RUSS 012. Russian Culture through Film
The purpose of this course is to study the ways in which Russian filmmakers have used the medium of cinema to explore history, culture, politics, and social issues prevalent in the Russian society at different periods of its development. The course will follow the development of Soviet and Russian cinema from the Golden Age of silent films, through the periods of Socialist Realism, WWII, the Thaw, Stagnation, Perestroika, and finally - the Russian Federation up to the present day.
In addition to exploring Russian history and culture, in this course special attention will be paid to the medium itself - cinema. As storytelling device, as historical document, as expression of imagination, as artistic object, there is no form more capable of capturing our interest and provoking the senses. Therefore, some of the main objectives in this course will be:
- To understand the nature and process of film production
- To learn how to “read” and analyze film
- To explore the major aesthetic trends in the history of cinema and familiarize ourselves with the main theoretical and critical approaches to film theory.
The films and readings assigned for each class meeting are selected because of their relevance to the theories for the week (often this relevance will be implicit rather than explicit) - for instance: The Photographic Image and Sound, The Cinematic Narrator, Reality and Film, The Film Spectator, Film Genre, etc. The goal of the course is not to focus on any single theory or group of theories, but rather to review a large selection of theories, and allow the students to practice applying these theories to film, so that by the end of the course each student will have the critical tools to provide an informed verbal and written film analysis, and be able to discuss how various aesthetic and ideological approaches to filmmaking influence cinema practice over time.
Spring 2023. Yordanova.
Catalog chapter: Modern Languages and Literatures: Russian
Department website: https://www.swarthmore.edu/russian
Check the Spring 2021 Schedule of Courses
Check the Fall 2021 Schedule of Courses