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Alternative Film and Video ( 6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL)


Leader: Constantine Verevis

Not offered in 2006.

Synopsis: Alternative film and video raises questions of aesthetics and politics to consider a varied body of work, one considered 'alternative'-avant-garde, experimental, independent-in relation to 'dominant' cultural practice and value. This unit begins with the new American cinema of the sixties (poetic, structural and underground film) and European counter-cinema of the seventies. It goes on to look at recent alternative film theory and practice, including trash cinema, post-punk cinema, American indie film, and recent digital video. Filmmakers considered include Brakhage, Snow, Anger, Kuchar, Smith, Warhol, Waters, Jarmusch, Zedd, Benning, Jarman, Korine, Gallo, and many others.

Objectives: By the completion of this unit students will be expected to: 1. Recognise that alternative film must be understood in relation to mainstream or dominant film practice. 2. Identify a material, social and political difference between historically specific moments of alternative (avant-garde, experimental or independent) film theory and practice. 3. Identify 'political modernism' of the sixties and seventies as a discursive field produced by specific practices of film criticism and associated institutions. 4. Translate this formulation of political modernism into a more contemporary engagement of film practice with theory and the aesthetic characteristics of (post)modernism.

Assessment: Visual test (2 hours): 40% + Essay (3000 words): 60% + Third-year students will be expected to read more widely and work at a higher level than second-year students.

Contact Hours: 4 hours (1 x 1 hour lecture, 1 x 1 hour tutorial and 1 x 2 hour screening) per week

Prerequisites: One unit at first-year level in visual culture