course description | grade distribution | required texts | course policies

Class Time: M, W 1:00 - 2:30 pm
Room: Eads 216
Screening: M 7:00 pm (Brown 100)
Instructors: Lutz Koepnick
Telephone: 935-4350
Office: Ridgley 328
Office Hours: M 11-12 & F 1-2, and by appointment

Course Description

The films of Italian director Antonioni (THE ADVENTURE, THE ECLIPSE, BLOW UP, ZABRISKIE POINT), of Swiss filmmaker Godard (BREATHLESS, A MARRIED WOMAN, ALPHAVILLE, NUMBER TWO, GERMANY YEAR NINETY NINE ZERO) and of German-born Wenders (ALICE IN THE CITIES, THE AMERICAN FRIEND, THE STATE OF THINGS, PARIS, TEXAS, WINGS OF DESIRE, BUENA VISTA SOCIAL CLUB) have had a major influence on international art and avant-garde filmmaking since the 1960s. While their work clearly differs in style, narrative preference, and political orientation, they all share a highly self-reflexive interest in probing the relationship of cinematic images, sounds, and stories. Moreover, in spite of their different cultural backgrounds and institutional working bases, all three had a profound influence on each other, resulting in collaborations such as BEYOND THE CLOUDS (1996) and BERLIN CINEMA (1997). This seminar explores and compares the work of Antonioni, Godard, and Wenders. It will closely examine their most important films, situate their work in historical and film historical contexts, and theorize their concern with the aesthetics of cinematic representations, the politics of storytelling, and the vicissitudes of human existence.

Grade Distribution

  • 2 essays (3-4 pages in length): 40%
  • 1 Thought Paper: 10%
  • 1 Oral Presentation: 20%
  • Attendance and Participation: 30%

Required Texts

All course materials are availabe from the Electronic Reserve System at Washington University. Login and password to be announced in class. It is expected that you print out these materials and bring them to class.


Course Policies

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 hardship.

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. Readings must be completed prior to class. The amount of reading is heavier some weeks than others, so don't put it off to the last minute.

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.

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