We have a lot of discussion and notes to make up what with my illness and, well, your lack of blog participation. The latter is especially important with our very small class. This week we will address Propaganda (what is it? are all films propaganda films?) having watched Battleship Potemkin and watching The Spanish Earth, Prelude to War, American Sniper, Enemy at the Gates, or Triumph of the Will outside of class. We also have the pleasure of seeing our first film presentation by James on American Sniper, which will follow my own example presentation on Alexander Nevsky.
Your reading this week is a piece written by the director of both Battleship Potemkin and Alexander Nevsky. It does not directly tackle the concept of propaganda, speaking instead of the photographic and graphical composition of film. As supplementary reading, consider skimming two other pieces included here: another piece by Eisenstein essentially congratulating himself and the Soviet Film industry and a piece underscoring the contemporary uselessness of Triumph of the Will to serve as propaganda, though lauded as the greatest propaganda film ever made.
- Eisenstein – Dialectic Approach to Film Form – 1929 (required)
- Eisenstein – Achievement – 1939 (supplementary)
- Winston – Was Hitler There (supplementary)
Next week’s films are:
- This Is Not a Film (in class)
- Bicycle Thieves (film screening on Tuesday)
- Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry (available at the public library)
- Citizenfour (available at the public library)
- An Inconvenient Truth (available at the public library)