DMS 333 World Cinema
Shilina-Conte :: TH 5:00PM – 8:40PM :: CFA 112
“World cinema” can no longer be reduced to the category of individual national cinemas, eroded by the oppositional formula “the West and the Rest.” David Martin-Jones suggests approaching “world cinemas” in the plural mode “as an interconnected multiplicity (forest) rather than a collection of autonomous sovereign nation-states (trees).” To use the metaphor of the GPS navigation device, this class will engage in remapping and recalculating the alternative routes of world cinema. Creating this new cartography will require different models of reconceptualization.
One such concept is “Minor Cinema,” proposed by Gilles Deleuze, which will serve as the cornerstone for this class. On the one hand, we will look at minor cinema as a vehicle of experimentation that goes against dominant practices and mainstream currents, pushing the limits of cinematic language to open new horizons. On the other hand, we will engage with minor cinema as political cinema, created by or for minority figures. Mikhail Bakhtin once stated that “in culture, exotopy is the most powerful tool for understanding.” The look from the outside invites “becoming-minor,” in order to entertain and celebrate difference, not sameness. Approached from both angles, minor cinema intersects with cinema of small or unrecognized nations, women’s cinema, queer cinema, indigenous cinema, black cinema, amateur cinema, remix culture, etc. In addition, we will explore a range of other competing terms at the intersection of global culture, transnationalism, information age and activist cinema. These will include “Third Cinema” (Solanas & Octavio), “Intercultural Cinema” (Marks), “Accented Cinema” (Naficy), “Peripheral Cinema” (Iordanova), “Nomadic Cinema” ( Andrew), as well as postcolonial, hybrid, marginal, militant, interstitial and diasporic cinema.
The films chosen for this class will explore alternative means of representation, such as fragmentation, coding, silence and absence, both as a means of experimentation with the cinematic language and a tool of political protest and resistance. The films will range between “Divine Intervention” by Elia Suleiman (Palestine), “La Antena” by Esteban Sapir (Argentina), “The Missing Picture” by Rithy Panh (Cambodia), “Rebirth of a Nation” by DJ Spooky and “Citizenfour” by Laura Poitras (US). Critical texts and films will help us to understand our present existence in a world marked by the unprecedented flows of information, as well as the social, (geo)political and cultural forces that shape our ways of inhabiting it. Rachel Falconer describes a person who is critically attuned to these new challenges of globalized networked culture as a “DJ of Thought.” This class invites you to become a DJ of Thought.
Fulfills Media & Culture OR Advanced Theory Requirement.