Communication and Culture | History of European and American Cinema II
C394 | 1171 | Katrina Boyd


European cinema is often constructed as "art cinema" and contrasted
with America's dominant mode, commercial Hollywood filmmaking. Indeed,
the language of film studies tends to bracket off European films from
certain periods and nations in terms of "film movements." In this
course we will be interested in looking at the construction of various
film movements, sometimes defined by the filmmakers themselves and
sometimes by the critics: France's poetic realism, Italian neo-
realism, the French New Wave, New German cinema and more recent
European movements, such as cinema du look and Dogme, to name a few.
Because the Department of Communication and Culture already offers a
number of courses on American Cinema, this course will emphasize
European film history. However, we will also look at the interplay
between American and European cinema, examining institutional and
economic factors as well as aesthetic and generic influences.
Interestingly, these influences often belie the notion of a clear
distinction between "popular" and "art" cinema. We will also consider
how émigré directors such as Fritz Lang and Alfred Hitchcock made a
name for themselves in Hollywood. We will situate the films (and film
movements) in their specific historical and institutional contexts,
looking at a wide range of films and a wide variety of film styles
from the early 30s through recent films, such as Amélie.