writing film series
Curate a 10-15 film retrospective of any one specific national cinema, film movement, genre (this can include documentary or experimental film as â€œgenres,â€ as well as narrative genres), studio, auteur, or theme.
This is a written assignment. It is “virtual” in that you will not actually be screening these films for the public.
Write a 500-word introduction to your series (including relevant historical context and an explanation of your thematic rubric) and 100-200 word descriptions for each of your films, identifying each filmâ€s significance. The blurb for each film should start with the title (and original untranslated title if relevant), director, year, country, language, and running time; for instance: The Bicycle Thieves (Ladri di biciclette, Vittorio de Sica, 1948, Italy, in Italian, 93 min.). This information does not count toward the 100-word minimum for your blurb.
First paragraph: introduction to the series ( 500 words )
10-15 films: (total minimum 1500 words)
–The Bicycle Thieves (Ladri di biciclette, Vittorio de Sica, 1948, Italy, in Italian, 93 min.
– 100-200 words for description of the films, identifying each filmâ€s significance
The majority of films included should date between 1930-1967, but a limited number of films beyond that period may be included for continuity and context. No more than two films can be included in our course syllabus (as features or clips). You should also have a sense of if your film series is adhering to a standard sense of the canon of classic films or if it is is offering an alternative history that refuses the canon or takes a hybrid approach that rethinks the canon by presenting a mix of “classic” and “undervalued” films.
The goal of this assignment is a) reflect that audiences often learn film history and see classic films by watching film series like this, rather than in class–so this reflects a kind of public history; b) reflects that there are many different ways to conceptualize and articulate film histories; and c) allows you to indulge your own cinephilia (love of cinema). You will want to see as many of the films in your retrospective as you can; you will also need to do some research and will need to cite your sources. You will likely want to draw from a variety of sources, including academic histories of cinema, film criticism websites, primary historical documents and reviews about the films and/or era.
Examples (note that many of these venues are currently closed during the pandemic so you will need to look at their archives of past programming):
â€¢ Criterion Channel: https://www.criterionchannel.com/browse (Links to an external site.)
â€¢ Film Society of Lincoln Center: https://www.filmlinc.org/films-series/ (Links to an external site.)
â€¢ Museum of Modern Art: https://www.moma.org/calendar/film (Links to an external site.)
â€¢ American Museum of the Moving Image: http://www.movingimage.us/programs/ (Links to an external site.)
â€¢ Metrograph: http://metrograph.com/ (Links to an external site.)
â€¢ Film Forum: https://filmforum.org (Links to an external site.)
â€¢ Anthology Film Archives: http://anthologyfilmarchives.org/film_screenings/programs (Links to an external site.)
â€¢ American Cinematheque: http://americancinemathequecalendar.com/ (Links to an external site.)
â€¢ British Film Institute: https://whatson.bfi.org.uk/Online/ (Links to an external site.)
â€¢ Cineteca NacÃonal de Mexico: http://www.cinetecanacional.net/ (Links to an external site.)
â€¢ Turner Classic Movies: http://www.tcm.com (Links to an external site.) (check out different programs under â€œmonth highlightsâ€ tab)
The film should not include:
The Rules of the Game (La rÃ¨gle du jeu, Jean Renoir, 1939, France, in French, 110 min.)
Citizen Kane (Orson Welles, 1941, U.S., in English, 119 min.â€”RKO)
Casablanca (Michael Curtiz, 1942, U.S., in English, 102 min.â€”Warner Bros)
Flor Silvestre (also known as Wild Flower, Emilio FernÃ¡ndez, 1943, Mexico, in Spanish, 94 min.)
All About Eve (Joseph Mankiewicz, 1950, U.S., in English, 138 min.â€”Twentieth Century Fox):
Singinâ€ in the Rain (Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly, 1952, U.S., in English, 103 min.â€”MGM) note: this is a film from the 1950s about the 1920s, so it was a period piece in its own time
Toyko Story (TÃ´kyÃ´ monogatari, YasujirÃ´ Ozu, 1953, Japan, in Japanese, 136 min.):
Mother India (Mehboob Khan, 1957, India, in Hindi, 172 min.)
Breathless (Ã€ bout de souffle, Jean-Luc Godard, 1960, France, in French, 90 min.):
8-1/2 (Federico Fellini, 1963, Italy, in Italian, 138 min)
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