Courses / Undergraduate

Spring 2020

  • Film Genre: Film Noir

    108-003 | CCN: 24213

    Mary Ann Doane

    4 Units

    Tu/Th 12:30pm, Location: Dwinelle 188

    Screening: W 6pm-9pm, Location: Dwinelle 188

    In this course we will analyze the category of films known as film noir.  While these films appeared from roughly 1940 to 1958 in Hollywood, we will also be looking at important historical precedents (Weimar Cinema and Expressionism) and later incarnations of the genre (labeled neo-noir).  We will emphasize the films’ relation to sexuality/the femme fatale, paranoia, the construction of space and the representation of urban space, violence and masculinity, and racial representation.  Much of the reading will be highly theoretical and various methodologies will be examined—psychoanalytic, ideological, feminist, philosophical, Marxist and close textual analysis.  We will view films by Edgar G. Ulmer, Fritz Lang, Robert Siodmak, Joseph H. Lewis, Orson Welles, Billy Wilder, David Lynch, etc. Readings by Freud, Joan Copjec, Raymond Chandler, Georg Simmel, Fredric Jameson, Slavoj Zizek, and others.