Saturday, April 02, 2011

Fall 2011 ENG 282 International Film Studies Course Films

(In Development)

Our understanding of the possibilities, problems and limits of identity will be explored through our viewing and discussion of unique examples from the world of cinema. What does it mean to be alive, feeling, and thinking in this world? This course will include the screening and discussion of films that will make us think, laugh, question, squirm, weep, desire, doubt and rethink.

"The most strongly enforced of all known taboos is the taboo against knowing who or what you really are behind the mask of your apparently separate, independent, and isolated egos."
-- Alan Watts, The Book on the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are (1966)

What are “thoughts,” and what are “things”? and how are they connected?… Is there a common stuff out of which all facts are made?… Which is the most real kind of reality? What binds all things into one universe?
-- Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life (2011)

"The only performance that makes it, that makes it all the way, is the one that achieves madness."
-- Turner in the film Performance

Midway upon the journey of our life
I found myself within a forest dark,
For the straightforward path had been lost.
--Dante Alighieri, Divine Comedy: Inferno, Song 1

Anyone who believes that every individual film must present a "balanced" picture, knows nothing about either balance or pictures.
--Edward R. Murrow

Democracy is a great conversation, a community defined by the scope and substance of its discourse.
--James David Barber

"Believing is seeing and not the other way around."
--Errol Morris

"There are in fact no masses; there are only ways of seeing people as masses.”
--Raymond Williams

"Art and humanities research begins with a desire to understand the human condition."
--Masoud Yazdani

Film matters because film is us. We as a society use the filmic form to tell stories about who we are and our society - they are a record of what makes us human and what concerns us in the everyday. ... The film form, narrative and styles with which we are so familiar, from Hollywood blockbusters to the avant-garde, shape our own personal narratives. Film offers us a language to speak to each other across national, class, economic, and racial lines - film is a phenomenon that allows us to understand cultures and people.
--Lincoln Geraghty

Until lions have their own historians, histories of the hunt will glorify the hunter.
-- African proverb

"So you lie to yourself to be happy. There's nothing wrong with that. We all do it."
--Teddy in Memento (2000)

My films are intended as polemical statements against the American ‘barrel down’ cinema and its dis-empowerment of the spectator. They are an appeal for a cinema of insistent questions instead of false (because too quick) answers, for clarifying distance in place of violating closeness, for provocation and dialogue instead of consumption and consensus.
-– Michael Haneke, “Film as Catharsis”

The question isn’t “how do I show violence?” but rather “how do I show the spectator his position vis-à-vis violence and its representation?”
-– Michael Haneke

As a scholar of transnational/eco-critical cinema, it is increasingly clear to me that cinema is one of the most efficient ways to debate political and cultural issues in a global society. This is especially the case with cinema's potential to visually capture the transnational and even global scale of ecological problems, and engage with them in a way that reaches wide global audiences. Cinema is not only a communicator of ideas and an essential component of the culture industries. It is also a crucial pedagogical tool that facilitates efficient learning and motivates participation from new generations of audiences. It can help audiences, 'old' and 'new', to rethink their place in the world, and crucially, it can also motivate them to do something about the injustices and exploitation to which they are witness.
--Pietari Kääpä

Openness exists . . .not only for the person to whom one listens, but rather anyone who listens is fundamentally open. Without this kind of openness to one another there is no genuine human relationship. Belonging together always also means being able to listen to one another.

--Hans-Georg Gadamer Truth and Method (Source)

Our human existence is rooted in sex. .... It lies at the very heart of love. Though conservatives reject the very idea as dangerous, I would say that the way to save us from our own perversity is by confronting sex courageously. ... Sex brings relief from tension and enmity and leads to harmony in human relationships--husband and wife, [friends] and strangers. (109)

Kaneto Shindō, qouted in McDonald, Keiko. "Eros, Politics, and Folk Religion: Kaneto Shindō's Onobaba (1963)." Reading a Japanese Film: Cinema in Context. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 2006: 108-121.

‘We do not remember, we rewrite memory much as history is rewritten’
Narrator of Chris Marker's film Sans Soleil (1983)

"The tradition of the oppressed teaches us that the ‘emergency situation’ in which we live is not the exception, but the rule.”
--Walter Benjamin, Theses on the Philosophy of History

"What is focus, and who has the right to say what is legitimate focus?
-- Julie Margaret Cameron, late 19th Century Photographer

1993: Blue (Poland/France/Switzerland: Krzystof Kieslowski, 1993: 98 mins)

1994: Before the Rain (Republic of Macedonia: Milcho Manchevski, 1994: 113 mins)

1997: Gadjo Dilo (Romania/France: Tony Gatlif, 1997: 102 mins)

2000: Code Unknown (France/Germany/Romania: Michael Haneke, 2000: 118 mins)

2000: Joint Security Area (South Korea: Chan Wook-Park, 2000: 110 mins)

2001: Monsoon Wedding (India/USA/Italy/Germany/France: Mira Nair, 2001: 114 mins)

2004: Moolaadé (Senegal/France/Burkina Faso/Cameroon/Morocco/Tunisia: Ousmane Sembene, 2004: 124 mins)

2004: Unconscious (Spain/Germany/Italy/Portugal: Joaquín Oristrell, 2004: 100 mins)

2006: Brand Upon the Brain (Canada: Guy Maddin, 2006: 95 mins)

2006: Shortbus (USA: John Cameron Mitchell, 2006: 101 mins)

2008: Gomorrah (Italy: Matteo Garrone, 2008: 137 mins)

2008: Hunger (Ireland/UK: Steve McQueen, 2008: 96 mins)

2009: No One Knows About Persian Cats (Iran: Bahman Ghobadi, 2009: 106 mins)

2009: White Material (France/Cameroon: Claire Denis, 2009: 106 mins)

2010: Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (Thailand: Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2010: 114 mins)

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