Università degli Studi di Urbino Carlo Bo / Portale Web di Ateneo


CINEMA AND PHOTOGRAPHY
CINEMA E FOTOGRAFIA

The Politics of the Film Image
La politica dell’immagine cinematografica

A.Y. Credits
2020/2021 6
Lecturer Email Office hours for students
Dominic Francis Graham Holdaway Wednesday 17.00-18.00 and Thurs 11.00-12.00, though please email for confirmation
Teaching in foreign languages
Course with optional materials in a foreign language English
This course is entirely taught in Italian. Study materials can be provided in the foreign language and the final exam can be taken in the foreign language.

Assigned to the Degree Course

Communication Sciences (L-20)
Curriculum: PERCORSO COMUNE
Date Time Classroom / Location
Date Time Classroom / Location

Learning Objectives

The objective of the course is to introduce the history of world cinema through a series of certain significant moments, selected for their importance and their contribution to the evolution of the medium. The course will moreover introduce the connections between cinema and politics, considering how form, content and context can contribute to the construction and manipulation of ideological meanings.

Students will learn to use various tools for film analysis. Historical and cultural tools, that will be particularly useful in the study of film production, circulation and consumption in various national contexts, but also methodological tools of textual analysis, providing detailed studies of the forms of cinematographic and photographic langauge.

Program

In the six weeks of this course, we will retrace some of the fundamental phases of the history of cinema, studying alongside them certain key elements that connect cinema culture to politics: 

  • The birth and institutionalization cinema in Europe, narration and mise-en-scène
  • The avant-gardes, and the Soviet school of montage
  • The Hollywood narrative model and its production system
  • Fascism, post-fascism and the question of realism
  • The "new waves", the auteur and the narration of modernity
  • New Hollywood and the ideologies of "post-" cinemas

These questions will be further studied through film and photographic materials through the historical and geographic contexts of the moments taken into consideration.

Learning Achievements (Dublin Descriptors)

1. Knowledge and understanding: students will obtain a foundation of critical historical and theoretical knowledge regarding the role played by cinema in society, and its politics.

1.1. Students will gain this understanding through lesson participation and through discussion of the course's themes, as well as through film analysis guided by the lecturer.

2. Applying knowledge and understanding: the knowledge obtained during this course will be applied to film analysis, enabling students to identify and recognize the main historical trends and the effects of directors' stylistic choices. 

2.1. Students will gain this ability in classes, in the guided analysis of films, and through discussions in small groups.

3. Making judgements: students will learn to express informed, autonomous judgments on the politics of audiovisual culture, and on the socio-historical processes that have influenced the production of some of the most important films of world cinema.

3.1. Students will gain the ability to make critical judgments through participation in discussions in class and debates with the lecturer and with their colleagues, as well as through personal study surrounding the lessons. 

4. Communication: students will learn to express themselves in Italian (and/or English) on the course's themes, moreover applying the appropriate specialist vocabulary of film studies.

4.1. They will develop this ability through class discussions and exchanges with colleagues, as well as the lecturer, in addition to small, informal presentations in class.

5. Lifelong learning skills: students will learn to engage and interact with the history of cinema and to analyse cinematographic texts, connecting these elements in autonomous reflections on the politics of this medium.

5.1. These abilities will be enabled through the use of various learning tools, allowing students, at the end of the course, to nagivate autonomously in the history of cinema. In addition, discussion and debate with classmates and the lecturer will play a key role, as well as class exercises and personal study.

Teaching Material

The teaching material prepared by the lecturer in addition to recommended textbooks (such as for instance slides, lecture notes, exercises, bibliography) and communications from the lecturer specific to the course can be found inside the Moodle platform › blended.uniurb.it

Supporting Activities

Together with lectures, the course will include projections of relevant films from the history of cinema.

The materials used by the lecturer along with other relevant work will be made available online through the University's digital blended learning tool.


Didactics, Attendance, Course Books and Assessment

Didactics

Lectures on the history, theory and concepts of visual media studies, projections, seminars and group discussions on the course's themes and the included films.

Attendance

Students must attend at least three quarters of the lessons

Course books

The content of the lessons (the slides).

David Bordwell e Kristin Thompson, Storia del cinema: un'introduzione (Italian translation edited by Elena Mosconi and David Bruni), Milan: McGraw-Hill Education, 2018 (only chapters 3, 5-9, 11-12, 14.1, 15.1-15.3 and 16).

N.b. the volume is available in English (Film History: An Introduction, various editions). If you are using the English edition, please contact me to check which chapters to study.

