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Offered: Spring

Course Description

This course examines the major works of French cinema from World War II to the present day.  French cinema, despite its strong quality of tradition, is bound to periods of conflict, transgression, innovation, and cross-cultural encounters.  Students will explore how these intersections unfold in the following movements:  the New Wave, the return to (un)traditional productions, the New New Wave, and the radical shifts of present-day filmmaking.  Given the tumultuousness of these years, the class will rethink cinema as an interstitial art form shaped by various determinants, including geography, language, ethnicity, social upheaval, and activism.  By the end of the course, students will be able to answer critical questions about modern cinematography in France and its correlations with other national cinemas.  They will discover how these major waves have evolved as aesthetic agents within and beyond France.

Students will also examine the formal structures of modern French cinema, its stylistic expressions, and correspondences with other artistic practices in order to understand how film contributes to profound transformations of cultures and perspectives across the globe.  Throughout the course, students will refine and apply their knowledge of cinematic theories, criticism, debates, and technical terminology.  They will view films, television series, and other multimodal productions, including comics, graphic novels, dance, and storytelling.  Please note that the course is taught in English; however, the film screenings are in French (with English or French subtitles available). Students enrolled in French 471 are required to complete all readings and assignments in French.  This course will be taught in honor of the late Professor Alan Williams and is inspired by his scholarship and teachings.  [The course is cross-listed with 01:420:306 and Cinema Studies  01:175:377:04].

Schedule of Undergraduate Courses