Home Schedule Assignments Grades Conduct Film Links

CMS 3340: The French New Wave

The class roll is now available.

Instructor:    Dr. Virginia Bonner
Messages:   vbonner@clayton.edu / 678-466-4713
Semester:     Fall 2006
Meetings:      TR 10:30-11:45pm, UC 272
Screenings:    T 12:00-2:15pm, UC 272
Office hrs:    M-R, 10a-5p by email & by appt. in Room 220, Music Building
Web Address:  http://www.virginiabonner.com/vbonner

Course Objectives

This course studies films of the French New Wave—their technical innovations, stylistic traits, and important directors. We will first study a few influential films, writings, and directors that pre-dated and inspired the French New Wave. We will then study the formal elements, themes, and experimental techniques of the French New Wave, paying special attention to how various filmmakers have employed them toward different effects. We will then consider a few more recent films that continue the French New Wave tradition.

Course Format

Our class will cover one or more films per week. Generally we'll have an introductory lecture and/or presentation on Tuesdays, which will be followed by a film screening. On Thursdays we'll discuss both the film and assigned readings. Readings throughout the semester will include historical texts and theoretical criticism, as well as some directors’ writings.

You will be responsible for lively class discussions and class group presentations on our directors, films, and readings. You will also contribute thoughtful short reviews on our films; solid writing skills and a thorough command of the film terminology you learned in CMS 2100 are expected in all of your writing and discussion. 

Film Screenings

Please note that the film screenings are mandatory, as this material will be the subject matter of your weekly writing assignments. If you do not plan to attend the screenings, you should drop the course. We will view additional excerpts from selected films during class lectures.

Always arrive five minutes early to screenings and to class lectures, not only because we will start promptly but also because late arrivals are extremely disruptive. If you must arrive late, always use the back door to enter the room. Do not eat loud foods, answer cell phones, talk with classmates, or leave the room during screenings; these are a time for serious study of our film texts so you should be taking copious notes during each film to prepare for your journal entries, quizzes, class discussions, and exams. You may wish to bring a penlight to classes and screenings to help you take notes in the dark. Anyone behaving disruptively during a screening or class will be asked to leave.

Note: Many of the films in this series contain violence, profanity, drug usage, and/or frank sexual content. These films are intended for mature audiences and are not suitable for children under 17 who are unaccompanied by an adult. If you are disturbed by R-rated film content, you should drop the course.

Required Texts (Available at the campus bookstore or online vendors)

1.     Marie, Michel. The French New Wave: An Artistic School. Blackwell, 1997. (FNW)

2.     Neupert, Richard. The History of the French New Wave. Wisconsin, 2004. (HFNW)

Reserve Texts

1. Douchet, Jean. French New Wave. Paris: Cinémathèque française. 1998.

Optional Texts

1.    Hillier, Jim, ed. Cahiers du Cinema the 1950s. Harvard, 1985.

2.    Hillier, Jim, ed. Cahiers du Cinema the 1960s. Harvard, 1986.

2.    Bordwell, David and Kristin Thompson. Film Art: An Introduction, 7th Edition. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2004. (FA)

Course textbooks & most films should be available in the collection of the library soon.

Note: If you have added this course during the schedule change period and/or were not present for the syllabus review the first day of class, you are required to meet with me the following week to review course requirements and policies.