Spring 2022

Intimate Film Cultures

Listed in: English, as ENGL-383  |  Film and Media Studies, as FAMS-360


Joshua M. Guilford (Section 01)


(Offered as ENGL 383 and FAMS 360] What’s intimate about cinema? And what, if anything, is cinematic about intimacy? Since its invention, cinema has been closely associated with intimate experience, though understandings of this association have shifted over time. For classical film theorists, cinema’s intimate devices (the close-up, the kiss, etc.) were often invested with revolutionary potential, though more recent cultural theorists have issued strong rejoinders to such claims. Isn’t intimacy crucial to the workings of modern power? Doesn’t cinema structure intimate relations in accordance with normative ideologies? Examining a range of intimate film cultures–from early cinema to surrealism, classical Hollywood, Black British film, and queer world cinema–this course will explore the intimate dimensions of filmic representation and reception, and the reasons cinema’s intimacy has been both celebrated and denounced. Assignments include in-class presentations, critical essays, and weekly entries in personal film journals.

Requisite: One 200-level ENGL or FAMS course, or consent of the instructor. Not open to first-year students. Limited to 25 students. Spring semester. Professor Guilford.

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: emphasis on written work, readings, audio-visual analysis, independent film viewing, oral presentations Students with documented disabilities who will require accommodations in this course should be in consultation with Accessibility Services and reach out to the faculty member as soon as possible to ensure that accommodations can be made in a timely manner.


2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2018, Spring 2022