Circulating within The Postmodern Cinematic Image
Subject is not scheduled Not scheduled
Name of lecturer(s)
Learning outcomes of the course unit
This course will teach the student both how to watch a film and how to use
other disciplines to throw more clear light on the cultural form of cinema."
Mode of study
lecture plus discussion
Prerequisites and co-requisites
This inter-disciplinary seminar is modeled on the epistemological notion of
an American-informed postmodernity/globalization, which for worse or for ill
informs our contemporaneity, and which by extension for us as such produces
the pedagogic matter in our class that engages a select examination
of global films from the following post-war world-directors: Michelangelo
Antonioni (Italy), Rainer Werner Fassbinder (Germany), Terrence Malick
(USA), Alain Resnais (France), Andrei Tarkovsky (USSR), and Orson
Welles (USA), (i.e., post-1947 Occidental and Soviet cinema) with special
focus given to those cinematic moments that teach and that train us in
new non-dominatory viewing strategies, in new creative ways of circulating
(our term for moving), and in new nonsadistic ways of engaging with the most
essential element of the cinema: the aesthetic unit of the image. Film
criticism and film philosophy from Walter Benjamin (Germany), Leo
Bersani-Ulysse Dutoit (USA), David A. Cook (USA), Gilles Deleuze (France),
Niklas Luhmann (Germany), Todd McGowan (USA), Edgar Morin (France),
(France), Erik S. Roraback (USA/Czech Republic), Steven Shaviro (USA),
François Truffaut (USA) and Slavoj Žižek (Slovenia), will be our principal
textual objects of focus. All films are either in English or have English
inter-titles or sub-titles. Clips and special features from the DVDs will
also be shown. The course is conducted in English and consists of three
clock hour long sessions (i.e., four academic hours) to allow sufficient
time for both the screenings and for seminar lecture/discussion.
Strategically, we shall engage our target pictures in a non-orthodox counter
chronological way in order to undercut over facile teleological ways of
thinking and of reasoning; this strategic intention will also provide us
with a different perspective on the evolutionary development of arguably one
of the more important and influential cultural forms of the
Recommended or required reading
Selections from the following critical and theoretical texts will be available in a course-reader or: will be adduced in the lectures or readings authored by the instructor:
Benjamin, Walter: selected texts from the series of volumes with Harvard Univ. Press to be announced.
Bersani, Leo and Ulysse Dutoit: Arts of Impoverishment: Beckett, Rothko, Resnais (Harvard, 1993).
_ . Forms of Being: Cinema, Aesthetics, Subjectivity (BFI, 2004).
Bird, Robert. Andrei Rublev. (BFI, 2004).
Conrad, Peter: The Stories of His Life: Orson Welles (Faber & Faber, 2003).
Cook, David A.: A History of Narrative Film (Norton, 2004).
Deleuze, Gilles: Cinema 1: The Movement-Image, trans. Hugh Tomlinson and Barbara Habberjam
_ . Cinema 2: The Time-Image, trans. Hugh Tomlinson and Robert Galeta (Minnesota, 1989).
Lambert, Gregg: ?The Brain is the Screen: An Interview with Gilles Deleuze? in Flaxman, Gregory, ed., The
Brain is the Screen: Deleuze and the Philosophy of Cinema (Minnesota, 2000).
Le Fanu, Mark. ?Stalker? in The Cinema of Andrei Tarkovsky (BFI, 1987) pp. 92-107.
Luhmann, Niklas: The Reality of the Mass Media, trans. Kathleen Cross (Stanford: Stanford UP, 2000).
McGowan, Todd: The Real Gaze: Film Theory after Lacan (SUNY, 2007).
Morin, Edgar: The Cinema, or The Imaginary Man, trans. Lorraine Morimer (Minnesota, 2005).
_ . The Stars, trans. Richard Howard, foreword Lorraine Mortimer (Minnesota, 2005).
Nancy, Jean-Luc: The Creation of the World; or, Globalization, trans. with an intro. François Raffoul and
David Pettigew (Albany: SUNY P, 2007).
Naremore, James: The Magic World of Orson Welles (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press,
1978 reprinted at Dallas: Southern Methodist Univ. Press, 1989).
Ranci?re, Jacques: Film Fables, trans. Emiliano Battista (Berg, 2006).
_ . The Future of the Image, trans. Gregory Elliott (Verso, 2007).
Roraback, Erik S.: a select band of essays adduced below from a tome in progress,
The Stars of a Constellation; or, Film, Movement & Silence.
Shaviro, Steven: The Cinematic Body, Theory Out of Bounds, Volume 2 (Minnesota, 1993).
Thomsen, Christian Braad: ?The Double Man?, ?Bavaria and Hollywood? and ?Querelle? in Fassbinder: The
Life and Work of a Provocative Genius, trans. Martin Chalmers (Faber and Faber, 1997) pp. 1-44,
101-10 and 302-11.
Truffaut, François: ?Foreword? to André Bazin?s Orson Welles: A Critical View (Acrobat, 1978), pp. 1-27.
Žižek, Slavoj, ed.: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Lacan But Were Afraid to Ask Hitchcock (Verso,
Assessment methods and criteria
To receive credit for the seminar students must:
- have no more than three absences
- give one oral presentation on a film and on the required text(s) for that week
- submit a mid-term essay
- produce a final essay. Final essay (2000 words; 3000-4000 words Charles Univ. English dept. students only): 40%, Mid-term essay (1500 words; 2500 words Charles Univ. English dept. students only): 20%, Oral presentation: 20%, Attendance and participation: 20%. Essay topics will be distributed at least two weeks before they are due.
Arriving more than ten minutes late at the beginning of the seminar or leaving early will be considered an absence for that session. During class time, mobile phones are to be off and computers may be on for note-taking only and not for doing work online.
No schedule has been prepared for this course
The subject is a part of the following study plans
- Academy Preparation Program - Cinematography (optional subject)
- Academy Preparation Program - Animated Film (optional subject)
- Academy Preparation Program - Directing (optional subject)
- Academy Preparation Program - Documentary (optional subject)
- Academy Preparation Program - Editing (optional subject)
- Academy Preparation Program - Photography (optional subject)
- Academy Preparation Program - Screenwriting (optional subject)
- Production Team Studies (optional subject)