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C LIT 303 A: Theory Of Film: Genre

Black American Cinema

Meeting Time: 
MTWTh 3:30pm - 5:20pm
JHN 175

Additional Details:

Black American Cinema – is open to AIS, AES, CHID, ENGL, GWSS and C Lit students during Period 1 registration. No prior film analysis knowledge is necessary.

C Lit 303 runs 4 days/ week with two days for screening and two days for lecture. Unless otherwise indicated, most films will be streamed online so students can decide whether they would like to see films independently or in class.
In this class we will look at a broad range of contemporary African American filmmakers from 1970s to the present, some of whom were born in the US, some of whom were trained in the US and share citizenship elsewhere. If post-Obama does not mean post-racial, then what does it mean? And what does it mean to an American public who see black faces more frequently on screens than ever before, screens where black men are allowed to kiss white women and black men are allowed to kiss each other. We will look at the challenges of black film authorship and ask just as Yale Professor Terri Francis:

"What is at stake in African American cinema? What is the visceral, gut-level function of motion pictures in the African American community? Can we speak of a distinctive practice given the diverse experiences and variable conditions that affect African American lives? What do motion pictures mean for people whose sense of home has been dislocated by migrations and fraught with attacks on their citizen ship and humanity, largely through visual representation?"

Together through film watching and interactive discussion, we will explore our present moment and ask ourselves if black citizenship is still in question in America?

Catalog Description: 
Introduction to the history and significance of film genres from the early days of film to the present. Examines a selection of several genres, drawn from a list including western, melodrama, musical, thriller, road odyssey, film noir, and documentary. Topics include form, ideology, authority, history, innovation, and parody.
Department Requirements Met: 
Cinema Studies Core
GE Requirements Met: 
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Other Requirements Met: 
Last updated: 
April 28, 2016 - 9:19am