OPEN TO PRE-COLLEGE STUDENTS ONLY
This course will ask a simple question: “What do we need to learn to read films as texts?”. Cinema is usually regarded as too commercial a medium in comparison with literature and theater, yet this preconception is due to the fact that cinema’s logic, grammar or language has not been respectfully understood. In this course, we will develop a critical language that will enable us to read the various aspects that come together to create both a cinematic narrative and an aesthetic style: mise-en-scène, editing, cinematography, sound design, generic conventions, stars/actors/auteurs. We will watch and discuss films together and slowly gain the valuable skills of making sense of what we see on the screen. Our theme will be (post)colonial cinema of the 20th and 21st century. Our end-goal will be two-fold: to contextually analyze a film in its formal qualities and to become aware of the ways that film can contribute to historical debates, filling in gaps, speaking to silences, highlighting confusion and undoing forgetfulness. Reading list will include: Walter Benjamin, Gayatri Spivak, Ella Shohat, Edward Said, Frantz Fanon, Catherine Wheatley, as well as a text-book on the essential formal elements of Film: Film Art.