The films of Polish director Kieslowski (Dekalog, The Double
Life of Veronique, Red, White, Blue), of Danish-born
von Trier (Zentropa, Breaking the Waves, The Idiots,
Dancer in the Dark), and of German filmmaker Tykwer (The Deadly
Maria, Winter Sleepers, Run, Lola, Run, The Princess
and the Warrior, Heaven) have fundamentally reshaped the landscape
of European cinema since the early 1990s. Although their films differ
significantly in terms of their stylistic preferences and narrative structures,
they all raise intriguing questions about the nature of time and history,
the role of chance and identity, and the process of filmmaking itself.
Moreover, the career of all three directors urges us to rethink the notion
of national cinema in an era of European co-productions and transnational
orientations. This seminar is designed to explore and compare the work
of Kieslowski, von Trier, and Tykwer. It will closely examine their most
important films, situate their work in historical and film historical
contexts, and theorize their concern with temporality, history, human
existence, and cinematic representation.
Materials marked "ERES" in the course schedule are availabe from the Electronic Reserve System at Washington University. Login and password to be announced in class.
All other books available for purchase at the Washington University Bookstore:
Late work will not be accepted, except in the case of serious illness, medical emergency, or some other compelling mitigating circumstance. Other coursework, job requirements, or other class projects are not considered mitigating circumstances.
The major assignments will be given to you well enough in advance for
you plan your schedules accordingly. All major assignments must be completed
in order to pass this course. "Incomplete" grades and extensions
are not available without documented evidence of extraordinary hardships
(e.g., medical problems). Having a heavy workload is not an extraordinary
You should regard the film screenings as required texts. You must write
a brief online screening report within 24 hours after the screening to
receive credit for attendance.
Any work that is plagiarized (borrowing someone else's ideas or information
without proper citation) will be graded an "F." Further disciplinary
action may also be taken.
All films to be discussed during the semester are available for additional
viewing at Olin Library's Audio/Visual Reserve Desk. The tapes and dvds
are on 2 hour reserve.