NEWS & EVENTS

 

Ciné-tracts: Experimental Film

M.A. Level
elective
Credit value
2-year MA - post-2013, Z+Zk8
2-year MA - pre-2013, Z+Zk10
2-year MA, Z5
Teacher
Louis Armand
Semester
summer

CINÉ-TRACTS

Thurs 5:30 pm, room 111

 

This seminar takes its name from Jean-Luc Godard’s 1968 “blackboard” film of the same title & is concerned with interrogating the structures & forms of potentiality in what is called CINEMA. The theoretical focus of the seminar is montage [define], examined through a series of critical texts – both film as writing & writing as film: from Sigmund Freud’s Interpretation of Dreams (1901) to Ernest Fenollosa’s “Essay on the Chinese Written Character” (1908); to the Cubist collages of Pablo Picasso (1912) & Dada photomontages of John Heartfield (1916); to André Breton’s Surrealist Manifesto (1924) & Karel Teige’s essay on “The Aesthetics of Film & Cinematography” (1924); to the film theory of Roger Gilbert-Lecomte (1933) & its relation to Walter Benjamin’s 1937 essay “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” & his posthumously published notes on the “Dialectical Image” (in The Arcades Project, 1982); to the encounter between Sergei Eisenstein & James Joyce (Ulysses & Finnegans Wake), as recounted in Eisenstein’s Film Form (published posthumously in 1949) & “The Montage of Attractions” (1923); to Bertolt Brecht’s “The Film, the Novel & Epic Theatre” (1920s) & the evolution from montage to “alienation effect” [Verfremdungseffekt] (1930s); to Guy Debord’s “Methods of Détournement” (1956), Jean-Luc Godard’s “Montage, Mon Beau Souci” (1956), Gene Youngblood’s Expanded Cinema (1970), & Godard’s epic Histoire(s) du cinéma (1988-98).

 

Assessment for single credit (Z) will be based upon a weekly "position paper" (TBC) & group discussion & a 3000 word critical essay focused upon the theory/practice of montage (due 31 January, submitted in hardcopy); attendance (max. absences: 2). NB that only MA students are entitled to apply for the additional credit (Zk) in this seminar.

 

ADDITIONAL SUGGESTED READING

Louis Armand, VIDEOLOGY I & II (Prague: LPB, 2015/2016).
David Curtis, EXPERIMENTAL CINEMA: A FIFTY YEAR REVOLUTION (New York: Delta, 1971).
Parker Tyler, UNDERGROUND FILM: A CRITICAL HISTORY (New York: Da Capo, 1995).
Amos Vogel, FILM AS SUBVERSIVE ART (New York: DAP, 1975).
P. Adams Sitney, VISIONARY FILM: THE AMERICAN AVANT-GARDE 1943-2000 (Oxford: OUP, 2002).
Vachel Lindsay, THE ART OF THE MOVING Picture (New York: Modern Library, 2000 [1915]).

 

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