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Early Cinema

ENGL 291.401
instructor(s):
fulfills requirements:
Sector 6: 20th Century Literature of the Standard Major

Early cinema, usually designated as the period from 1895 to 1916, has been the focus of innovative scholarship since the mid 1970s. Long considered a period beneath interest, a “primitive” era when cinema had not yet assumed its final form, early cinema has been revealed as a fascinating precursor and alternative to the more familiar narrative cinema that supplanted it. This course will provide an introduction to the insights that this “other” cinema provides, from the earliest beginnings to the beginnings of Hollywood as a filmmaking style and institution. The course will conclude with a consideration of early cinema’s afterlives in two principal areas: the reworking of early cinema by the avant-garde and the echoes of early cinema in the first decades of digital screen culture.