Auteur Theory – The Films of Ingmar Bergman (1918-2007)
172 002 | CCN: 21987
Linda Haverty Rugg
Location: Dwinelle 142
Date and Time: TU, TH 11:00am - 12:29pm
Ernst Ingmar Bergman was born in Stockholm in July of 1918, the son of a prominent Lutheran minister. He was one of Sweden’s most important artists, the director of forty-seven films and many significant television productions, a theater director, long-time head of Sweden’s National Theater (“Dramaten”), and the author of autobiographies, novels, essays, and plays. He is among the best-known directors of the international auteurist cinema movement. He died on the island of Gotland in Sweden in July, 2007.
In this course we will approach Ingmar Bergman’s work from several angles. With a distinctive cinematic style, both visual and verbal (Bergman wrote most of his own screenplays), a focus on a set of themes, and a close circle of collaborators both in front of and behind the camera, Bergman’s work offers a particularly rich platform for discussions of what we mean by film authorship. We will view his films and read theories of authorship, older and newer critical responses to his films, and Bergman’s own writings. By the end of the course students will have developed a knowledge of Bergman’s work that makes clear the way in which the disparate pieces come together to create an artistic web. Students will also have the tools that enable them to discuss and analyze film and to respond critically to the problem of film authorship.
Course materials and requirements
Attendance and participation in lecture/discussion sessions allow students to ask questions, provide insights, and learn from both lectures and discussion. For those who do not feel comfortable with contributing to class discussion, an on-line format will be available. Attendance will not be taken at film screenings, but it is recommended that students attend screenings rather than electing to watch films independently, because most of the films were made to be viewed in a public format, and attendance offers the opportunity to raise immediate questions. Readings should be completed before the date they are listed on the syllabus. All readings will be available on-line on the course website. There will be occasional short writing assignments, ungraded, in which students will be asked to consider a question related to the readings or films. Some of these will be completed in class. A short sequence analysis will provide an exercise in close reading. A longer paper will allow students to explore an aspect of Bergman’s work that interests them. Suggestions for paper topics and reading resources will be supplied. Students will be required to submit paper topics in advance for approval and will be offered the opportunity to submit a draft of their paper. A final exam will test both the student’s knowledge and understanding of Bergman’s work and the ability to work critically with cinematic analysis and theory. A study sheet will be provided for the final and we will have a review session during the review period.
Attendance and Participation 15%
Short Writing Assignments 15% (assignments will be given 100% if turned in on time, 0% if not)
Sequence Analysis 20%