Trick question: Is black independent cinema (a) a marketing strategy, (b) a political project, or (c) an aesthetic tradition? In this course, we’ll watch movies that are celebrated or obscure, crowd-pleasing or aesthetically demanding, militant or reassuring, or sometimes all of the above. But “all of the above” is a lousy, lazy answer to a trick question–the kind of thing you might say on the way out of the theater if you want to sound smart but don’t really have an opinion of your own. The films we watch are not designed for a passive, silent viewer, so one of our tasks will be to try to understand how we might constitute ourselves as the audience these films call for. Filmmakers may include Charles Burnett, Julie Dash, Oscar Micheaux, Spike Lee, and others; requirements will include readings, written responses (to be shared with your classmates), and class presentations.
The Class: Format: wsp project
Requirements/Evaluation: requirements regular short writing and class presentations
Extra Info: meeting time afternoons