Film History 1945 – Present Winter ’16

Posted on September 14, 2016 | Category :Uncategorized | Comments Off on Film History 1945 – Present Winter ’16

Cinema & Digital Media 41B
Film History 1945 – Present

Winter 2016, UC Davis


Location: 147 Olson Hall                                           Instructor: Kris Fallon

Schedule: Mon & Weds 1-2pm, Thursday 6-9pm                e-mail:

Office Hours: Thursdays, 12-2 & by appt.         phone: (530) 754-2599

Office: 224a Cruess                          Mailbox: Cruess Hall


Course Description: This course will provide students with an overview of film history from the end of WWII to the present day. We begin from the supposition that film history is intimately linked with social and political history, and that significant moments in one sphere will reflect and influence developments in the others.  Consequently, our focus will be on those films and texts that bear out these connections, from the earliest sound films in the classical Hollywood era to the multimedia environment of today.  Along the way we’ll cover several significant genres and movements including classical and post-classical Hollywood cinema, experimental and avant-garde cinema, Italian Neo-Realism, the French New Wave, Third World and non-Western Cinema, and film in the digital era.  Throughout our journey we’ll consider the complex relationship between culture and the moving image, and hence our study will focus on both the broad context and the close reading of individual scenes, shots and sequences.  In addition to general readings on the history of film (provided by David Cook’s A History of Narrative Film) we will also consider analyses of individual films to gain a sense of how to watch and write about film.


The course is roughly broken up into the following sections.  We’ll begin with a look at the effect of World War II on European and Japanese cinema in both fictional and non-fiction contexts.  As we’ll see, even the most allegorical film can bear witness to pressing historical events.  Next we’ll return briefly to Hollywood in the 1950’s and consider its response to several threatening developments: the emergence of television, the HUAC Hearings and the break-up of the studio system.  We’ll then look abroad once more to consider several European and non-Western film movements in France, Germany, Africa and India.  And finally, we’ll end by considering the role of film in the digital age.

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