Fall 2021 - CA 216 E100
Selected Topics in Cinema Studies (3)
Class Number: 7880
Delivery Method: In Person
Course Times + Location:
Mo 5:30 PM – 8:20 PM
GCA 3200, GOLDCORP
Prerequisites:CA (or FPA) 135, 136, 137, 186, 235, 236, 316 (or 337), 318 (or 335), 416 (or 436) or 30 units.
This course will cover a specific topic within the field of cinema studies not covered in depth in regularly scheduled courses. This course can be repeated once for credit if the topic is different. Students with credit for CA (or FPA) 237 may not take this course for further credit. Breadth-Humanities.
CA 216 and 316, Cinema and Magic
Magic is defined as “the exertion of action at a distance by means of an intervening image” and as “the awareness of the interrelatedness of all things in the world by means of a simple but refined sense perception.” Aren’t those also definitions of movies? This course aims to find out. Can movies make practical changes in the cosmos, through intervening images and heightened sense perception? Who is the magician in this act: the filmmaker, the movie itself, or the audience, and what skills does the magician require? How can cinema fight corporate magic, which appears powerful but at its core is weak? Do queer magic, global Indigenous magic, Black magic, and other kinds of situated magic have special cinematic skills? How do mise-en-scène, cinematography, editing, and special effects contribute magical effects?
We'll watch popular and experimental movies featuring magical and talismanic acts, by makers like Todd Haynes, The Otolith Group, Xu Bing, Michel Haznavicius, Jeanne C. Finley, Basma Alsharif, Achipatpong Weerasethakul, Satyajit Ray, Jonathan Monaghan, Juan Castrillón, Mena El Shazly, Cindy Mochizuki, and stars from the Small File Media Festival.
We’ll search for practical magic tips in history, anthropology, cinema studies, and philosophy, including Suely Rolnik, Alfred Gell, Haroun Farocki, Deleuze and Guattari, and medieval Islamic talismanic magic.
Assignments will not be too difficult and will include practical options.
COURSE-LEVEL EDUCATIONAL GOALS:
To gain an understanding of what magic means in certain cultural contexts, to understand how the aesthetics and action particular to cinema might carry out magic, and to express these understandings in writings and/or artworks.
- Presentation 5%
- Film and bibliography 1 20%
- Film and bibliography 2 20%
- Proposal 10%
- Peer review 5%
- Essay or project with short text 25%
- Attendance and participation 15%
Course readings available to download
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