UC Berkeley Department of Film and Media

Department of Film & Media UC Berkeley

Courses / Graduate

Spring 2017

240 - 001 | CCN: 15221

Graduate Topics in Film: Cinephilia/Telephilia

Mark Sandberg,

4 Units

This seminar compares the dynamics of unusual forms of attachment to film and television. While “cinephilia” has a long intellectual history that will be explored in detail, while “telephilia” has historically failed to gain traction. In readings and discussions we will test the worth of that analogy not with a simple back-and-forth comparison of two media ontologies or modes of spectatorship, but proceeding from the recognition that both forms of “media love” currently converge in what might be called more “polyamorous” web-based discursive practices redefined by new forms of media access.

Topics covered in the course include:

1) the role of “affiliation” in identity production (issues of taste and class, fans vs. cinéastes, cult cinema as cinephilia, etc.)
2) the legacy of what might be called the “cinascetic” turn in 1970s film theory
3) varieties of fetishistic spectatorship
4) excerptibility, from photogénie to GIFs
5) narrative vs. formal attachments
6) ritual aspects of viewing, on a continuum from “habits” to “binging” to “addiction”
7) the relationship between scarcity and media love (the role of censorship, historical loss, or inaccessibility in creating value)

Both films and televisions episodes will be viewed in the screening time attached to the course.