National Cinema and Culture: British Cinema

Course Details
Course: 
FILM 168
Instructor: 
Denise McKenna
Quarter: 
Winter
Academic Year: 
2017-18

Course Descpription:

This course will look at cinema history in Britain, considering key films and filmmakers in relation to the cultural and industrial contexts of British film production, circulation, and reception. Beginning with Britain’s vibrant silent film culture, this course will move through topics such as quota quickies, “Kitchen sink” films, and heritage cinema and consider the work of filmmakers such as Alfred Hitchcock, Powell and Pressburger, and Sally Potter. But in addition to exploring the history of British cinema, this class also asks: What is a British film? We will consider different ways to understand and critique the idea a national cinema – what is the relationship between cinema and national identity, how are certain cinematic forms state sanctioned, how is the idea of the nation changed or challenged by new production contexts – as we investigate how cinema has engaged with the complex question of what it means to be British.