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Film Narrative

ENGL 091.001
instructor(s):
TR 1:30-3

This course will offer a general introduction to film history, film production and film form. Our focus will be on the historical development of narrative cinema, both in Hollywood and among independent and experimental filmmakers whose work poses interesting challenges to the narrative and aesthetic standards of the commercial film industry. Beginning with some of the earliest examples of cinematic art, we will examine the problems and complexities involved in defining the narrative cinemaƕs relationship to such issues as realism, time, aesthetic expression and political ideology. Through films and readings, we will explore the strategies and techniques that have come to dominate film as a story-telling medium, as well as considering several alternative, non-narrative models for film art. In addition to class meetings, there will be mandatory screenings of one or two films per week. Among the films examined will be works by the Lumiere brothers, Melies, Vertov, Hitchcock, Welles, the Cohen brothers, Sayles and others. Readings will include novels as well as short critical/theoretical essays by (or about) Eisenstein, Bazin, Metz, Kuleshov, Benjamin, Smith, Heath, Mulvey, and de Lauretis. Course requirements will include an in-depth creative/analytical project, a midterm and a final.