This course provides a survey of world cinema movements. How and why did these movements come into being? What were their aesthetic, cultural, and political aims? How have people learned about places, cultures, people, and events through cinema? In what ways does “world cinema” represent the possibilities of what movies can do and be? Along these lines, what are the limits of “world cinema” as a conceptual category? What roles has cinema taken in the complex processes of globalization?

Through the combination of film texts, readings, lectures, and discussions, this course teaches students how to “read” a diverse array of films through various contextual lenses. In offering an introduction to the history of world cinema, this course will:

  • Introduce students to important historical and recent films produced (largely) outside of the United States.
  • Provide students with a conceptual overview of key issues raised by world cinema movements, including questions about uses of film form, expressions of national identity, patterns of transnational filmmaking, capacities for representation, and politics of global film circulation.
  • Utilize required film and media screenings alongside assigned readings as a means to illustrate and explore these key issues, teaching students how to critically dissect a wide array of films and film styles in the process.
  • Require regular writing assignments to help students to come to an understanding of these films and movements within their historical, geographical, and political contexts.

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