New Approaches to Teaching World Cinema

Meta Mazaj and I published a piece in Cinema Journal Teaching Dossier edited by Diane Carson and William Costanzo. The topic: “New Approaches to Teaching World Cinema Since teaching world cinema is our concern as much as writing on it, this was a very useful exercise. The connection between Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity (2013) and Jonás Cuarón’s short film Aningaaq (2013) presented itself as a perfect parable for what we have come to think of as world cinema, much of it on the terms dictated by Hollywood. But world cinema is polycentric, without a singular power arrogating itself over others, where all the elements are intricately tied together in relationships of power and visibility.  The entire issue is full of great contributions. The stewardship of Diane Carson and William Costanzo was constructive and delightful at the same time. They shepherded the group to produce different perspectives on teaching world cinema, just as the topic takes hold in film studies around the world. In assembling these pieces together, the editors have set out the possible parameters for inquiring into the concept while also developing a sound pedagogy for it.  All the links to the articles are available here, but this is the table of contents—  “Introduction,” William Costanzo and Diane Carson “What Is World Cinema? Structuring the Course,” Michael Talbott “Centers, Forms, and Perspectives in World Cinema,” Shekhar Deshpande and Meta Mazaj “Teaching Non-Western Cinemas in a Multiracial, Developing World Context, or What to Do When Your Students Are “the World,” Christopher Meir “Not Many, But One: A Case-Study Approach to Teaching World Cinema,” Jeffrey Middents “Making Transnational Connections: Current Events and Other Contexts,” Matthew Holtmeier “Contrapuntal Reading in World Cinema,” Eralda Lameborshi

From Tacita Dean to Francesco Casetti, via Chris Marker and Agnès Varda

            Philadelphia area is in going through the lucky fortunes of three important cinema events. The moment is significant for cinephiles and film scholars. Three separate and otherwise unrelated events are offering a telling lesson in reading the trajectory of transformation in cinema itself, from the gifts of its incipiency to the maps of its future.             First, screening of Tacita Dean’s 35mm film, JG, a sequel to her monumental Turbine Hall project in Tate Modern, continues at Arcadia University until April 21st.             Second, a symposium on Chris Marker (“Things That Quicken the Heart”) takes place at Slought Foundation on March 15th and 16th. . Raymond Bellour, Christa Blümlinger, Renée Green, Bill Horrigan, Gertrud Koch and Agnès Varda, among others.             On March 13th, Agnès Varda speaks with Molly Nesbit at B1 Meyerson Hall on Penn Campus. She introduces her film The Beaches of Agnès on March 14th at the International House.               The International House is also screening a number of films related to these events.             Third, The First Annual Dick Wolf Penn Cinema Studies Conference takes place at Slought Foundation on April 12th. The theme for the conference: The End of Cinema and the Future of Cinema Studies. The lineup is terrific. Francesco Casetti will be the keynote speaker at the conference.             Fabulous treat this is!! Tacita Dean’s JG is a fitting ode to cinema as we have known, with a very sharp statement about cinema’s singular gift to sculpt time and to mark its body with the indexical fingerprints that is trapped in the reality of things. JG is a tribute to J. G. Ballard’s short story The Voices of Time, where its protagonist attempts to navigate temporal being in the slippages of memory and vanishing coordinates of experience.[…..]
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