FILM 604 The Film Archive
The history, theory, and working activities of a film archive. The materiality of film, the types of film elements held in film archives, and the policies and procedures of collection development, cataloging, access, exhibition, conservation, and preservation. Film archives in light of the transition to digital in production, consumption, and distribution of films. Students learn film inspection and take a film print through the archival process from acquisition to public screening.
1 credit for Yale College students
Film 606 Film and Media Studies Certificate Workshop
The workshop is built on students’ needs and orientations. It is aimed at helping the individual trajectories of students and at deepening the topics they have met while attending seminars, conferences, and lectures. Students are required to present a final qualifying paper demonstrating their capacity to do interdisciplinary work. The workshop covers two terms and counts as one regular course credit.
Open only to students pursuing the Graduate Certificate in Film and Media Studies. Prerequisite: FILM 601.
FILM 620 Pier Paolo Pasolini and the Politics of Art History: Contaminating Tradition
The most visible openly gay intellectual of post-fascist Italy, Pier Paolo Pasolini, thought of himself as a poet. Half a century after his tragic death, he is mostly celebrated around the world as a filmmaker. But he was also a successful novelist, a scandalous dramaturg, a radical theorist of languages and signs, an advocate for local and ancestral traditions, a cosmopolitan polemicist, a journalist, a critic, and a celebrity. One way to cross such a multifaceted, prodigious creative life as it interacted with the culture and society of its turbulent contexts is to keep in mind that Pasolini was trained as an art historian, and that the history and criticism of art remained vital in every aspect of his volcanic, contradictory work. In this interdisciplinary seminar we examine the role of visual art in his oeuvre, focusing on how Pasolini turned art history into an extension of his contemporary political reality while maintaining a deeply strained rapport with the artistic production of his own time. Pasolini’s studies under the distinguished art historian Roberto Longhi at the University of Bologna resulted in what he would deem a “figurative epiphany”: an approach to representation anchored in painterly vision, guided by the potential “plasticity” of the cinematic image, further nourished by his early practice as a painter and art critic. Yet the place and power of art history in Pasolini’s work cannot be confined to his films’ renowned pictorial citations or tableaux vivants. He established deep friendships and violent antagonisms with both obscure and celebrated artists of his time, he conjured pictorial visions in his poetry, he participated in conferences and reviewed or introduced exhibitions. Our goal in this seminar is to go beyond the most famous manifestations of painterly culture in Pasolini’s cinema and read his early art criticism, his poetry about painting, and his aesthetic theories, towards an appreciation of what it meant to be a public intellectual in an age and place in which art was an integral part of ideological debates.
Reading knowledge of Italian would be helpful but is not necessary. Please note that this course is offered at the same time at New York University (by Professor Ara H. Merjian) and Yale University, with the idea that students visit each other’s campus for joint seminar meetings at various points in the semester (all Metro North travel expenses are paid for).
FILM 736 Documentary Film Workshop
This workshop in audiovisual scholarship explores ways to present research through the moving image. Students work within a Public Humanities framework to make a documentary that draws on their disciplinary fields of study. Designed to fulfill requirements for the M.A. with a concentration in Public Humanities.
FILM 779 Italian Film Ecologies: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow
Landscape and the natural environment have never occupied “background” status in Italian film. Given the spectacular visual presence of its terrain—thanks to the relative proximity of mountain chains and the long seacoast—and given the pivotal importance of farming and pasturage in this traditionally agrarian economy, the synergy between the human and natural worlds has played a prominent role in Italian filmmaking since the very inception of the industry. Most recently, two developments have pushed this issue to the forefront of scholarly attention: the advent of ecocriticism, which found one of its earliest and most influential champions in Serenella Iovino, and the establishment of regional film commissions, grassroots production centers that sponsored cinematic works attuned to the specificity of “the local.” The course includes study of films that predate our current environmental consciousness, as well as recent films that foreground it in narrative terms. In the case of the older films, which have already attracted a great deal of critical commentary over time, we work to shift our interpretive frame in an “eco-friendly” direction (even when the films’ characters are hardly friends of the environment). Among the films considered are Le quattro volte, Il vento fa il suo giro, L’uomo che verrà, Gomorra, L’albero degli zoccoli, Riso amaro, Red Desert, Christ Stopped at Eboli, and Il ladro di bambini. We screen one film a week and devote our seminars to close analysis of the works in question.
FILM 873 Japanese Cinema and Its Others
Critical inquiry into the myth of a homogeneous Japan through analysis of how Japanese film and media historically represent “others” of different races, ethnicities, nationalities, genders, and sexualities, including women, black residents, ethnic Koreans, Okinawans, Ainu, undocumented immigrants, LGBTQ minorities, the disabled, youth, and monstrous others such as ghosts.
Film 900 Directed Reading
FILM 901 Individual Research
FILM 905 Psychoanalysis: Key Conceptual Differences between Freud and Lacan II
This is the second part of a year-long seminar (first part CPLT 904) to introduce students to the discipline of psychoanalysis through primary sources, mainly from the Freudian and Lacanian corpuses. We rigorously study key concepts of continental psychoanalytic theory that students have heard or read about before but never had the chance to study. Students gain proficiency in what has been called “the language of psychoanalysis,” as well as tools for their critical practice in humanities disciplines such as literary criticism, political theory, film studies, gender studies, theory of ideology, sociology, etc. Concepts studied include the unconscious, identification, the drive, repetition, the imaginary, the symbolic, the real, and jouissance. A central goal of the seminar is to disambiguate Freud’s corpus from Lacan’s return to it. We pay special attention to Freud’s “three” (the ego, superego, and id) in comparison to Lacan’s “three” (the imaginary, the symbolic, and the real). The corpus treated in this seminar comes from continental Europe and includes few materials from the Anglophone schools of psychoanalysis developed in England and the USA. During the second term and depending on the interests developed by the group in the first term, we devote five weeks to special psychoanalytic topics such as sexuation, perversion, fetishism, psychosis, anti-asylum movements, or to special circulations of psychoanalytic concepts across different disciplines, such as film theory or the critique of ideology. Commentators and critics of Freud and Lacan are also consulted (Michel Arrivé, Guy Le Gaufey, Jean Laplanche, André Green, Markos Zafiropoulos, and others). No previous knowledge of psychoanalysis is needed. We start at the beginning and the simplest questions are the most useful. Graduate students from all departments and schools on campus are welcome. Taught in English. Materials can be provided to cover the linguistic range of the group.
Prerequisite: CPLT 904.
Film 995 Directed Reading