International Film Theory/Italian Film Practice

Graduate Courses

CINE 591 - International Film Theory/Italian Film Practice

ITAL 591
401 |Millicent Marcus |F 2-5pm

As the "new" art form of the 20th century, film immediately and continuously invited theoretical attempts to define its nature and function. This course will involve a study of the major theoretical approaches to film study, including, but not limited to, psychoanalysis, feminism and gender, genre theory, structuralism and narratology, formalism, realism and phenomenology, auteurism, inter-arts adaptation, semiotics, ideological critique, and postmodernism. Because I believe that the inestimable value of theory is its power to open up texts, our study of each theoretical approach will be grounded in a specific film. My choice of the Italian case reflects, of course, my own career-long research experience. In-depth analysis of exemplary films within a certain cultural context will allow us to apply theoretical paradigms in the most informed possible way. Our exercises in applied theory will aim at exploring the limitations as well as the strengths of a given model. We will screen a film each week (during the Wednesday time slot), and dedicate Friday's seminar to both an examination of a particular approach through the writings of theorists and their critical commentators, and then to an analysis of the film in the light of this paradigm. Films to be considered (tentative and partial list): Rossellini's Paisan, Vittorio De Sica's Two Women and Bicycle Thief , Nichetti's Icicle Thief, Bertolucci's The Spider Stratagem and The Last Emperor, Antonioni's Blow-Up, Pasolini'sDecameron, Fellini's La strada and 8 1/2, Leone's The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, Visconti'sDeath in Venice.

last updated 06/25/2014 - 4:17pm

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