Germanic Languages | Lyric
G627 | 14709 | B. Wagner


G627:  Graduate Film Analysis
Prof. Wagner

This seminar is designed to introduce graduate students of Germanic
Studies and related fields to the fundamentals of film analysis.
All too often our field uses films to illustrate ‘culture at work’
and ‘literary narratives at play’ while ignoring the potential of
audiovisual codes to illicit ambiguous and multiple interpretations,
to manipulate space and time, and to structure the relationship
between spectator and image.  How is it that we understand what we
see or what we think we are being shown?  How do moving images work
in relation to our knowledge of existing visual representations?
How does the ability to segment a film enable us to make larger
arguments about its cultural historical value?

Throughout the semester we will foreground film form by looking at a
wide range of films that will challenge our notions of what cinema
is and what it can do.  Each week we will examine a different formal
aspect, such as mise-en-scène, editing, and cinematography, as it
relates to the synthesis of elements at work in each film.
Conducted in workshop fashion, the course will provide students with
opportunities to present interpretations-in-progress and to develop
paper topics in line with their greater research agenda.

The goal of this course is both to prepare students as future
teachers of (German) cultural studies (including cinema) as well as
to provide a forum for those students who are considering the
addition of a film component to their doctoral thesis.  Students
with a background in film studies should also consider this course a
chance to sharpen their film analytical skills and to expand the
formal scope of their existing inquiries.

Texts will be in English and German.  Class sessions will be
conducted in English.  Students should be able to read German and to
follow a German-language film without subtitles.

Films may include the work of Thome, Farocki, Speth, Grisebach,
Herzog, Lang, Murnau, and others.

Enrollment limited to 12.

Required Texts:
Online Reader (available via E-reserves)
The Film Experience, 1st Edition [ISBN-13:  978-0312419172]
German National Cinema, 2nd Edition [ISBN-10:  978-0415420983]