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European New Wave Cinema

ENGL 292.910
crosslisted as: FILM 202-910
instructor(s):
TR 5:30-8:40

Although many New Wave filmmakers started out as radicals and revolutionaries, their self-reflexive films and auteurist aesthetics have also contributed to a mythification of their own greatness. Even as critics were declaring the “death of the author” in the 1960s, directors were busy circulating a theory of the director as auteur, or author, of a film—an artist-visionary rather than a grunt of the studio system. In this course we will study representative films from the French New Wave and counter-cinemas of Italy, Germany, and Sweden, including Fellini’s 8 1/2, Godard’s Contempt, and Fassbinder’s Beware of a Holy Whore. We will pay particular attention to the role of auteurism in shaping the New Wave and ask whether the elevation of the director ever contradicts the radical aims of counter-cinema. Readings will track important theoretical, social and industrial transformations of global cinema during the 60s and 70s. Although the course will be writing and viewing intensive, but there will be no final exam. No prior knowledge of film is necessary.