The Craft of Writing: Cinema and the Aesthetics of Surrealism
R1B - 004 | CCN: 31621
Linda witkowski and Eliot Bessette
This course will combine the formal aesthetic analysis of cinema with theoretical texts to investigate the ways that surrealism has been used in film. Part of our work will be to contrast theories of surrealism with theories of realism in order to question how film and its techniques might expose “reality,” offer us an alternative way of living in the world, or generate a different world altogether. To do this, we will consider examples of surrealism in cinema from its avant-garde origins in the silent era to contemporary narrative explorations of surrealism. Some of the questions that will guide our discussions are: What is surrealism in film, and how do we recognize it? How do film techniques elicit a surreal effect or atmosphere? Can the surreal allow us to see the world differently? Theoretical readings will likely include texts by André Breton, Maya Deren, Roman Jakobson, and Sigmund Freud. Screenings will consider films by Germaine Dulac, Luis Buñuel, Maya Deren, Werner Herzog, and David Lynch, among others.