Research Topics

Neo-Realism is a film movement that emerged in Italy after WWII.  Shaped by the prevailing anti-fascist sentiment, the films focused on real life stories, of communities rather than individuals—solidarity was an important value.  The film directors of this movement–Rossellini and de Sica, among them–favoured non-professional actors and actual locations.  The films were made in the streets, not in the studio.   Research on this subject should consider the political, economic and technological factors contributing to the development of this movement and the influence of neo-realism on subsequent film movements (new wave, new American, independent film.  Film examples: Rome: Open CityBicycle Thieves,

New Wave Cinema is traditionally associated with group of young French critics/directors who came to prominence during the late 1950s.  Including François Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, and Alain Renais, these filmmakers believed that what a movie says is inextricably bound up with how it is said and made films with intellectual as well as artistic interests. Since then the term is used to define a diverse range of emerging, non-traditional cinemas–including the Italian New Wave, the German New Wave, Hong-Kong New Wave, Iranian New wave…  Research on this subject should consider the situation within which the historical New Wave emerged as a context within which to study the work of its main participants or subsequent generations. Film examples: Breathless400 BlowsCleo from 5 – 7Hiroshima Mon Amour

Independent Cinema or ‘indie’ film generally refers to films produced outside of the studio system. Although the term is currently associated with new, young and idealistic filmmakers working with small budgets, it has existed since the early days of Hollywood as a reference to the lower budget picture produced by smaller studios or ad hoc companies. This research project will study changes in independent production over time, considering the economic, aesthetic and cultural differences or relationships between independent and studio production.  Film Examples: ShadowsClerks.

National Cinemas Hollywood films dominate the world’s screens making it difficult for individual, locally produced films to compete for their audiences. This situation threatens the ability of individual communities—nations, regions, and cultures—to express their distinct cultural identities. In many different countries, governments have developed funding organizations and/or introduced laws concerning the distribution of films in order to protect local film industries. This project will chart a history of one (or more) National Cinemas, addressing, among other issues the effect of cultural imperialism and role of government subsidies and laws in the development of each, and discuss.  C.R.A.Z.Y.

Postmodern Film Postmodernism has been described as 1) a period in social life marked by changes in social life and labour practices; 2) a cultural sensibility shaped by the expansion of communication technologies; and 3) and aesthetic style. This research will define modernity, postmodernity and post-postmodernity and consider how the issues and styles of each period are expressed in the contents and forms of film culture.  Film Examples: Mulholland DrivePulp Fiction

Expanded Cinema is a term coined by Gene Youngblood in the 1970s to acknowledge an expanding realm of cinematic production and presentation.  Now open to amateurs, and used for a myriad of artistic, educational, commercial and personal purposes, cinema was becoming a more common form of communication-and found in a wide range of public and private settings.  Youngblood and others celebrated the democratizing possibilities of such expansion and anticipated novel and revolutionary application in artistic and political practice.  Since then, screen culture has expanded exponentially.  Research on this subject will outline Youngblood’s argument and discuss the political, social and artistic dimensions of expanding cinema.

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