This course will introduce students to the work of mainstream and experimental women filmmakers from around the world. As we examine films from the nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first centuries, we will consider how a counter-history of women's cinema alters more conventional versions of the medium's history, whether gender is a useful category of analysis for film studies, how women filmmakers have responded to each others' work, and how other markers of identity like race and class complicate utopian narratives of "sisters in cinema."
Section 401 - SEM
This course is an exploration of multiple forces that explain the growth, global spread and institutionalization of international film festivals. The global boom in film industry has resulted in an incredible proliferation of film festivals taking place all around the world, and festivals have become one of the biggest growth industries. A dizzying convergence site of cinephilia, media spectacle, business agendas and geopolitical purposes, film festivals offer a fruitful ground on which to investigate the contemporary global cinema network. Film festivals will be approached as a site where numerous lines of the world cinema map come together, from culture and commerce, experimentation and entertainment, political interests and global business patterns. To analyze the network of film festivals, we will address a wide range of issues, including historical and geopolitical forces that shape the development of festivals, festivals as an alternative marketplace, festivals as a media event, programming and agenda setting, prizes, cinephilia, and city marketing. Individual case studies of international film festivals—Cannes, Berlin, Venice, Rotterdam, Karlovy Vary, Toronto, Sundance among others—will enable us to address all these diverse issues but also to establish a theoretical framework with which to approach the study of film festival. For students planning to attend the Penn-in-Cannes program, this course provides an excellent foundation that will prepare you for the on-site experience of the King of all festivals.
TR 0130PM-0300PM
  • CINE202401
  • COML292401
  • ENGL292401
Section 403 - SEM
Science Fiction has been a cinematic genre for as long as there has been cinema—at least since Georges Melies’s visionary Trip to the Moon in 1902. However, though science fiction films have long been reliable box office earners and cult phenomena, critical acknowledgement and analysis was slow to develop. Still, few genres reflect the sensibility of their age so transparently—if often unconsciously—or provide so many opportunities for filmmakers to simultaneously address social issues and expand the lexicon with new technologies. Given budgetary considerations and the appetite for franchises, science fiction auteurs face a difficult negotiation between artistic expression and lowest common denominator imperatives, the controversy over Terry Gilliam’s Brazil (1985) being perhaps the most infamous example. Nevertheless, many notable filmmakers have done their most perceptive and influential work in the scifi realm, including Gilliam, Ridley Scott, Steven Spielberg, David Cronenberg, James Cameron and Paul Verhoeven. This course will survey the scope of modern science fiction cinema, beginning with two films that inspired a rare wave of academic discourse, Scott’s Alien (1979) and Blade Runner (1982), which attracted postmodernists, feminists, and film historians interested in how the works both drew from earlier movements (German Expressionism, Noir), and inspired new ones (Cyberpunk). We will look at smaller, more independent-minded projects, such as Michel Gondry’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) and Duncan Jones’ Moon (2009) as well as risky, massively budgeted epics such as Spielberg’s AI: Artificial Intelligence (2001) and Christopher Nolan’s Inception (2010).
TR 0300PM-0430PM
  • CINE202403
  • COML292403
  • ENGL292403