Fall 2011


Listed in: Art and the History of Art, as ARHA-314  |  Film and Media Studies, as FAMS-442


Ramon G Rivera-Moret (Section 01)


(Offered as ARHA 314 and FAMS 442.)  How can cinema become a tool for reflection and inquiry? How do we express thought in cinema?

For filmmaker Dziga Vertov, the camera is a “Cine-Eye,” capturing, deciphering and reflecting on found reality to create its own cine-truths, apart from preceding art forms and beyond the stale conventions of traditional narrative and socially constructed realism.  In his 1948 article “The birth of a new avant-garde: La caméra-stylo,” Alexandre Astruc envisions the camera as a pen to express abstract thought. Quite recently, in Terrence Malick’s fictionalized, autobiographical film, The Tree of Life, a brother’s death triggers a series of questions about the human condition that form the core of a wide-ranging, expansive film-poem with a narrative structure akin to a philosophical essay.

This advanced production seminar proposes a cinema of thought and investigation in which each filmmaker will engage the world with a reflexive eye. We will look closely at a group of films from genres that foreground inquiry and experimentation: the film essay, the political film, the diary, the notebook, the travelogue, the memoir and other hybrid forms.  We will consider content, formal structure (mise-en scene, decoupage) and the content embedded within form, to understand how these films generate a cohesive cinematic/philosophical statement. Readings by filmmakers, theorists and critics will serve as a springboard and counterpoint for our own film projects. 

In addition to short group and individual projects, each student will conceptualize, develop and produce a non-fiction film during the semester.  Each week, students will present their work-in-progress for class and individual discussion and critique. Prior film production experience is required.

Recommended coursework: ARHA 102 or 111.  Limited to 8 students.  Fall semester. Visiting Artist Rivera-Moret.

If Overenrolled: individual interviews


Artistic Practice, Fine Arts for Non-majors


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2011