Antonioni and Cinema of the Environment
Fall 2020 not offered
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.
|Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar
|Grading Mode: Graded
|Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (COL)(ITST)(RMST)
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments:
THIS COURSE IS INTENDED PRIMARILY FOR THE FOLLOWING STUDENTS: those who have a) completed the 221-222 sequence; b) who have studied in Italy (for one or two semesters); c) whose experience with Italian is very recent (i.e., took a course numbered above 221 in Fall 2012 or studied in Italy during that time). This course may be suitable for students who have not completed a course at the 221-222 level but whose placement exam suggested they should take courses numbered above 221. In the event that a student with advanced reading, writing, and speaking abilities in Italian has not yet completed a course at the 221-222 level, s/he will be asked to conduct a brief oral interview with the professor during registration or during drop/add. In the event that the student does not meet the prerequisites AND the professor has any doubts as to placement, the student will be asked to engage in a brief oral interview to help determine placement.
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