A study of selected major film traditions from a literary perspective. By examining themes, structures, montage, and other literary and filmic elements, students will become familiar with important concepts in film analysis. Individual offerings of the course may focus on filmmakers, movements, periods, or themes. The goal will be to appreciate the aesthetic and social significance of film as a twentieth-century medium and to explore various intersections of film and literature.
Summer 2014: Gemunden
"Continental Strangers" (cross-listed with Film Studies 42) Taught at 3A by Gerd Gemünden. During the 1930s and 1940s, hundreds of German-speaking writers and film professionals lived and worked in Hollywood. While some were emigres who came to better their lot and further their professional careers, the majority of them were Jewish refugees who escaped the threat of the Nazi death camps. Along the historical axis, we will focus on the continuities and ruptures between Weimar cinema and Hollywood. Thus we will study how the exiles' sense of (Jewish) identity in the United States was shaped not only by the experience of displacement and the fight against fascism, but also by the political climate of wartime United States and the film industry's war efforts. Along the theoretical axis, we need to question such terms as national cinema and cultural identity. Here recent discussions of postcolonial theory, exile and diaspora, hybridity, and cultural mimicry will be examined. Along the political axis, we will investigate how these films intervene in public debates, and how they reframe political issues in terms of narrative and images. This will also involve a comparative study of the culture industries of wartime Hollywood and Nazi Germany.
Last Updated: 3/12/13