American cinema has been a powerful system not only for the production of art but also of ideology. In this sense it is a medium of construction, negotiation and reinvention of subjective and objective reality and desire (and of what has been famously called “the American dream”), as well as of racial, sexual and national identity. This course invites students to study American films dealing with ideological issues (from Spike Lee’s “black cinema” to recent films like American Honey (Arnold), The Florida Project (Baker), Get Out (Peele), Moonlight (Jenkins), The Witch (Eggers) etc.) and initiates them to useful theoretical contexts such as those of critical theory, feminist theory, psychoanalytical theory, as well as to key theoretical contexts of film theory (Benjamin, Bazin, Baudry, Mulvey etc.) that have addressed the question of ideology in American cinema and culture.
Keywords: ideology, cultural production, critical theory, race, social class, sexuality, identity
Course Assessment: Final written exam or Presentation (20%) and final written exam (80%)