An exploration of twelve masterpieces of world cinema, with special attention to the texts (when applicable) on which they are based. Some of the filmmakers covered: Akira Kurosawa, Jean Renoir, Bernardo Bertolucci, Jean-Luc Godard, Roberts Bresson, Ingmar Bergman, Howard Hawks, and Kar Wai Wong.
ENGL 375: FILM & LITERATURE
Instructor: Ed Snow
English Department Areas of Specialization:
Literature & Literary History
Visual & Comparative Media
No prior expertise in film is necessary for immersion in this course. We’ll learn the nuts and bolts of film language as we proceed. Despite the title of this course, it is conceived unapologetically as a course in film. The goal is to saturate ourselves with the absolute best that film has been capable of since 1930 (we won't attempt silent cinema), in order to acquire an intuitive feeling for and an empirical understanding of what makes a great film great. All the films we'll view are "best" films and immediately, often thrillingly or hilariously, accessible as such. The syllabus, then, is basically a "top 10" list (one of many possible ones.) Its choices are necessarily subject to revision: in the last paper I'll ask you which of the films you think most belong here, as well as any obvious films you think are missing.
Films shown: Kurosawa, Drunken Angel; Bertolucci, The Conformist; Bergman, Summer Interlude; Renoir, The Crime of M. Lange; Hawks, His Girl Friday; Hitchcock, Shadow of a Doubt and Vertigo; Marker, La Jettee; Park Chan-wook, Thirst; Godard, Pierrot le Fou; Bresson, A Man Escaped, Ozu, Late Spring.
P.S.: We will read literature, when the occasion presents itself--e.g., when a film is based on a book or a play, or when a shooting script is available, we will read all or at least part the source material. And we'll be reading around constantly in the literature of film.