-fiction films, from the earliest shorts of the Lumières in the 1890s through contemporary “mumblecore” and reality TV. Topics include German Expressionist and Kammerspiel films of the 1920s; French poetic realism of the 1930s; Italian neo-realism of the 1940s; Brazilian magical realism of the 1960s; American Direct Cinema documentaries of the 1960s; British social realism of the 1980s; Danish Dogme 95 films of the 1990s; American indies since 2002; and Romanian social realism since 2005. We will also explore such areas as the influential improvisational style of John Cassavetes films; the rise of the “mockumentary” and reality TV; the aesthetics of real time, long takes, and hyper-realism, especially in Warhol and Akerman; the role of realist style in themes of ethics and morality, especially in Kieslowski, Puiu, and the Dardennes; and alternative or experimental forms of realism. We will read such writers as Arnheim, Barthes, Baudrillard, Bazin, de Certeau, Derrida, Foucault, Jameson, Kael, Kracauer, and Metz, as well as examples of realist and magical realist fiction.

last updated 06/17/2014 - 11:15am

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