Fall 2018

AS.211.641 Women Filmmakers from the Margins

Filmmaking remains an overwhelmingly male-dominated profession, but women are making significant inroads, and in so doing are leaving their distinctive mark on the medium. In this seminar we will examine the films of a group of women auteurs (those who write and direct their own films) who have endeavored to speak from the margins—be they social, geographical, or sexual—and whose work has challenged mainstream cinematic norms. We will further examine how some of them such as Jane Campion have embraced the mainstream over the years and how their authorship has entered the realm of TV series such as Top of the Lake. In the second half of the semester, we will have a close look at the question of film genre and how that informs the marginal or feminist content. The filmmakers whose work we will analyze includes Jane Campion, New Zealand and Australia; Chantal Akerman, France; Aurora Guerrero, Mexico-USA; Claudia Llosa, Peru, Mira Nair, India-USA; Marialy Rivas, Chile; So Yong Kim, Korea; Jill Soloway, USA. a.o. Students are encouraged to bring films of their own expertise and research areas into class and to the attention of the group.

Spring 2017

AS.211.330 Curating Media Artists in Residence at JHU

Curating Media Artists in Residence at JHU: students will be closely involved with JHU’s Center for Advanced Media Studies (CAMS), and the Baltimore Museum of Art (curator Kristen Hileman) in preparing technical aspects of the BMA Black Box exhibit of the 16mm film, Captain Gervásio’s Family, by the internationally acclaimed artist duo Tamar Guimarães and Kasper Akhøj. This black and white silent film is a portrait of a Spiritist community in Palmela, a small town in Brazil, where half of the inhabitants are believed to be psychic mediums. In addition, students will be involved in helping curate an artist talk and panel on the topic of “Documenting the Spiritual,” with the Stanford anthropologist Tanya Luhrman, and other experts on religious practices from Brazilian shamanism to various religious and spiritual practices from our own Baltimore communities.

Further, students will have the unique opportunity to see some raw footage from the artists’ latest documentary film project, part fieldwork and part staging, that engages with the Palmelian psychic mediums’ cosmological perspectives. Says Tamar Guimarães: “If Captain Gervasio’s Family tied the medium’s journey into the after-life’s boundless and phantasmal modernity to cinematic spectrality–– where cinema, the ultimate modern medium is also the ashen-grey world of the haunted and the ghostly, the new film will insist on the mediums’ technological inventions.”

Please note that the class time will be flexibly adapted to the needs of the artists’ residency. If you have a very full calendar in the Spring it is best advised not to take this class.

AS.212.707 French Documentary Filmmaking

Professor Derek Shilling
Overview of the history of French documentary filmmaking featuring works by Cavalier, Depardon, Epstein, Malle, Marker, Painlevé, Philibert, Resnais, Rouch, Simon, Varda, and Vautier. Emphasis will be placed on the rhetorical functions of editing and on the relation forged among filmmakers, their subjects, and the public. Extensive weekly viewing is required.

Fall 2016

AS.211.711 Adapting Myths for the Screen

Professor Bernadette Wegenstein
In this course we will look at examples of adaptations of sacred narratives for the screen from Pasolini’s adaptations of the gospels to Disney’s adaptations of Grimm, and the recent boom of 21st century fairy-tale films; we will be reading Jack Zipes’ The Enchanted Screen, and Fairy-tale Films Beyond Disney, ed. Jack Zipes, and Sacred Narratives: Readings in the Theory of Myth, ed. Alan Dundes, among others.