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History of Film II, Spring 2016

Course Description

Following the emergence of the European New Waves in the years following World War II, the cinema evolved into a truly global, innovative, and transnational art form. This course traces the development of new wave cinema movements, from 1950 to about 1990, and the globalization of the cinema over the last three decades. We will cover the various economic, institutional and aesthetic changes in these movements within the context of national and global cultures.

Time and Place

Fridays, 9:30 AM – 12:20 PM
Library, Room MMB
Section: HA–342–01


Juan Monroy


Course Materials


The following textbook is available through online retailers, such as Amazon, and on reserve at the Pratt Brooklyn library.


Although this course website is your primary portal for all course information, download reserve readings and submit your assignments [through the LMS][lms].

Reserve Readings

Required readings not found in the textbooks will be posted as PDFs on this website. Due to copyright concerns, enter the following credentials:

  • filmhistory
  • ha342

Reserve Screenings

You must also screen films on your own outside of class. Those titles will be on the course schedule. There are two places to screen these films:

  • *DVD*: On reserve at the video library at the Visual and Multimedia Resources, on the lower level of the Library on the Brooklyn campus.
  • *Streaming*: On Hulu, except for two titles noted below and one title available on Amazon Prime. Get a two-week trail to Hulu and subscribe for $7.99 a month. (You are not required to subscribe to Hulu if you can watch these films elsewhere.)


This class consists of five components. You cannot satisfactorily complete this course without all six of these.


At each class, we will discuss material you should know for the midterm exam and writing assignments. We will cover the historical and cultural context relevant to the films presented in class.


Each week, there will be at in-class screening. Some screenings are available to stream online and you may be able to purchase titles online and local video stores. However, the greatest value of this class comes from our watching films together and discussing them as a group, in the context of other films, readings, and spontaneous conversation.

You must also watch the outside screenings to further stoke your cinephilia.


Please read the assigned course material before each week’s class. Consult the Course Schedule, listed below, for the specific reading assignments.


All assignments must be completed on time in order to receive full credit. Late assignments will be penalized by a 10% reduction for each 24-hour period it is late. After seven calendar days, the assignment will not be accepted, and you could fail this class.


Exams comprise 40% of your course grade and are designed to reward regular attendance and diligent studying. Exams will be administered in class and must be taken at the specified date and time.



Please respect the classroom environment. You should pay attention to the lecture, take notes, and avoid distractions, such as web surfing or using your mobile phone. Studies have consistently shown that students using laptops and mobile phones perform about 11% worse than students who are not distracted by these devices. On a personal note, it’s very difficult to stay motivated as a teacher if I see students seemingly disinterested in their own education. If I find you engaging in disruptive behavior, such as watching online videos, passing notes, instant messaging, chatting, or texting, I will remove you from the classroom and have you withdraw from the class.

Community Standards

Students must adhere to all Institute-wide policies listed in the Bulletin under “Community Standards” and which include policies on attendance, academic integrity, plagiarism, computer, and network use.

Late Work and “Incomplete” Grades

Please submit your work on time. Late work will be penalized by a 10% reduction for each 24-hour period it is late. After one calendar week, the assignment will not be accepted and you will likely fail this class.

There will be no incomplete grades for this class except in the case of a documented emergency in the final weeks of the semester. If you experience such an emergency, please contact me immediately, and we will work out a schedule for you to complete the outstanding work before the beginning of the following semester.

But aside from these circumstances, no late work will be accepted and no “incomplete” grades will be granted. If you have difficulty keeping up with coursework, consider giving yourself extra time to complete assignments, reducing your overall course load, and/or taking this class at a later semester.

Academic Integrity

Absolute integrity is expected of every member of the Pratt Community in all academic matters, particularly with regard to academic honesty.

The latter includes plagiarism and cheating. In addition, the continued registration of any student is contingent upon regular attendance, the quality of work, and proper conduct. Irregular class attendance, neglect of work, failure to comply with Institute rules, and official notices or conduct not consistent with general good order is regarded as sufficient reasons for dismissal.

Computers, Tablets, and Mobile Phones

Please refrain from using your digital devices during class. Also remember to silence your mobile phone, or turn it off to save your battery.

It is particularly rude to use your devices in class because it distracts not only me but also the students around you. And others can see what you’re doing.


Please check your official email account on a daily basis, if not more often. I will broadcast announcements and send point-to-point communiques using your official email address.

Students with Disabilities

The mission of the Disability Resource Center, a part of the Office for the Vice President for Student Affairs, is to ensure that all students with disabilities can freely and actively participate in all facets of Pratt life. To this end the office provides and coordinates services and programs that support student development, enable students to maximize their educational and creative potential, and assist students to develop their independence to the fullest extent possible. Furthermore, the office’s goal is to increase the level of awareness among all members of the Pratt community so that students with disabilities are able to perform at a level limited only by their abilities, not their disabilities.

Students who require special accommodations for disabilities must obtain clearance from the Office of Disability Services at the beginning of the semester. They should contact Mai McDonald, Disability Services Coordinator, in the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs, Main Building, Lower Level: 718–636- 3711.



Regular attendance is required and will count towards your grade.

  • Weight: 10%


I will provide you with twenty-five (25) events relevant to the history of film and global culture. Give the four digit year event took place.

Bring a hard copy of your assignment to class

  • The List: 25 events
  • Due: February 5, in class.
  • Weight: 10%

Review: New Wave Film

Throughout the filmmaking world, New Wave cinemas emerged after World War II and promoted a number of stylistic conventions that were often experimental and innovative, but certainly unconventional.

Using one of the in-class or outside screenings, discuss how its stylistic conventions departed from the conventional, linear narrative approaches of classical narrative cinema.

