[MDST 271] 2 New Waves(& a Weird Wave)(5T,W,C)

Course Code

MDST 271


Media Studies

Title Override

2 New Waves (and a Weird Wave): Experimental Cinematic Movements in France, Japan and Greece

Description Override

Intermediate Topics in Media Studies: 2 New Waves (and a Weird Wave): Experimental Cinematic Movements in France, Japan and Greece (1). In 1960, Jean-Luc Godard’s “Breathless” was released, a film that, alongside Agnes Varda’s “La Pointe Courte” (1955), Alain Resnais’s “Hiroshima, My Love” (1959), and Francois Truffault’s “The 400 Blows” (1959), marked the dawn of a cinematic revolution known as the “New Wave” in France. This movement gave rise to a distinctive type of film protagonist: one who was alienated, disenchanted, prone to violence, and shaped by the burgeoning influence of the media, particularly cinema. Remarkably, this new hero foreshadowed the youthful rebellions and protests that would reverberate through France and the Western world in the later 1960s. In a parallel vein, Nagisa Oshima released “A Town of Love and Hope” (??????; “Ai to kibo no machi”) in 1959, chronicling the life of a slum-dwelling youth who, like Godard’s protagonist, engaged in criminal activities with unapologetic abandon. A new wave of filmmaking had struck Japan at the same time as the French movement, presenting analogous challenges to established cinematic practice. In this course, we will delve into these two iconic “New Wave” film movements, examining their historical, cultural, political, sociological, and aesthetic dimensions. Closely analyzing a selection of French and Japanese films from the 1950s to the early 1970s, we will explore such themes as radical politics, juvenile delinquency, unrestrained sexuality, evolving women’s roles in society, and, notably in Japan, issues of racism and the status of ethnic minorities. As a special addition, we will briefly touch upon the resurgence of a subsequent cinematic “New Wave,” satirically dubbed the “Weird Wave” by film critics, which emerged in Greece a generation after the initial waves had subsided. Topics will vary from semester to semester. May be repeated for credit if topic is different. Offered every year.

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TR 1:00PM-3:50PM

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