MF 1:30-2:20 pm and W 1:30-3:40 pm
Cross-listed with COMM 490 BX.
In the past two decades Europe has produced a remarkable number of superb films. This rich and diverse output from many different countries is unified in its creativity and innovation and stands as a provocative alternative to Hollywood’s safer and more formulaic products. With the fall of the Iron Curtain, Eastern European as well as Scandinavian and Irish Cinemas have seen a surge of thoughtful and beautiful films that take on Europe’s troubled past and the contemporary challenges of globalism. These character-driven films often deal with the marginalized—immigrants, women, GLBTs and the working class—and the problems they face in terms of national and ethnic identity, war and oppression, economic security and cultural expression. Students in this course will have the opportunity to view 15 award-winning feature films, most of which have had only limited release in the United States. We will see them in their entirety and analyze them in terms of their filmmakers’ aesthetic choices and their social/historical context. Students will learn cinematic terms and concepts to aid in our analysis and appreciation of these rewarding and engaging texts. Course readings will include a variety of interviews, analytical articles and book chapters about the films and contemporary trends in European Cinema and culture. Grading will be based on short analytical papers, quizzes on the readings, and substantive participation in class discussions.
Films screened may include the following: The Celebration, Europa, Breaking the Waves, Lola Run, Woman in Berlin, After the Wedding, The Return, The Lives of Others, The Edge of Heaven, Italian for Beginners, Revanche, Grbavica, Vera Drake, The Wind That Shakes the Barley, Hunger, The White Ribbon, Amour, and Beyond the Hills.