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Spring 2020 East Asian GU4572 section 001

Call Number 12396
Day & Time
W 4:10pm-6:00pm
308A Lewisohn Hall
Points 4
Grading Mode Standard
Approvals Required None
Instructor Ying Qian
Course Description What defines a “documentary” film? How do documentaries inform, provoke and move us? What formal devices and aesthetic strategies do documentaries use to construct visions of reality and proclaim them as authentic, credible and authoritative? What can documentary cinema teach us about the changing Chinese society, and about cinema as a medium for social engagement? This seminar introduces students to the aesthetics, epistemology and politics of documentary cinema in China from the 1940s to the present, with an emphasis on contemporary films produced in the past two decades. We examine how documentaries contended history, registered subaltern experiences, engaged with issues of gender, ethnicity and class, and built new communities of testimony and activism to foster social change. Besides documentaries made by Chinese filmmakers, we also include a small number of films made on China by western filmmakers, including those by Joris Ivens, Michelangelo Antonioni, Frank Capra and Carma Hinton. Topics include documentary poetics and aesthetics, evidence, performance and authenticity, the porous boundaries between documentary and fiction, and documentary ethics. As cinema is, among other things, a creative practice, in this course, students will be given opportunities to respond to films analytically and creatively, through writing as well as creative visual projects.
Web Site Vergil
Department East Asian Languages and Cultures
Enrollment 15 students (15 max) as of 8:03AM Saturday, June 6, 2020
Status Full
Subject East Asian
Number GU4572
Section 001
Division Interfaculty
Campus Morningside
Section key 20201EAAS4572W001

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