This class offers a survey of the film productions of the Spanish state. Through a selection of over 20 films, this class will follow the evolution of Spanish society and culture from dictatorship to democracy. It will address the development of Spanish cinema with an emphasis on different cinematic genres and film schools (for instance Basque cinema or Catalan cinema), and auteurs (Bu?uel, Saura, Luna, Almodovar, Coixet, Bollain, etc.). It will concentrate on topics such as the representation of Fascism, immigration, gender relations, gender-based violence, and national identity, and it will tackle the use of film techniques through close readings of specific film sequences. Films will be shown in their original versions (in Spanish, Catalan, Euskera, Galician or English) with English subtitles.
This seminar will examine the cultural phenomenon of the "art film" during the first three decades of the postwar period (1950s, 60s, 70s). The nature and characteristics of, as well as the relationships connecting and distinguishing, modernist cinema, art cinema, and avant-garde film during this vital period in film history will be one of the course's concerns. We will examine the notion of the auteur and consider its usefulness for thinking about this multiform, innovative cinema. What is the relationship between cinematic modernism and the core principles and representational strategies of modern art? Does modern cinema, as Gilles Deleuze suggests, function as a mental substitute for the lost connection between the individual and the world? Can it restore our belief in the world? The course will pay particular attention to distinctive stylistic attributes but will also look at dominant patterns of narrative form as well as persistent thematic concerns. Most weeks we will watch and analyze two films.
Cinema can both explore and enact the nature and operations of the human mind. It can imagine and present the possibilities of the mind, and it enables us to visualize many of the mysteries of the mind. This relationship between cinema and the mind is the subject and focus of this course. We will look at the ways cinema represents various mental states and operations of the mind, whether those having to do with sensuality, memory, visions, dreams, states of emotional extremity, the repression of trauma, etc., and we will spend an equal amount of time exploring how cinema, through its many stylistic strategies, performs acts and processes akin to those of the mind. There will be significant attention paid to the formal and stylistic aspects of the medium. To complement this analytical dimension of the course, we will read and study works of film theory and philosophy that explore the relationship between cinema and mind.
Film and screen media touch nearly every corner of popular, professional and intellectual culture, and new varieties of film writing are flourishing along with it. In addition to the force of the research essay and the art of the film review, there is now the dynamism of new media - videographic essays, podcasts, blogs, and other engagements with film. This course is designed to teach advanced film and media analysis and writing skills for academic, professional, and public audiences. We dedicate our time to workshops of student writing and to analytical engagements with films, film criticism, and film theory. We study films from an array of genres, periods in film history, international cinemas, and underrepresented voices, and we challenge familiar modes of engaging film. The core work of this course is in discovering original, compelling insights into film and media and expressing those discoveries effectively in written text and in various forms of new media. This course satisfies the Junior Year Writing requirement for the Film Studies major in BDIC. Film Studies Major Through BDIC Category: JYW, E UMass Amherst Undergraduate Certificate Categories: II, IV, V

Film is a deeply collaborative artform, as evidenced by the endless credit sequences that have become an integral part of the film text. Yet, what can we learn about a film by considering it the result of a single creative vision guiding all aspects of the filmmaking process and approaching it in the context of that filmmaker’s body of work? In this class, we will study the works of two filmmakers, Alfonso Cuarón and Bong Joon-ho. Each of these directors make films that reach global audiences while standing apart from the Hollywood movies that typically find distribution internationally. Quite distinct from one another in tenor and style, the works of these two filmmakers, Bong from South Korea and Cuarón from Mexico, nevertheless share certain qualities of storytelling, character dimensions, and sociopolitical conscience. We will explore the careers and key films of these two directors, consider questions of “world cinema,” and examine tenets of auteur theory, its value, and its limits.