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.