ENG 414: Advanced Studies in Genre:
Narrative, Film, and War 1914-1945

 

Dr. Mark Facknitz 3 credits

          This course examines how film shaped contemporary understanding of war and continues to shape our memory of the First and Second World Wars and the Holocaust.  The course looks at documentaries--for example, The Battle of the Somme (1916) and  The Sorrow and the Pity--will have a special emphasis on silent films--Birth of a Nation, The Big Parade, J'AccuseMetropolis, and others, and will examine several secondary topics--for example, the persistence of the amnesia plot, as in Return of the Soldier and A Very Long Engagement.  We will read several novels in order to explore the contrasts and conflicts between narratives in words and in film, most notably Ernest Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises, the cinema version of which Hemingway compared to "pissing in your father's beer."  We will also look at several movies about the Resistance, Holocaust, and the nuclear bombing of Japan--The Pawnbroker, Shoah, Night and Fog, andHiroshima mon amour--to more fully comprehend how film shapes our understanding of historical calamity.  Not for the faint of heart. Journal and research project.

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