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Seeing Is Believing?: The Search for Cinematic Truth
FREN 241
Spring 2023
Section: 01  

The French director Jean-Luc Godard once remarked that, "Cinema is the truth 24 times per second." Godard refers here to an interplay between truth, time, and the mechanics of film. But does cinema really show us the truth? What kind of reality is it able to capture and how does "truth" relate to its means of representation? This course examines how Francophone film treats the relationship of cinema to truth, covering aspects of film history, theory, and its technical construction. The course is organized around four main areas of inquiry: we first consider the role fantasy and spectacle in the early films from Georges Méliès and the Lumière Brothers, before exploring how cinema re-orients its relationship to the "real" via social realism and the experimental documentary style of the French New Wave. We then discover how cinematic "truth" is reclaimed by filmmakers outside of France, before finally turning to the highly-aestheticized, non-narrative films of "Cinéma du look."

This course will familiarize students with the basics of film analysis and critique, while also providing a foundation in the technical aspects of cinema and how it has evolved as both an art and a science. Each film will be accompanied by readings, and the theoretical framework of the course will derive from André Bazin's Qu'est-ce que le cinéma? and excerpts from Gilles Deleuze's Cinéma II: L'Image-temps. For their final project, students may submit either a traditional research paper or an original film project that engages with cinematic theories and techniques discussed over the course of the semester.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA RLAN
Course Format: Lecture / DiscussionGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (COL)(FILM-MN)(FILM)(FRST-MN)(FRST)(GLEN-MN)(RMST)
Past Enrollment Probability: 75% - 89%

Last Updated on JUL-17-2024
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