ARTS 315
Realisms: Courbet to Mumblecore Spring 2016
Division I
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This 300-level video production seminar will look at traditions in realism and historical styles of representing everyday life. Students will consider pre-cinematic realisms in painting and literature, classical formations of Hollywood realism, Italian Neorealism, critical and New Wave relationships to realist practice, recent forms of neorealism from Iran, China, and the U.S., and the everyday aesthetics of mumblecore. Students will produce three short videos in relation to screenings and readings in different realist traditions, and will develop skills and technique related to traditions of narrative realism. This thematic seminar will help students develop basic skills in screenwriting, performance, and cinematography, at the same time as raising questions about realism’s place in relation to the legacies of formalist modernism in the visual arts, contemporary critical art practice, and the realist expectations of American “mainstream” cinema. While the focus of the seminar will be on students’ own production, coursework will be informed by engaging with work by John Ford, Mike Leigh, Roberto Rossellini, Jean-Luc Godard, Chantal Ackerman, Andy Warhol, Abbas Kiaorastami, Jia Zhangke, Kelly Reichardt, and Aaron Katz, and will also involve critical studies that position realism in relation to traditions in art history, cinema, and theater, including readings by Clement Greenberg, Bertolt Brecht, Andre Bazin, Augusto Boal, Rosalind Krauss, Hal Foster, Moyra Davey, and many others. This course is appropriate for art majors who may be beginning students in the medium of video, or for students who have taken a previous video production course or Writing for Film Video and Performance.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 12
Expected: 12
Class#: 3485
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: based on three short videos and occasional brief writing exercises
Prerequisites: students that have taken a video course
Enrollment Preferences: open to Art majors and students who have taken another video course
Distributions: Division I

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