Paris Cinema-City

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Course Information
Discipline(s): 
Film Studies
Cultural Studies
Terms offered: 
Spring
Credits: 
3
Language of instruction: 
French
Description: 

Cinema was born in Paris, at the end of the 19th century. The culmination of a century of technical innovations and artistic revolutions, cinema embodies modernity. It will thus replace literature and celebrate, in turn, the myth of Paris; to such an extent that today it is now possible to wonder if the myth of Paris was not, and does not continue to be, fabricated by cinema.

The course is organized around three main themes. First, we will trace the birth of industrial and popular art of cinema, the development of Parisian movie theaters, and the invention of the cinema-buff. This will provide an opportunity to understand the history of French cinema, from "Qualité française" to "Nouvelle Vague", and to consider the challenges and richness of French cinema today. Secondly, we will examine the 'natural' Paris of New Wave filmmakers Paris: Jean-Luc Godard’s city in movement, and the loving, poetic realism of Éric Rohmer. Finally, the course will consider the myth of Paris in all of its states, through the theme of Melancholy (Baudelaire’s spleen) and the imagination of disaster.

  1. PARIS, THE CAPITAL OF CINEMA
  2. PARIS AU NATUREL: THE NEW WAVE CINEMA CITY
  3. THE MYTH OF PARIS IN ALL ITS STATES
Attendance policy: 
  • Absences: after the second absence, the final grade will be lowered as follows: A becomes A-, - A becomes B +, etc. Grades will continue to be lowered for every subsequent absence
  • Three late arrivals of more than 10 minutes constitutes an absence.
Learning outcomes: 

At the end of the course students will be able to:

  • Discuss the history of French cinema
  • Analyze French Films
  • Describe the film myth of Paris cinema.
Method of presentation: 

Lectures, discussion, film viewing and analysis

Required work and form of assessment: 

 Assignment:

% of Grade

Mid-term examination:

25%

Final examination:

30%

Essay: a critique of film on Paris (10 pages):

30%

A report (2 pages) on a reading or fieldtrip:

15%

  • The two exams (midterm and final) will focus on issues covered in class with analyses of texts and/or images.
  • The essay develops a topic chosen by the student regarding cinema in Paris (subject to be approved by the teacher). This paper should be about 10 pages in length. The subject must be chosen by the 10th class meeting (revision for the midterm exam).
  • The report is two pages. It will focus on a reading, a film or a visit in connection with the major themes of the course (Paris City-Cinema).

Students need to watch for the corresponding classes/sessions:

  • Jean-Luc Godard, A bout de souffle 1960
  • Eric Rohmer, rendez-vous de Paris 1995
  • Jean-Luc Godard, A bout de souffle 1960
  • Éric Rohmer, Le Signe du lion, 1959
  • La Boulangère de Monceau 1962
  • La carrière de Suzanne 1963
  • L’Amour l’après-midi 1972
  • La femme de l’aviateur 1981
  • Les nuits de la pleine lune 1984
  • Les Rendez-vous de Paris 1995
  • Agnès Varda, Cléo de 5 à 7 1962
  • Jacques Tati, Playtime 1967

Students are encouraged, throughout the semester, to watch the films at home, at the IES center, or in the library (see the section at the end of the syllabus on specialized libraries Paris) in their entirety after excerpts are projected and analyzed in class.

content: 

THEME I - PARIS, THE CAPITAL OF CINEMA

  1. Paris, the birth city of cinema I: The Birth of an industrial art
    The Lumière brothers, Georges Méliès, Charles Pathé, and Léon Gaumont
  • Read the syllabus
  1. Paris, the birth city of cinema II: Becoming a folk art
    The beginning of French cinema. The era of silent films and the arrival of the talkies
  • Methodology of requested exercises
  1. Paris, the birth city of cinema III: The Invention of the cinema-buff
    The Parisian movie theaters and clubs, studios, specialized magazines, the French Cinémathèque
  2. Freeze frame
    Precise cinematic analysis
  3. Splendors and miseries of French cinema I: Occupied cinema
    Cinema under the occupation
  4. Splendor and misery of the French cinema II: French quality
    The cinema of quality
  5. New Wave Cinema and beyond
    The liberation of film. Youth and avant-garde. The fate of French cinema

