The Craft of Writing – Film Focus – Film Focus: La Jetée
R1A 003 | CCN: 10052
This class will introduce students to college-level reading and writing, as well as to the discipline of film studies, through close, careful study of one film: La Jetée. Chris Marker's 1962 science tells the story of a time traveler looping back and forth between 20th Century France and a post-apocalyptic future after World War 3. Just 28 minutes long and consisting entirely of still images, the French New Wave short is one of the most influential films ever made, inspiring countless homages, a feature-length remake (12 Monkeys, dir. Terry Gilliam, 1995), and hundreds of pages of critical commentary. Every week, we will watch a 16mm projection of La Jetée in order to learn how to watch, taking notes about, analyze in real time, and later write about movies in their original medium. We will get to know La Jetée inside-out, using it as a case study for learning different methods of film scholarship, including formal analysis, historical analysis, film philosophy, and critical, feminist, and psychoanalytic film theory. Projections of La Jetée will usually be accompanied by digital or tape screenings of other films, ranging from experimental shorts to Hitchcock classics, that share aesthetic or conceptual resonances with La Jetée and will enrich our understanding of key concepts and term from film studies, including sound, voice, music, lighting, composition, movement, mise en scène, narrative, identification, gaze, desire, and time.