M/W/F 04:00-05:00 237 Cory Instructor: Marianne Kaletzky
This course examines a series of films, beginning in the silent era and working towards the present day, to consider how cinema represents its own relationship to technology and industry. At its most fundamental level, the course will ask how the films on our syllabus engage with a variety of modern machines, ranging from factory apparatuses and cars to robots and spacecraft, and including the movie camera itself. We will explore how these machines are, by turns, represented as horrifyingly impersonal, thrillingly powerful, improbably beautiful, and movingly human.
Our primary mode of investigation will be formal analysis of the films themselves. However, the course will also cultivate students’ awareness of the material conditions of cinematic production, both the specific technological devices and the particular economic structures that make each film possible. We will ask not only how cinema portrays machines, but also how it engages with its own uniquely mechanical form; not only how films represent industrial landscapes, but also how analyses of mass production might offer valuable insight into the industry of cinema itself.
Charlie Chaplin, Modern Times (USA, 1936)
Dziga Vertov, Man with a Movie Camera (USSR, 1929)
Sergei Eisenstein, Strike (USSR, 1925)
Fritz Lang, Metropolis (Germany, 1927)
Michelangelo Antonioni, Red Desert (Italy, 1964)
Charles Burnett, Killer of Sheep (USA, 1978)
Jia Zhang Ke, Still Life (China, 2006)
Jennifer Baichwal, Manufactured Landscapes (Canada/China/Bangladesh, 2006)
Jean-Luc Godard, Contempt (France, 1963)
William Friedkin, To Live and Die in L.A. (USA, 1985)
Kinji Fukasaku, Violent Panic: The Big Crash (Japan, 1976)
Ridley Scott, Alien (UK/USA, 1979)
Andrew Stanton, WALL-E (USA, 2008)
We will also discuss a number of theoretical readings, including work by Walter
Benjamin, Siegfried Kracauer, Theodor Adorno, Max Horkheimer, Laura Mulvey, Donna Haraway, Gilles Deleuze, and others. These texts will be collected in a course reader.