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Antonioni and Cinema of the Environment
ITAL 241
Fall 2019
Section: 01  

From its earliest days, the cinema has sought to capture the wonders of the world: exotic landscapes, industrial inventions, and human prowess in the face of nature. At the same time, many important filmmakers--and particularly those in the Italian tradition--have mined their medium's capacity to register and comment upon environmental change. Few directors traversed the upheavals of the 20th century quite like Michelangelo Antonioni. Beginning with his early documentaries, we'll explore cinema's relationship to both the natural world and the built environment across Antonioni's long career. From the foggy landscape of the Po valley to the urban centers of Milan, Rome, London, and Los Angeles, we will assess the images produced by location shooting and realist techniques, but also by formal abstraction and non-narrative time. What might Antonioni's inclination toward abstraction and detachment ("Antoniennui," in a memorable pun) tell us about the world? How should we square his stylistic tendencies with his camera's attention to an environment under pressure? What lessons does his cinema hold for the present?

We'll approach these questions using the core methods of the humanities: close reading, careful viewing, and critical analysis. Along the way, we'll sharpen our understanding of film scholarship, and explore how to make critical (and creative) arguments about cinema and the environment.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA RLAN
Course Format: SeminarGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: ITAL112
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (COL)(ITST)(RMST)
Past Enrollment Probability: Not Available

Last Updated on JUN-14-2024
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