ENG 4110: Post-Classical Cinema

(a.k.a. Film History III/1960-present)

While this course is nominally now a 4000-level special-topics class, it should actually be understood as the third part in a three-part story (with the silent cinema, covered in Film History I--1895 to 1927 or so--as the first part and classical Hollywood, covered in Film History II--roughly 1927 to 1960--as the second part). This course then will focus on a number of major historical moments in the evolution of the cinema in what is often termed the "post-classical" moment, from 1960 until the present day. A significant part of the course will focus on the transformation of Hollywood in the wake of the Paramount Decision which effectively put an end to the vertical integration of the studio system, but we will additionally spend a considerable amount of time considering moments that fall outside of this narrowly US-centered industrial history. Other critical moments include the French New Wave, New German Cinema, Third Cinema, movements in the avant garde (including structuralist film, the "underground" film, and culture jamming), changes in documentary form (cinema vert, Direct Cinema), the rise of (so-called) independent film, etc. As we trace these different histories alongside the history of Hollywood, we will also attempt to articulate a theory of what it is that we are doing when we construct a historical narrative--i.e., what, in fact, "film history" actually is or is meant to be.

While there is no pre-requisite for this course, discussions and papers require extensive use of basic film terminology. This terminology is best acquired in ENG 2300, but you can also consult the Yale Film Analysis website for a pretty solid primer.