Current Painleve Medium
Documentary Films in the French Language
178A :  Studies in French Film
Spring 2023
Class No: 32679
B-37 Dwinelle
Maya Sidhu
12:30 - 1:59 PM

Course conducted entirely in French. Filmmakers working in the French language have had an outsized role in documentary innovation. In this course, we will explore the rich history of documentary film from the early 20th century to the present through a focus on influential filmmakers working in French such as: the Lumière brothers, Jean Painlevé, Jean Rouch, Safi Faye, Chris Marker, Marcel Ophüls, Alain Resnais, Agnès Varda, Jean-Luc Godard, Gilles Groulx, Pierre Perrault, and Alice Diop. In this course, we will take an expansive view of documentary ranging from: scientific, political, essayistic and cinema-vérité. Students will learn how to analyze a film closely by examining how film elements work together to produce meaning. As a final project for the course, students will make a short cellphone documentary film inspired by one of the filmmakers studied. This class is open to both French and Film majors, though a knowledge of French is required.