This course will focus on the cinematic essay. We will begin the course by studying the proto- and early cinema in relation to Modernist experiments in writing. Screenings will include work by Eisenstein, Vertov, Chaplin, Arbuckle, Keystone Cops. Readings will include excerpts from Stein, Joyce, Bellamy, and others. The course will then examine the avant-garde cinema of the Dadaist, Surrealists, and others in relation to experimental strategies in writing essays. Readings will include works by the Surrealists, Futurists, and other avant- gardists. Finally, the course will examine post-war cinema in terms of postmodernist literature and poststructuralist critical essays. Screenings will include work by Rose, Snow, Ranier, Lee, and others.
The issues examined in this course include: the relationship among cinema, literature, and critical essays; the cinematic strategies employed in modernism and postmodernism; the interaction among visual arts and electronic media and film; and the relationship between formal experimentation and issues of race, class, and gender.