Visual and Material Culture: Course

Introduction to Film History

Utin Pablo, Dr., Semester 2, Sunday, 12:30-14:00
This course, which continues the discussion in the previous semester, offers a selective overview of central milestones in the development of the history of cinema, starting from the renaissance of European cinema after WWII, through the political and aesthetic revolutions in world cinema during the 1960s, and culminating with the emergence of new national traditions in cinema in the 21st century. Particular attention will be given to the national, economic, political and aesthetic context in which dominant cinematic movements emerged (e.g., Italian Neo Realism or the French New Wave), and to particular filmmakers who were able to keep their own unique voice within the limiting structures in which they were working (e.g., Alfred Hitchcock or Stanley Kubrick). Our chronological journey will focus not only on the development of fictional cinema, but also on the evolution of documentary and experimental cinema around the world and throughout the years. We will offer different historical and aesthetic perspectives to study the evolution of the language of cinema, examine the influence of technological developments on aesthetic traditions in film (like digital cinema), and evaluate the importance of film genres and the auteur theory as major tools for analyzing and understanding the history of cinema. The lectures will be accompanied by clips from films and weekly assigned readings.