Submit your assignment through the LMS. Bring a hard copy of your assignment to class.
  • Due: March 4, in class
  • Length: 1,200 words
  • Weight: 20%

Review: Hollywood Film Franchise


Over the last forty years, the American film industry has focuses primarily on blockbusters and franchise films to fuel film production and box office demand around the world. According to Marco Cucco , “the blockbuster was born a transnational product…designed for commercial utilization on the global market.”[1]

Using one of the movie franchises listed below—or another one approved in consultation with your instructor, write a review of the original film and at least one sequel. Your review should note the source material, connections between each film and the marketing of these films through theatrical trailers, advertising and promotional tie-ins with other products. You should also consider the reception of these films and evaluate how it impacts the value of the franchise.

Extra-Credit Presentation
I encourage everyone to bring a short video—such as a clip from your film, a trailer, or a fan-generated video—and briefly discuss it with the class. Your presentation, including your video, should be no longer than ten minutes.

Examples of Hollywood franchises:

  • Back to the Future
  • Bourne Identity
  • Die Hard
  • Fast and the Furious
  • Harry Potter
  • Hellboy
  • House Party
  • Ice Age
  • Iron Man
  • Jurassic Park
  • Lethal Weapon
  • Lord of the Rings
  • Matrix
  • Meet the Parents
  • Men in Black
  • Mission: Impossible
  • Nightmare on Elm Street
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Rush Hour
  • Scary Movie
  • Shrek
  • Spider Man
  • Star Wars
  • Toy Story
  • Terminator
  • Transformers
  • Twilight
  • X-Men

Bring a hard copy of your assignment to class.

  • Due: April 29 New Date
  • Length: 1,200 words
  • Weight: 20%


Midterm Exam

The midterm exam is in-class exam, consisting of identification and essay questions. The exam will cover the course material from the first six weeks of the class, including all lectures, readings and screenings.

Final Exam

Like the midterm exam, the final exam will consist of identification and essay questions, but will be a take-home exam. The exam will cover the course material from the entire course, including all lectures, readings and screenings.

Submit your final exam as a PDF over email.

  • The Exam
  • Due: May 12, 6:00 PM
  • Weight: 20%

Course Schedule

January 22: Welcome

January 29: Neorealism and its Discontents

  • Thompson and Bordwell, Chapter 16, “Postwar European Cinema: Neorealism And Its Context, 1945–1959,” 324–357.
In-Class Screening
  • Los Olividados (Luis Buñuel, Mexico, 1950), 80 min.
Outside Screening

February 5: European New Waves


The Timeline Assignment is due in class today.

  • Thompson and Bordwell, Chapter 20, “New Waves and Young Cinemas,” 403–438.
In-Class Screening
  • Breathless (Jean-Luc Godard, France, 1959), 90 min.
Outside Screening

February 12: Irrelevance of Old Hollywood

  • Thompson and Bordwell, Chapter 22, “Hollywood’s Fall and Rise,” 472–478.
In-Class Screening
  • Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Mike Nichols, USA, 1966), 131 min.
Outside Screening

February 19: Eastern European New Wave

In-Class Screening
Outside Screening

February 26: Latin America and Third Cinema

In-Class Screening
  • Memories of Underdevelopment [Memorias del subdesarrollo] (Tomás Gutiérrez Alea, Cuba, 1968), 97 min.
Outside Screening
  • Hour of the Furnaces: Neocolonialism (Octavio Getino and Fernando Solanas, Argentina, 1968), 84 min. Library only

March 4: New German Cinema


Your Review: New Wave Film is due in class today. Kindly bring a hard copy.

In-Class Screening
  • Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Germany, 1974), 93 min.
Outside Screening

March 11: Midterm Exam

We will take the midterm exam in class today.

Use the review questions to help you prepare for this exam.

March 25: Emergence of a New Hollywood

  • Thompson and Bordwell, 478–493.
  • Schatz, Thomas, “The New Hollywood,” in Jim Collins, Hillary Radner, and Ava Preacher Collins, eds., Film Theory Goes to the Movies. New York: Routledge, 1993, 8–36, 265–268.
In-Class Screening
  • Bonnie and Clyde (Warren Beatty, USA, 1967), 111 min.

Outside Screening

April 1: Soviet Union and Tarkovsky

In-Class Screening
  • The Mirror (Andrei Tarkovsky, USSR, 1975), 108 min.
Outside Screening

April 8: Mainland China

In-Class Screening
  • Raise the Red Lantern [Da hong deng long gao gao gua] (Yimou Zhang, PRC, 1991), 125 min.
  • Red Detachment of Women (Pan Wenzhan and Fu Jie, PRC, 1971), excerpt
Outside Screening
  • East is Red [Dongfang Hong] (Ping Wang, PRC, 1964), 117 min.

April 15: East Asian Cinemas

  • Thompson and Bordwell, 643–658.
In-Class Screening
  • Chungking Express (Wong Kar Wai, Hong Kong, 1994), 112 min.
Outside Screening
  • Yi-Yi (Edward Yang, Taiwan, 2000), 173 min. Library only

April 22: Global Film Culture

In-Class Screening
  • Slumdog Millionaire (Danny Boyle, UK/India, 2008), 120 min.

April 29: Hollywood and the Entertainment Economy


May 12: Take-Home Final Exam

Your final exam is due today, 6:00 PM. Submit as a PDF over email.

  1. Cucco, M. “The Promise Is Great: The Blockbuster and the Hollywood Economy.” Media, Culture & Society 31, no. 2 (March 1, 2009): 215–30. doi:10.1177/0163443708100315.  ↩