Course Descriptions

Course Descriptions for Winter 2013

Cinema Studies

01:175/050:266:01                Cult Films in American Culture (Nigrin)                                 12/26/13-1/17/14, 9-11:50

                                                                                                                                                                  location, screening TBA

This lecture-discussion course focuses on the “cult” film  from its origins in the 1920s to its evolution in American culture. Close analyses of cult films will be paired with readings by J. Hoberman, Jonathan Rosenbaum, Sigmund Freud, and others. According to Freud, for example, social organization for the primordial horde came about as a result of the incest taboo and the law of exogamy. Several of the films to be screened depict scenes that violate this organization and break the taboo. This course will explore how and why these violations permeate cult films. In addition, many cult films are open-ended metaphors for contemporary social anxieties. We will examine how some of these counter-cultural films are a reaction to late ‘60s and ‘70s American society. Finally, this course will include in-depth analyses of the structure of celebrated American cult films ("mise-en-scene," editing, narrative form, set design, sound, and special effects) including: The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Eraserhead, Night of the Living Dead, Cat People, and others. 12/23: online assignment

Warning: some films may contain nudity, sexual situations, violence, profanity, substance abuse, and disturbing images.


Click here for Winter 2013 Course descriptions

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