THEME II - PARIS AU NATUREL: THE NEW WAVE CINEMA CITY

  • Students should watch Jean-Luc Godard, A bout de souffle, 1960, as well as Eric Rohmer’s Rendez-vous de Paris, 1995.
  1. Paris in motion: Godard I
    Jean-Luc Godard, A bout de souffle, 1960
  2. Paris in motion: Godard II
    Jean-Luc Godard, A bout de souffle, 1960
  3. Review
    Revisions for the mid-term examination
  • Choose essay topic
  1. Midterm Examination
  2. Eric Rohmer: A poetic realism I
    Éric Rohmer, Le Signe du lion, 1959
  3. Eric Rohmer: A poetic realism II
    Éric Rohmer, Le Signe du lion, 1959
  4. Eric Rohmer: Urban geography of Desire I
    La Boulangère de Monceau, 1962; La carrière de Suzanne, 1963; L’Amour l’après-midi, 1972 ; La femme de l’aviateur, 1981; Les nuits de la pleine lune, 1984
  5. Eric Rohmer: Urban geography of Desire II
    La Boulangère de Monceau, 1962; La carrière de Suzanne, 1963; L’Amour l’après-midi, 1972 ; La femme de l’aviateur, 1981; Les nuits de la pleine lune, 1984
  6. Eric Rohmer: Urban Geography of Desire III
    Rendez-vous de Paris, 1995
  7. Eric Rohmer: Urban Geography of Desire IV
    Rendez-vous de Paris, 1995.
  8. Meeting with Noël Herp e, film historian and biographer of Éric Rohmer
    Hand in report on reading/ film or fieldtrip

THEME III - THE MYTH OF PARIS IN ALL ITS STATES

  •  Students should see Agnès Varda’s Cléo de 5 à 7 and Jacques Tati’s Playtime
  1. Parisian Melancholy I
    Agnès Varda, Cléo de 5 à 7, 1962
  2. Parisian Melancholy I I
    Agnès Varda, Cléo de 5 à 7, 1962
  3. The imagination of disaster I
    Jacques Tati, Playtime, 1967
  4. The imagination of disaster II
    Cédric Klapisch, Peut-être, 1999
  5. Révisions
    Revisions for the final examination
  • Discussions will be held on student independent research projects
  1. Final Exam
Required readings: 

Lectures obligatoires :

  • Chabrol, Godard, Rivette, Rohmer, Truffaut, La Nouvelle Vague, Petite bibliothèque des Cahiers du cinéma, 1999
  • Éric Rohmer, „L’âge classique du cinéma“, Le goût de la beauté, éd. de l’Etoile, 1984

Stories remade into films covered in class:

  • Éric Rohmer, „La boulangère de Monceau“, „La carrière de Suzanne“, Six contes moraux, Cahiers du cinéma, 1998
  • Éric Rohmer, „La Femme de l‘aviateur“, Comédies et proverbes I, Petite bibliothèque des Cahiers du cinéma, 1999
  • Éric Rohmer, „Les nuits de la pleine lune“, Comédies et proverbes II, Petite bibliothèque des Cahiers du cinéma, 1999

Required films:

  • Jean-Luc Godard, A bout de souffle 1960 *
  • Éric Rohmer, Le Signe du lion, 1959 ; La Boulangère de Monceau 1962 ; La carrière de Suzanne 1963 ;L’Amour l’après-midi 1972 ; La femme de l’aviateur 1981 ; Les nuits de la pleine lune 1984 ; Les Rendez-vous de Paris 1995
  • Agnès Varda, Cléo de 5 à 7 1962 *
  • Jacques Tati, Playtime 1967 *
Other Resources: 

Where can I watch these films in Paris?

  • Bibliothèque Georges Brassens (38 rue Gassendi, 75014). 61 € Card : Borrow unlimited DVDs from Paris' municipal libraries for the year.

http://equipement.paris.fr/?tid=235

  • Bibliothèque spécialisée François Truffaut (4 rue du Cinéma, Forum des Halles, 75001)

http://equipement.paris.fr/Biblioth%C3%A8que_du_cin%C3%A9ma_Fran%C3%A7ois_Truffaut Possibilité de consultation sur place.

  • Bibliothèque de la Cinémathèque française (51, rue de Bercy, 75012). Consultation sur place. Carte CinEtudiant trimestrielle 9 €.

http://www.cinematheque.fr/fr/bibliotheque-film/services-sur-place/acceder-bibliotheque.html

A course packet will be made available to students, via the Moodle platform.