Spring 2014

Paris and the Banlieues:  The City and Cinematography in French and Francophone Cinema

Listed in: English, as ENGL-489  |  Film and Media Studies, as FAMS-489


Baba Hillman (Section 01)


(Offered as ENGL 489 and FAMS 489.)  This course in film production and film history will address changing cinematic representations of the architecture and urban space of Paris and the surrounding suburbs. The course will include workshops in cinematography, lighting, editing, and sound recording. We will consider shifting representations of the city and the body of the performer in the films of Feuillade, Vigo, Rivette, Prévert, Cantet, Denis, Kechiche, and Volta. We will analyze performances of identities, emphasizing the body as the primary site of a daily negotiation of language and culture. Students will be encouraged to question how performative languages of movement, architecture, and speech function as aesthetic systems that reflect the ways in which the body is coded. The course will include a study of articles from Présence Africaine, Trafic, Cahiers du Cinéma, and Bref, as well as works by Petrine Archer-Straw, Carrie Tarr, Raphaël Bassan, and Nicole Brenez. Students will complete two film or video projects.  One three-hour class meeting and one film screening per week.

Recommended prior coursework:  ENGL 287/FAMS 228, Introduction to Super 8 Film and Digital Video, or other introductory course in film and video, photography, or painting.  Preference given to FAMS majors.  Admission with consent of the instructor.  Limited to 12 students.  Please complete the questionnaire at https://www.amherst.edu/academiclife/departments/english/major/course_applications.  Spring semester.  Five College Professor Hillman.

If Overenrolled: Preference given to FAMS majors.


Artistic Practice


2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022
Other years: Offered in Spring 2014, Fall 2022