Films are familiar to you; this course should make them strange again.
The Film Experience serves as an introduction to film studies, concentrating on close analysis and criticism. Students will learn the technical vocabulary for analyzing the cinematic narrative, frame, and editing; develop the critical means for turning close analysis into interpretations and comparative readings of films; and explore theoretical issues. We will look beyond the surface pleasures of cinema to ask how films are put together; what choices are made formally, narratively, and politically in the constructions of different types of films; and how films have changed historically and in different production and national contexts.
We will study a wide range of works made between 1895 and 2010, including films from the early silent period, documentary and avant-garde films, European art cinema, and contemporary Hollywood fare. Directors will include Coppola, Dreyer, Eisenstein, Fellini, Godard, Griffith, Haneke, Hawks, Hitchcock, Kubrick, Kurosawa, Lang, Resnais, Spielberg, Tarantino, Vertov, Welles, and Zhang. Readings will include work from film theorists including Bazin, Bellour, Bordwell, Doane, Gunning, Metz, Mulvey, Williams, and Wollen.
Format: one 90-minute lecture, one evening screening, and one discussion hour per week.