Taking inspiration from Robert A. Rosenstone‘s seminal text History on Film/Film on History, this course will focus not only how history produces film, but also how film portrays and influences history. The purpose of the course is to equip students with knowledge of the major film movements and works of this specific time period. At the same time, they will be encouraged to develop a critical eye towards notions of the canon, nation, and filmic history itself.
A variety of filmic texts, including narrative films, documentaries, and short films will be shown. These Breathless, The Marriage of Maria Braun, A Room With a View, Days of Heaven, Blade Runner, and Close Up.
As this is an intensive course, active attendance is required for all classes. Cell phones and lap-tops are not allowed during lecture times to limit distractions for all members of the class. Students will watch 2-3 films per week and have a daily required reading. Films will be streamed on-line and the readings will be available through on-line library reserves. Three weekly in-class short answer and short essay exams will be given based upon the films and readings. The final paper will consist of 7-8 pages on a pre-approved film of this time period not shown in class. The paper should engage itself in debate with at least two other critical works.
While previous film course-work is not a requirement, students should establish familiarity with the discipline‘s basic terminology before the course. Suggested readings include Film Art: An Introduction by David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson and A Short Guide to Writing About Film by Timothy Corrigan. These books should be available at the UW libraries or through Summit exchange.