DMS 109 M Intro Film & Media Interp
In 1926 Virginia Woolf aptly stated in her essay that “while all the other arts were born naked,
storytelling, cinema is greatly indebted to literature, as it borrowed many of its readymade techniques and devices. However, the relationship between the verbal and the visual within the moving image has always been a question of a great dispute, with cinema striving to achieve an independent status as the seventh art. In this class we will look at traditional and experimental ways that word and image correlate and function together in narrative, documentary andexperimental films. During the course of six weeks we will explore the art of the title sequence, survey the history of intertitles and subtitles, and consider avant-garde techniques of scratching and applying text directly onto the celluloid. Our special agenda in this class will be to scrutinize instances of irrational/serial montage, manifested by the use of black and white screens with signage, which suppress the visual but foreground the textual, inviting the spectator to fashion an image in the mind’s eye. From these reservoirs of invisible evidence in film swarm forth a host of critical issues such as ethnicity, race, sexuality, gender, ethics, trauma, censorship and the suppression of history and memory. We will expand our critical vocabulary, discussing such movements as Lettrisme and Fluxus and tackling such concepts as paratext, iconicity and ekphrasis. Films and excerpts by David Fincher, Hiroshi Tashigahara, Jean-Luc Godard, Peter Greenaway, Charles Sheeler and Paul Strand, Stan Brakhage, Su Friedrich, Norman McLaren, Rea Tajiri, Julia Meltzer and David Thorne, etc. will be considered. All articles and excerpts from books will be posted regularly on UB Learns, but since the course will be taught online,
students should be prepared to purchase three or four films that we will be analyzing in this class or acquire them via alternative routes. Links to some films and excerpts will be provided. Fulfills Intro To Interpretation Requirement.