FILM 330: Musicals and Melodramas
Description: Melodramas and musicals are often categorized derogatorily as "chick flicks." Not only is this label problematic in terms of demeaning what is stereotypically constituted as feminine cinematic taste, it also marks a need to appreciate the significant roles the genres of melodrama and musical have played in the history of cinema. In surveying the historical development of melodramas and musicals in American and other national cinematic traditions, this course seeks to familiarize students with the shifting formalist structures of the genres and the key themes they convey. We will also view films that typify the genres, while examining atypical examples to illustrate how the melodramatic mode and musical elements can infuse and invigorate other generic forms. Some important directors whose work we will encounter include D. W. Griffith, Fei Mu, Josef von Sternberg, Joseph L. Mankiewicz, Vincente Minnelli, Douglas Sirk, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Todd Haynes, Stanley Kwan, Kim Ki-Duk, Pen-Ek Ratanaruang, and Lars Von Trier.
For more information about this course, contact Kenneth Chan