From ethnographic cinema to the avant-garde

Universidad Pompeu Fabra

Course Description

  • Course Name

    From ethnographic cinema to the avant-garde

  • Host University

    Universidad Pompeu Fabra

  • Location

    Barcelona, Spain

  • Area of Study

    Film Studies

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

    Hours & Credits

  • Credit Points

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Course focus and approach:
    this is a course in cinema and cultural studies that emphasizes in the history of ethnographic cinema relating to the avant-garde cinema and the underground cinema of the XX century until now.

    Course description:
    Study and critical analysis of ethnographic cinema and its relationship with avant-garde cinema, demonstrating itself as a fertile territory and full of possibilities, but that continues on the margins, between art halls and museums and ignored by industry. Both ends touch each other. In the margins of usual production, creativity, dedication and social and cultural commitment survive. Both extremes are modes of representation of our culture and have many elements in common: their marginality, their creativity, a community of practitioners and followers, their influence on the cinematographic narrative of the real and fiction, and their questioning, in some cases, of the classic narrative.
    The goal of this seminar is to provide the student with a basic, but professional, level of knowledge of Ethnographic and the, so called, experimental or formalist filmmaking. The seminar includes a practical exercise where the student can discover his particular way of seeing Catalan or Spanish reality. The seminar consists in theoretical lessons. During eleven weeks (two days per week; each class meeting for two hours) students and the tutor Ricardo Iscar will meet and discuss the history and situation of the contemporary ethnographic and Avant Garde filmmaking.

    Learning objectives:
    At the end of this course the students: Will have a general theoretical knowledge of the history and styles of the Ethnographic films and Avant Garde films. Will learn how to improve his perception of reality and will have other narrative tools, different than the traditional ones. Will participate in the shooting and editing of a short ethnographic or experimental movie, by themselves

    Course workload:
    The seminar consists of lecture lessons, lectures, exams, and field studies. Teaching methodology: During lecture classes the professor will present the history of Spanish, Catalan and international Ethnographic films and Avant Garde or experimental films, more formalistic, and will set the theoretical basis to produce a final exercise.
    All lectures will be illustrated with the projection of films and videos Students will choose between: Either they will work in small teams of four people to develop an ethnographic project suitable to be filmed (no longer than 15 minutes) and to be presented at the end of the course. Or, each one of the students will make a short formalistic experimental film (no more than 5 minutes).

    Assessment criteria:
    Student’s final grade will be determined as it follows:
    Final exam: 40%
    Class participation: 10%
    Final Project: 50%

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.


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