The Cinemas of Roman Polanski and Miloš Forman
SAME AS SLAVIC 223: IF CMS 397 C SECTION IS FULL, PLEASE ENROLL IN SLAVIC 223
Professor Gordana Crnković
TA: Taylor Eftimov
The early American films of Roman Polanski and Miloš Forman—including Rosemary’s Baby, Chinatown, or One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest—are considered Hollywood classics and commonly interpreted through the lens of the American film and cultural history. But both directors made their first entry onto the international scene in the late 1950s and 1960s with very different films made in their Eastern European homelands of the socialist era, Poland and Czechoslovakia respectively.
This course looks at and compares the cinemas of these two directors over the span of many decades, focusing on the major films and starting with early ones such as the highly abstract short Two Men and a Wardrobe and British-made Repulsion (Polanski) on one hand and the documentary-like feature Loves of a Blonde (Forman) on the other, proceeding with their most well-known productions (the above mentioned Hollywood classics and films like Forman's Hair, Amadeus, The People vs. Larry Flynt; or Polanski's The Tenant, Frantic, The Pianist, and The Ghostwriter) and ending with their most recent works.
We will look at the changing ways in which the films of these two directors bring to our clearer apprehension the realms of solitude, victimization, personal and community politics, history, and art, and at the continuous aesthetic appeal behind these works.
This is an in-person class.
Requirements: film viewing and some readings; participation and journals (both non-graded); three quizzes
Image: Loves of a Blonde (Miloš Forman, Czechoslovakia 1965)