East Asian and Transnational Cinemas
In this course, we will study contemporary East Asian cinemas, alongside a diverse selection of critical texts. Through screenings, readings, and discussion of exemplary works by ten different directors, we will explore how East Asian films have represented relationships, community, socio-political conflicts, youth, urban space, love, and more. We will take an interdisciplinary and comparative approach to consider recent debates concerning the dynamics of national specificity, the effects of global capital flows on popular culture, and the transnational dimensions of film production and spectatorship. Beyond considering cinema as a means for understanding society, politics, and culture, we will explore the nature of cinematic texts themselves, not so much as expressions or reflections of cultural identity, but as reflexive constructions which themselves create meaning. This course invites you to productively engage with analytical concepts such as: criticism; interpretation; form; narrative; auteur; diegesis; mise-en-scène; montage; ideology; hybridity; space; national/transnational cinema; and adaptation.
This course provides an opportunity for you to both expand your critical understanding of cinema, and to hone the skills necessary to write effective, personal responses to films and film-critical texts. In addition to exploring contemporary screen culture, you will be introduced to a series of texts that exemplify different styles of analysis and forms of persuasive argument. For the final writing assignment, you will learn strategies for effective use of both primary and secondary sources though summary, paraphrase, quotation, and proper citation. In this fashion, this course will familiarize you with the kinds of writing that are specific to the discipline of film studies.