Martha Nochimson, Film Critic and Writer / Covering David Lynch, Soap Opera, The Sopranos, David Chase, and Film Writing

World On Film

Syllabus C

Sample Syllabi For Use With World On Film: An Introduction

SYLLABUS C: World Cinema And Propaganda

The study of film and propaganda - both films that are propaganda and films that confront propaganda - from an international perspective.

For a 15-week course:

WEEK I
INTRODUCTION TO THE STUDY OF INTERNATIONAL FILM
READING:
"Introduction to Part I," pp. 2-22.
SCREENING:
Cleo From 5 to 7 (Dir. Agnes Varda, 1962)

SOVIET FILM: THE MOTHER OF CINEMATIC PROPAGANDA

WEEK II
 
READING:
Chapter 2, "Russia: Utopia and Dystopia," pp. 70-93.
Show clips from Earth aka Zemlya (Dir. Aleksandr Dovzhenko, 1930) and The Man With a Movie Camera aka Chelovek s kino-apparatum (Dir. Dziga Vertov, 1929)
SCREENING:
Battleship Potemkinaka Bronenosets Potyomkin (Dir. Sergei Eisenstein, 1925)
WEEK III
 
SCREENING:
Mother aka Mat (Dir. Vsevolod Pudovkin, 1926)
SCREENING:
Bed and Sofa aka Tretya Meschchanskaia (Dir. Abram Room, 1927)
WEEK IV
 
READING:
Chapter 2, "Russia: Utopia and Dystopia," pp. 93-107.
Show clips from Andrei Rublev (Dir. Andrei Tarkovsky, 1969); Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears aka Moskva slezam ne verit, 1980); Moloch (Dir. Aleksandr Sokurov, 1999)
SCREENING:
Solaris aka Solyaris (Dir. Andrei Tarkovsky, 1972)

GERMANY: NAZI AND COMMUNIST PROPAGANDA ON SCREEN, AND THE AFTERMATH

WEEK V
 
READING:
Chapter 3, "Germany: From Darkness toward Light," pp. 108-29.
Show clips from The Blue Angel aka Der blaue Engel (dir. Josef von Sternberg, 1930); Dr. Mabuse, The Gambler aka Dr. Mabuse, der Spieler (Dir. Fritz Lang, 1922); Triumph of the Will aka Triumph des Willens (Dir. Leni Riefenstahl, 1935); Jew Suss aka Jud Suss (Dir. Veit Harlan, 1940)
SCREENING:
Metropolis (Dir. Fritz Lang, 1927)
WEEK VI
 
READING:
Chapter 3, "Germany: From Darkness toward Light," pp. 129-49.
Show clips from East German propaganda films: Berlin-Schonhauser Corner aka Berlin-Ecke Schonhauser (Dir. Gerhard Klein, 1957); The Rabbit is Me aka Das Kaninchen bin ich (Dir. Kurt Maetzig, 1965)
SCREENING:
Traces of Stones aka Spur der Steine (Dir. Frank Beyer, 1966)
WEEK VII
 
SCREENINGS:
Show clips from films that look back on Nazi and Communist ideas in hindsight, within the context of new freedoms: Aguirre: The Wrath of God aka Aguirre, der Zorn Gottes (Dir. Werner Herzog, 1972); Wings of Desire aka Der Himmel über Berlin (Dir. Wim Wenders, 1987); The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum aka Die verlorene Ehre der Katharina Blum (Dirs. Margarethe von Trotta and Volker Scholondorff, 1975); and The Legend of Paul and Paula aka Die Legende von Paul und Paula (Dir. Heiner Carow, 1973)
SCREENING:
The Marriage of Maria Braun aka Die Ehe der Maria Braun (Dir. Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1979)

ITALY: FACIST PROPAGANDA, MOTIVE FOR NEOREALISM

WEEK VIII
 
READING:
Chapter 4, "Italy: The Myth of History, Neorealism, and Beyond," pp. 150-60.
Show clips from The Iron Crown aka La corona di ferro (Dir. Allessandro Blasetti, 1941); Scipio l'africano aka Scipio the African; The Defeat of Hannibal (Dir. Carmine Gallone, 1937)
SCREENING:
La Strada aka The Road (Dir. Federico Fellini, 1954)
WEEK IX
 
