Fall 2013 - Undergraduate Course Descriptions
Description of Course:
Loathed and loved for his graphic depictions of violent acts between humans, Tarantino recently berated journalists for obsessing about whether violent movies incite violent behavior. After the release of Django Unchained (2012), which coincided with some of the worst gun violence events in the US, Tarantino was asked yet again about why he feels there’s no reasonable link between screen acts and real acts. He responded, “I’m not biting. I refuse your question… You can't make me dance to your tune. I'm not a monkey.” While filmmakers and film critics insist that violent movies are not to blame for real violence, others are just as confident that banning violent movies and video games is the only way to end mass killings in real life. Why is there so much controversy about violence on screen? Why does violence appeal to movie spectators and filmmakers? Why do some fear the proliferation of violence in the media? What differences exist between journalistic coverage of mass killings and fictional representations of violence in films? How do movies get under our skin and into our bodies? In this class, we’ll explore the history of violence on screen, theories about cinematic spectatorship and the effects of cinema, as well as consider popular debates about violence in the US and globally. Our films will explore a wide range of filmic approaches to many forms of violence, literal and imagined, poetic and graphic, human and otherwise. Our assignments will include short papers, creative projects, and a final exam.
Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria: