Communication and Culture | National Cinemas (Topic: What is Cinema? Theories of Film in the European Tradition)
C398 | 31272 | Wagner, B.
MW, 5:30 PM-7:45 PM, BH 141
Meets with GER-E 323 and WEUR-W 405
Meets during the second eight weeks of the semester
Fulfills College A&H Requirement
Fulfills College Culture Studies Requirement (Global Civilizations
Instructor: Brigitta Wagner
Office: BH 678
This course will introduce students to some of the major concerns of
European film theory in the first half of the 20th century.
Throughout the semester we will be thinking about theory in relation
both to technological and artistic advances in filmmaking and to
today’s concerns with new media. While learning ‘what cinema was,”
students will also be developing their own theories of newer image-
making and image-viewing technologies: ipods, cellphones, video
games, webcams, etc.
Throughout the course students will engage critically both with the
texts and with various audiovisual models. Each week a different
student or small group will be responsible for a short video project
and presentation. Using digital video and editing software, each
group will construct a short film sequence (no more than 2-3
minutes) illustrating the week’s approach to cinema. In class the
groups will have a chance to screen their work and give a short
presentation on their methods and assumptions. In addition, students
will develop their own theories of new media in a short paper (5pp.)
to be turned in at the end of the semester.
Readings will include the works of Rudolf Arnheim, Walter Benjamin,
André Bazin, Germaine Dulac, Jean Epstein, Sergei Eisenstein,
Siegfried Kracauer, Hugo Münsterberg, and others. In addition,
there will be weekly screenings of relevant films.
Enrollment limited to 18. Previous study of film not required.
Rudolf Arnheim, Film as Art [ISBN-13: 978-0520248373]
André Bazin, What is Cinema? Vol. 1 [ISBN-13: 978-0520242272]
Siegfried Kracauer, Theory of Film [ISBN-13: 978-0691037042]
Hugo Münsterberg, The Photoplay: A Psychological Study [ISBN-13:
Online Course Reader