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Russian Cinematograph and Society of 1920-2000

Immediately after its invention, cinema (just as its predecessor—photography) laid a claim to reflecting reality in a "truer" way than other media. Almost at the same time, an interesting trend emerged: it experimented with creating on screen very peculiar worlds that seemed real, but had no counterparts in reality. This two-sided capacity of cinema brought about the eternal question: to what extent does a cinematic text actually reflect the historical reality it depicts, or is it rather a fictional text that expresses social tendencies contemporary to the time of its production?

This course offers an analysis of selected Russian (and one East European) films with a specific goal to tackle the balance between “the reality” the films referred to and the way they actually depicted it. Some basic terms and notions of film analysis will be introduced along the way.

The course will also compare the treatment of certain topics and subjects in "Western" and Russian/East-European cultures and specifically in films. The course will cover films by Alexandrov, Balabanov, Eisenstein, Kuleshov, Vertov, Tarkovsky, and other directors not well known in the West.

Credits: 6/3

Course ID: FILM_E_200


Profile Film and Video

Taught this semester: Yes

Complies with general requirements: No

Course Type: Elective Course

Language: English