READING:
Chapter 4, "Italy: The Myth of History, Neorealism, and Beyond," pp. 160-94.
Show clips from Open City aka Roma, città aperta (Dir. Roberto Rossellini, 1945); Umberto D (Dir. Vittorio de Sica, 1952); The Conformist aka Il conformista (Dir. Bernardo Bertolucci, 1970); Life is Beautiful aka La Vita e bella (Dir. Roberto Benigni, 1997); The Truce aka La tregua (Dir. Francesco Rosi, 1997)
SCREENING:
We All Loved Each Other So Much aka C'eravamo tanto amati (Dir. Ettore Scola, 1974)

JAPAN: DEALING WITH A HISTORY OF MILITARISTIC PROPAGANDA

WEEK X
 
READING:
Chapter 5, "Japan: Screening Feudalism and Modernism," pp. 195-214.
Show clips from Stray Dog aka Nora inu (Dir. Akira Kurosawa, 1949) and Ugetsu aka Ugetsu monogatari (Dir. Kenji Mizoguchi, 1953)
SCREENING:
The 47 Ronin aka Genroku Chushingura (Dir. Kenji Mizoguchi, 1941)
WEEK XI
 
READING:
Chapter 5, "Japan: Screening Feudalism and Modernism, " pp. 214-36.
Show clips from The Seven Samurai aka Shichinin no samurai (Dir. Akira Kurosawa, 1954) and Pigs and Battleships aka Buta to gunkan (Dir. Shohei Imamamura, 1964); Akira Kurosawa's Dreams aka Yume (Dir. Akira Kurosawa, 1990)
SCREENING:
Ran (Dir. Akira Kurosawa, 1985)

MAINLAND CHINA: THE SIXTH GENERATION SPEAKS ABOUT FREEDOM

WEEK XII
 
READING:
Chapter 11, "Mainland China: Jia Zhangke, Freedom and the Sixth Generation," pp. 378-401.
Show clips from earlier filmmakers to set the stage for Jia Zhangke's protests on behalf of the individual: Spring in a Small Town aka Xiao cheng zhi chun (Dir. Fei Mu, 1948); Farewell My Concubine aka Ba wang bie ji (Dir. Chen Kaige, 1993); To Live aka Huozhe (Dir. Zhang Yimou, 1994)
SCREENING:
Yellow Earth aka Huang tu di (Dir. Chen Kaige, 1984)
WEEK XIII
 
SCREENING:
Platform aka Zhantai (Dir. Jia Zhangke, 2000)
SCREENING:
Unknown Pleasures aka Ren xiao yao (Dir. Jia Zhangke, 2002)
WEEK XIV
 
SCREENING:
The World aka Shijie (Dir. Jia Zhangke, 2004)
SCREENING:
Still Life aka Sanxia haorem (Dir. Jia Zhangke, 2006)
WEEK XV
 
SUMMARY:
What is the spectrum of film treatment of propaganda? In the last week of this course, it might be interesting to show clips from some twenty-first-century world films that touch on propaganda:
For example, Kanikosen (Dir. Hiroyuki Tanaka, 2009). An interesting Japanese film about the wearing away of the effects of propaganda.
It might also be interesting to refer to films in other chapters of this book that touch on the subject of free expression and censorship:
1. The Milky Way aka La voie lactée (Dir. Luis Buñuel, 1969). Focuses on dealing with the ironies and complexities of the dogma of the Catholic church throughout history.
2. Mother India aka Bharat Mata (Dir. Mehboob khan, 1957). Is this a work of Communist propaganda?
3. Moolaade (Dir. Ousmane Sembène, 2004). Focuses on dealing with the ironies and complexities of the dogma of patriarchal Islam.

Syllabus A: A Survey of (Inter)national Film Cultures

Syllabus B: Compass Points Of International Film: France, Italy, Japan, And India

Syllabus C: World Cinema And Propaganda

Syllabus D: Postnational Cinema

Syllabus E: The Construction of Femininities In World Film: What is the Spectrum of International Images of Women?


Download All Syllabi (PDF)


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