Instructor: Carter F        9:05 – 11:55am

Course participants learn techniques of narrative analysis while examining films in various genres and historical periods. Early lessons include an introduction to key questions in cinema studies along with an examination of Peter Verstraten’s book Film Narratology, which tracks how framing, sequencing, editing, sound mixing, and a host of production choices work to sustain viewers’ investment in moving pictures. We enact and critique the methods outlined by Verstraten while also developing our own approaches to film narrative and putting them to work in three different units. The first of those units features films that demonstrate a persistent self-consciousness about making and watching movies. They might include Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo (1958), Atom Egoyan’s Ararat (2002), and Icíar Bollaín’s Even the Rain (2010). The second unit centers on the rhetoric of realism, which ties together such historically and geographically disparate narratives as Vittorio de Sica’s Bicycle Thieves (1948), Martin Scorsese’s Raging Bull (1980), and Debra Granik’s Winter’s Bone (2010). The final segment of the course fuses the first unit’s attention to reflexive cinema with the second’s emphasis on realist representation, focusing on movies that display gritty, naturalistic tendencies while expressing a pronounced awareness of naturalism as an artistic construct. They might include Michael Haneke’s Caché (2005) and Paul Thomas Anderson’s Magnolia (1999)