The History of French Cinema
In this freshman seminar, we will watch and discuss major works from the history of French-language cinema, a great rival to and influence on American cinema since the origins of the medium. While paying close attention to the aesthetic strategies of different film movements—spanning narrative, documentary, and experimental—we will approach cinema as one of the key cultural technologies of the twentieth century, shaping modern ideas and experiences of race, class, gender, sexuality, love, the family, the nation, friendship, and life under capitalism.
On the basis of a weekly screening, we will focus particularly on how cinema has both generated normative fantasies of gender, nation, and race, and been deployed in feminist, queer, and postcolonial struggle in the French-speaking world. Since all films are subtitled, knowledge of French is not required.
Course limited to Fall 2020 first-year students. Weekly screening of films will be available for streaming.