Comparative Literature 312

History of Film Since 1960

Spring 2003, Thompson 101
Film Screenings: M & W, 1:00-3:20pm
Lecture/Discussion: T & Th, 1:00-2:20pm

Steven Shaviro (, A303 Padleford, T & Th 2:30-3:30pm


March 31-April 3: The French New Wave
Jean-Luc Godard, My Life To Live (1962)
Francois Truffaut, Jules and Jim (1962)
Reading: Thompson and Bordwell, Chapter 20
Other Films: Jean- Luc Godard, Breathless, Alphaville, Weekend; Francois Truffaut, 400 Blows, Shoot the Piano Player; Alain Resnais, Last Year at Marienbad, Hiroshima Mon Amour; Agnes Varda, Cleo From Five to Seven; Jacques Demy, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg.

April 7-10: The Rise of the Auteur
Luis Bunuel, The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972)
Ingmar Bergman, Persona (1966)
Reading: Thompson and Bordwell, Chapter 19
Other Films: Luis Bunuel, Un chien anadlou, Viridiana, That Obscure Object of Desire; Ingmar Bergman, Wild Strawberries, The Seventh Seal, Winter Light; Robert Bresson, Mouchette; Akira Kurosawa, Sanjuro, High and Low.

April 14-17: The New Hollywood (1): Epic Violence and Formal Innovation
Arthur Penn, Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
Terence Malick, Badlands (1973)
Reading: Thompson and Bordwell, Chapter 21
Other Films: John Boorman, Point Blank; Dennis Hopper, Easy Rider; Mike Nichols, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, The Graduate; Roman Polanski, Rosemary's Baby.

April 21-24: The New Hollywood (2): Revisionist Westerns
Sam Peckinpah, Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid (1973)
Robert Altman, McCabe and Mrs Miller (1971)
Reading: Thompson and Bordwell, Chapter 22
Other Films: Sam Peckinpah, The Wild Bunch; Arthur Penn, Little Big Man; Clint Eastwood, High Plains Drifter; Robert Altman, Nashville.

April 28-May 1: American Auteurs Beyond Hollywood
John Cassavetes, Faces (1968)
Stanley Kubrick, Doctor Strangelove (1964)
Reading: Thompson and Bordwell, Chapter 22 (continued)
Other Films:

May 5-8: Italian Film After 1960
Michaelangelo Antonioni, Red Desert (1966)
Pier Paolo Pasolini, Arabian Nights (1974)
Reading: Thompson and Bordwell, Chapter 23
Other Films:

May 12-15: The Cinema of Transgression
Bernardo Bertolucci, Last Tango in Paris (1973)
Nagisa Oshima, In the Realm of the Senses (1976)
Reading: Thompson and Bordwell, Chapter 23 (continued)
Other Films:

May 19-22: The New Hollywood (3): Politics and Paranoia
Alan Pakula, The Parallax View (1974)
Francis Ford Coppola, The Conversation (1974)
Reading: Thompson and Bordwell, Chapter 22
Other Films: Francis Ford Coppola, Apocalypse Now (1979); Sydney Pollack, Three Days of the Condor (1975).

May 27-29: The New Hollywood (4): Genre Revisionism
(Monday, May 26 is a holiday; no screening)
Martin Scorsese, Mean Streets (1973)
Reading: Thompson and Bordwell, Chapter 22 (review)
Other Films: William Friedkin, The Exorcist (1973); Brian De Palma, Carrie (1976); Steven Spielberg, Jaws (1975); Michael Cimino, The Deer Hunter (1978).

June 2-5: Germany and Russia
R. W. Fassbinder, The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant (1972)
Andrei Tarkovsky, Solaris (1969)
Reading: Thompson and Bordwell, Chapter 25
Other Films:

Readings are from the textbook ordered for this class: Film History: An Introduction (2nd edition), by Kristin Thompson and David Bordwell (TB).

Assignments and Due Dates:

Two 5-page papers, each of which accounts for 30% of your grade (hence: 60% for the two papers combined), and a take-home final, which accounts for the remaining 40% of your grade. The first paper is due on May 13, and the second paper is due on June 5; in each case paper topics will be given out several weeks in advance. Questions for the final will be given out on June 5, the last day of classes; finals will be due on Thursday, June 12.


Three of the films in the syllabus, Arabian Nights (May 7-8), Last Tango in Paris (May 12-13), and In the Realm of the Senses (May 14-15) contain extremely explicit sexual content. If you are offended by such content, you might want to skip these screenings. You will not be penalized for doing so; you will be able to do all the assignments for the class without referring to these three films. However, since the films are of importance in the history of film, you might want at least to get notes from a classmate concerning them.

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