This course will introduce the fundamental concepts in film studies, major structural features of cinema, master filmmakers, and key film theories. After familiarizing the students with the essential glossary of cinema, the historical development of film as a distinct cultural product will be discussed focusing on its technical/ideological tuning points. The linkages of cinema with other performance/non-performance genres like literature, theatre, music, photography, etc. will be discussed in detail for establishing the interdisciplinariness of film as a cultural product. The key-terms selected for the course will equip the learner to approach cinema as a medium which has got unique specificity. The emphasis of the course is to provide enough conceptual foundations so as to make the students approach the medium theoretically. As a practical component, the students will be given inputs on writing professional film reviews and critical academic articles on cinema. The course will be delivered through four major components: Structural features of film, major movements in cinema, classic filmmakers and their select films, and theoretical essays on cinema.
Week 1:History of Film, Mise-en-Scene, and Cinema Verite Week 2:Documentary Film, Andre Bazin ("The Ontology of the Photographic Image"), and Amy Villarejo ("The Language of Film") Week 3:Louis Lumiere (Early 10 Films), Charlie Chaplin (Modern Times), and Sergei Eisenstein (The Battleship Potemkin) Week 4:Satyajit Ray (Pather Panchali, and "Introduction" to Our Films, Their Films), Film Noir and German Expressionism Week 5:Italian Neorealism, French New Wave and Andrew Dix ("Film and Narrative") Week 6:Jean-Luc Godard (Breathless), Vittorio de Sica (Bicycle Thieves), and Richard Attenborough (Gandhi) Week 7:Samira Makhmalbaf (Blackboards), Dogme 95, and Queer Cinema Week 8:Third Cinema, Auteur Theory, Laura Mulvey ("Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema") Week 9:Deepa Mehta (Fire), and Mehboob Khan (Mother India) Week 10:Ritwik Ghatak (Nagarik), Cinematography, and Black Cinema Week 11:Montage, Film Soundscape Week 12:Jean-Louis Baudry (“Ideological Effects of the Basic Cinematographic Apparatus”), and Akira Kurosawa (Seven Samurai) Week 13:Adoor Gopalakrishnan (Elippathayam), and John Abraham (Amma Ariyan) Week 14:Writing Film Review, Hollywood, and Film and Music Week 15:Film Genres, David E. James (“Is There A Class in this Text: The Repression of Class in Film and Cultural Studies”)