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CANCELLED: Master class (5 ECTS) for MA/PhD students on “Film Noir” by Richard Peña

Apr 20, 2020 - Apr 24, 2020
Because of the current situation regarding the novel Coronavirus (2019-NCOV), Richard Peña's Film Noir class will not be held in the summer semester. We are currently working on a way to postpone it to the fall semester. Please note that right now we do not accept applications. 

The John F. Kennedy Institute and the Graduate School of North American Studies at Freie Universität Berlin are pleased to announce a one-week Masterclass, taught by renowned film scholar Richard Peña (Columbia University & former Director New York Film Festival) and open to graduate students on the M.A. and PhD level.

Course description:
Immediately after World War 2, a number of French critics began noticing a different tone in a number of American films: darker, more pessimistic themes were frequent, as well as visual strategies that emphasized shadows, fractured spaces and a tendency to foreground individual points-of-view. Calling this movement film noir, “black film,” the movement pushed the envelope as to what was accepted Hollywood filmmaking practice while offering often trenchant portraits of postwar America. This course will study the emergence and development of American film noir, tracing its roots in German expressionism, surrealism, American hard-boiled literature and French existentialism, while placing the movement within the context of a changing Hollywood industry as well as tensions around race, class, gender and the onset of the Cold War. The course continues into later manifestations of film noir, especially its relation to science fiction.

The course will be held at the John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies at Freie Universität, 20-24 April 2020. Classes are held from 9am-noon and 2-5pm.

Richard Peña is Professor of Film Studies at Columbia University, where he specializes in film theory and international cinema. From 1988 to 2012, he was the Program Director of the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the Director of the New York Film Festival. At the Film Society, Richard Peña organized retrospectives of many film artists, including Michelangelo Antonioni, Sacha Guitry, Abbas Kiarostami, King Hu, Robert Aldrich, Roberto Gavaldon, Ritwik Ghatak, Kira Muratova, Fei Mu, Jean Eustache, Youssef Chahine, Yasujiro Ozu, Carlos Saura and Amitabh Bachchan, as well as major film series devoted to African, Israeli, Cuban, Polish, Hungarian, Chinese, Arab, Korean, Swedish, Turkish, German, Taiwanese and Argentine cinema. Together with Unifrance, he created in 1995 “Rendez-Vous with French Cinema,” the leading American showcasefor new French cinema. A frequent lecturer on film internationally, in 2014-2015, he was a Visiting Professor in Brazilian Studies at Princeton, and in 2015-2016 a Visiting Professor in Film Studies at Harvard. In April and May 2020, Peña will be a visiting professor at the Graduate School of North American Studies at Freie Universität Berlin.

Students interested to participate in the course should send a brief application dossier in one PDF-document consisting of a letter of motivation (max. 2 pages) and a CV (max. 3 pages) via email (application@gsnas.fu-berlin.de) to the attention of David Bosold, GSNAS, Lansstraße 5-9, 14195 Berlin no later than March 30, 2020. Please note that no additional fees will be charged.

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