Courses / Undergraduate

Spring 2015

  • The History of Film (Sound Era)

    25B | CCN: 31651

    Mary Ann Doane

    4 Units

     In this introductory survey course we will examine the history of cinema from the mid-1930s through the international development of film as a transformative technology, art form, and commercial medium up to the present time. In addition to our main textbook, Kristin Thompson and David Bordwell’s Film History: An Introduction, we will also draw on material from the scholarship of such film historians/theorists as Peter Wollen, Linda Williams, Pascal Bonitzer, Hamid Naficy, Thomas Elsaesser, Lev Manovich, and many others, in discussing the way certain landmark short and feature films reflect social, political, and ideological changes through the decades. The objectives of this course are to:
1. familiarize the students with the major technological and aesthetic innovations of the past 80 years which have given rise to the cinema as we know it today;
2. foster students’ awareness of the economic, social and political contexts in which sound cinema developed and the impact which cinema had, in turn, on nations, cultures, and historical events; and
3. give students a clear sense of the major movements in sound cinema (including classical and post-classical Hollywood cinema, experimental, documentary, and avant-garde cinema, Italian Neo-Realism, French Poetic Realism and the New Wave, Third Cinema, Political Cinema of the 1960s-‘70s, and film in the era of global multimedia) and how those movements intertwined with critical, theoretical, and popular responses to the medium.