Students must watch the following films:

  • The Cabinet of Dr Caligari/ Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari (Robert Wiene, 1920)
  • Battleship Potëmkin / Бронено́сец «Потёмкин» (Sergej Ėjzenštejn, 1925)
  • Casablanca (Michael Curtiz, 1942)
  • Rome, Open City/Roma città aperta (Roberto Rossellini, 1945)
  • Happiness/Le bonheur (Agnes Varda, 1965)
  • Easy Rider (Dennis Hopper, 1969)

It is recommended that students watch the following films:

  • Cabiria (Giovanni Pastrone, 1914)
  • Birth of a Nation (1915)
  • Nosferatu / Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens (F.W. Murnau, 1922)
  • October / Октябрь (Десять дней, которые потрясли мир) (Sergej Ėjzenštejn, 1927)
  • Man with a Movie Camera / Человек с кино-аппаратом (Dziga Vertov, 1929)
  • Un chien andalou (Salvador Dalì e Luis Buñuel, 1929)
  • Umberto D. (Vittorio De Sica, 1952)
  • Breathless / À bout de souffle (Jean-Luc Godard, 1960)
  • La peau douce (François Truffaut, 1964)
  • Bonnie and Clyde (Arthur Penn, 1967)
  • Star Wars (George Lucas, 1977)
Assessment

Assessment for the course will consist in an individual oral exam. Students must demonstrate a fundamental understanding of the course's content through the study of texts and the analysis of audiovisual material. Class attendance is an integral part of the evaluation. The exam aims to assess both learning of the course content on behalf of the students and also their ability to express themselves, make argument and apply what they have learned.

Grading:

Excellent grades will be given in presence of: a good critical perspective and in depth knowledge; the ability to link the main subjects addressed during the course; the expert use of appropriate language and terminology.

Good grades will be given in presence of: good mnemonic knowledge of the course content; a relatively good critical perspective and the ability to connect its themes; the use of an appropriate language.

Sufficient grades will be given in presence of: minimal knowledge of the course's themes and the presence of some gaps in understanding; the use of an inappropriate language.

Low grades will be given in presence of: difficulty in understanding the course's topics; notable gaps in knowledge; the use of a clearly inappropriate language.

Additional Information for Non-Attending Students

Didactics

Blended learning, the study of the readings and film viewings, as per the programme

Course books

1. David Bordwell e Kristin Thompson, Storia del cinema: un'introduzione (Italian translation edited by Elena Mosconi and David Bruni), Milan: McGraw-Hill Education, 2018 (only chapters 3-9, 11-12, 14.1, 15.1 e 15.2, 16, and 23).

N.b. the volume is available in English (Film History: An Introduction, McGraw Hill, various editions). If you are using the English edition, please contact me to check which chapters to study.

2. Peter Decherney, Hollywood (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016); tr. it. (Bologna: Il Mulino, 2017).

Students must watch the following films:

  • The Cabinet of Dr Caligari/ Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari (Robert Wiene, 1920)
  • Battleship Potëmkin / Бронено́сец «Потёмкин» (Sergej Ėjzenštejn, 1925)
  • Casablanca (Michael Curtiz, 1942)
  • Rome, Open City/Roma città aperta (Roberto Rossellini, 1945)
  • Happiness/Le bonheur (Agnes Varda, 1965)
  • Easy Rider (Dennis Hopper, 1969)

It is recommended that students also watch the following films:

  • Cabiria (Giovanni Pastrone, 1914)
  • Birth of a Nation (1915)
  • Nosferatu / Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens (F.W. Murnau, 1922)
  • October / Октябрь (Десять дней, которые потрясли мир) (Sergej Ėjzenštejn, 1927)
  • Man with a Movie Camera / Человек с кино-аппаратом (Dziga Vertov, 1929)
  • Un chien andalou (Salvador Dalì e Luis Buñuel, 1929)
  • Umberto D. (Vittorio De Sica, 1952)
  • Breathless / À bout de souffle (Jean-Luc Godard, 1960)
  • La peau douce (François Truffaut, 1964)
  • Bonnie and Clyde (Arthur Penn, 1967)
  • Star Wars (George Lucas, 1977)
Assessment

Assessment for the course will consist in an individual oral exam. Students must demonstrate a fundamental understanding of the course's content through the study of texts and the analysis of audiovisual material. Class attendance is an integral part of the evaluation. The exam aims to assess both learning of the course content on behalf of the students and also their ability to express themselves, make argument and apply what they have learned.

Grading:

Excellent grades will be given in presence of: a good critical perspective and in depth knowledge; the ability to link the main subjects addressed during the course; the expert use of appropriate language and terminology.

Good grades will be given in presence of: good mnemonic knowledge of the course content; a relatively good critical perspective and the ability to connect its themes; the use of an appropriate language.

Sufficient grades will be given in presence of: minimal knowledge of the course's themes and the presence of some gaps in understanding; the use of an inappropriate language.

Low grades will be given in presence of: difficulty in understanding the course's topics; notable gaps in knowledge; the use of a clearly inappropriate language.

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