Focusing on movies made after 1945, this course allows students to learn and to sharpen methods, terminologies, and tools needed for the critical analysis of film. Beginning with the cinematic revolution signaled by Italian Neorealism, we will follow the evolution of postwar cinema through the French New Wave, New German Cinema, the American movies of the 1950s and 1960s and 1970s, and the various other new wave movements of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. We will then selectively examine some of the most important films of the last three decades, including those made by U.S. independent filmmakers movement and movies from Iran, China, and elsewhere in an expanding global cinema culture. We will pay close attention to formal and stylistic techniques, such as editing, mise-en-scene, and sound, as well as to the narrative, non-narrative, and generic organizations of film. At the same time, those formal features will be closely linked to historical and cultural distinctions and changes.
Course goals: (1) develop an understanding of postwar film history, film form and style; (2) engage, via close textual analysis of particular films, with the major historical developments, critical concepts, and debates involved in the study of film; (3) develop and refine our ability to watch and analyze films more perceptively, and to express those perceptions in a cultivated and critically accurate way, in both written and oral form.
Fulfills the Arts and Letters Sector (All Classes).