This class will cover movements going from early cinema to the French New Wave.
We will explore the notions of "a canon", "influence", "auteur", and much more. This class is a history class. We will explore film theories, movements and techniques, but we will not learn how to make films. We will learn about movements such as : German expressionism, early Russian Cinema, Poetic realism, Neorealism, and so on. This class will have a very open take as to what "film history" is and will question the canon movements while trying to let you develop your own critical sense when it comes to film. I will try to balance academical notions and non-academical notions to make it fun and easy to follow.This is a class for beginners, which means : people with interest for him who have never taken a film history class. People with film knowledge are more than welcome to participate. This class will allow you to learn about film culture without having to take part in an expensive college class. However, I encourage you to eventually do it as it will help you get a better grasp of how film history is constructed.
The video version of the class will be available on this Youtube channel
- Lesson 1 : The Pitch and Histoire(s) du cinéma
Is there such a thing as a "history of film" and if so, can I tell it? In this first lesson, we will question our goal and we will evaluate if we will even make it. (Spoilers : somehow, we will).
Keywords : Film history, canon, nature of film, early cinema.
- Lesson 2 : 400 BC : All about Thomas Edison and Les Frères Lumière.
Summary: When does cinema begin? And where? Let's take a look at our starting point
Keywords : Edison, Lumière, Alice Guy-Blanché, Méliès.
- Lesson 3 : Birth of a language
We explore the films of Edwin S. Porter and D.W. Griffith and question ourselves about how cinema becomes and art form and acquired its own specificities. How did we come about the basics of editing and framing? How did we understand the expressive potential of moving images? All of this and more, in this lesson.
- Passion for film
- Being able to invest some time (to read/watch the class and the mandatory film)
Lesson 1 : The Pitch and Histoire(s) du cinéma.
Is there such a thing as a "history of film" and if so, can I tell it? In this first class, we will question our goal and we will evaluate if we will even make it. (Spoilers : somehow,we will).
Lesson 2 : 400 BC (Before cinema) : all about Thomas Edison and Les frères Lumière
When does cinema begin? And where? Let's take a look at our starting point while questioning how the origins of cinema are constructed. In this class we will learn about the film pioneers and their approaches. Is this cinema yet?
Lesson 3 : The birth of a language
D.W. Griffith is considered one of the most important film makers in history. We will explore some of the techniques that we usually attribute to him, and some others that we often overlook.
Lesson 4 : This is Spinning Top : Soviet masters.
Ideology, politics and a battleship. That's what Russian cinema is all about, right? We will explore the Russian approach to cinema and see how it's different from everything we've seen until now.
Lesson 5 : Are you 'avin a laff? Burlesque, from Chaplin to Tati.
I thought my titles were amusing enough! Alright, let's actually laugh. In this lesson we'll visit some of the funniest guys in film history. From the early Chaplin to Tati, we wil explore the theme of "burlesque" and slapstick. This class is more of a theme-based class but it will allow you to see how the comedic form has evolved.
Lesson 6 : German expressionism (aka Tim Burton didn't invent much)
From Faust to Caligari. Is there even a movement we can call "German expressionism"? Where does it come from and how has it influenced modern cinema? How can cinema be the exact expression of the state of a nation?
Lesson 7 : Is cinema anemic?
Let's break some rules. Man Ray, Duchamp, Dada. Are these guys even filmmakers? Let's take a look at the beginning of what we will call avant-garde cinema. Let's take it further and see how this type of films (it's not a genre!) have a great dependency with other arts and film genres. (Clue : avant-garde + burlesque or avant-garde + early cinema).
Lesson 8 : Everything you wanted to know about detectives and femmes fatales.
German expressionism meets the American Dream. Where does this highly stylized movement come from? How does it interact with other films and in which context was it born? What are the remains of film noir today?
Lesson 9 : A rupture : Italian neorealism
Forget the studios, let's make film in the streets. Actors? No thanks! That guy in the corner will do. A story? Nah, I'd rather make that up as I go. In this lesson we will explore how italian neorealism changed the course of film history forever. We will get closer to the notion of modernity and we will bring up an essential question that has been haunting film ever since : what is the relationship between reality and film?
Lesson 10 : Breaking the (French New) waves
They've seen the films, they've written about it. Now they want to make them. One of them is Truffaut, he likes les jolies femmes. The other one is Godard, he wants to break the rules. Rivette, Resnais, Demy, Varda, Rouche, they're all in the gang. And what about Bazin? Let's not forget about that guy. What are the influences of French New Wave and what did these young guys bring to the table? How can a simple jump-cut change film aesthetics? Is there even a real auteur politic? We will find out in this class.
Lesson 11 : That's it? Now what?
This class will be an introduction to some of the most remarkable contemporary trends and some other themes we overlooked during the class. If I messed up, this is where I make up for it!
- There will be one (1) mandatory film per class.
- You are highly encouraged to participate in the discussions : that's where you will learn the most.
- I will not provide any links to illegal websites. You're on your own when it comes to get the films (unless they're public domain, in which case I will provide a good quality link).
- The classes will be both in video and text form due to popular demand.
- Video artist
- Film Major
- Film critic
- Passionate about film.