Communication and Culture | Media Genres (Topic: First Person Cinema)
C392 | 10299 | Segal, S.

MW, 4:00 PM-5:15 PM, C2 203
Required Film Screening: M, 7:15 PM-10:15 PM, SB 150

COLL (CASE) A&H Breadth of Inquiry credit
Carries College Intensive Writing Credit
A portion of this class reserved for majors

Instructor: Shira Segal

Although Julio L. Moreno critiqued the possibility of a first person
cinema in 1953, there exists a fascinating and on-going genre of
subjective cinema that puts forth the camera as a primary means of
expression for artists, amateurs, and documentary filmmakers. This
type of cinema aligns the camera with the protagonist of the film or
video, thereby creating a new mode of storytelling and vision-making
that is highly personal, often poetic, and potentially political.
Enabled by post-WWII technological advances in light-weight and
portable film equipment, this under-explored genre has taken on many
forms, including “direct” documentary cinema, diary filmmaking
practices in avant-garde cinema, and contemporary amateur cinema on
the Internet (such user-generated news coverage and the
Web “short”). In this course, we will examine the major trends of
first person cinema and the cultural, technological, and aesthetic
aspects of the genre. Students will be asked to explore the poetics
and politics of the personal film with an attention to how this
genre is shaped by the circulation of media in our lives.

In order to fulfill Intensive Writing credit, students will write a
total of 5,000 words (~20 typed pages) over the semester, will
receive extensive and ongoing feedback, and will be required to re-
draft at least one paper. Writing assignments will include weekly
reading responses as well as two critical analysis essays. Weekly
film screenings are mandatory unless prior arrangements are made
with the instructor.