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British Cinema

ENGL 061.950
fulfills requirements:
Category A of the Standard Major

François Truffaut once famously suggested that there was “a certain incompatibility between the terms ‘cinema’ and ‘Britain’”; Satyajit Ray declared, “I do not think the British are temperamentally equipped to make the best use of the movie camera”; and throughout the history of film criticism, British cinema has been condemned for its theatrical style, lack of emotion, imitation of Hollywood and/or European cinema, and failure to achieve a national character. Yet in spite of this history of dismissal, British cinema has a long and complex history that we will begin to explore through film screenings, critical reading, and visits to archives and museums. Topics covered will include: Early “Cinema of Attractions”; British cinema’s relation to other countries; war propaganda and the British documentary film; cinematic adaptations of British literature; British film theory; British experimental film/moving images in the art gallery; British cinema and identity. Requirements: attendance at screenings/discussions/trips; final paper; film journal. (1 CU)