Skip to content

Asian Film Genres

CWL 276

Same as EALC 276 and ENGL 276. See ENGL 276.

This new film studies course (which earns General Education credit in both Non-Western Cultures and Literature and the Arts) offers a close study of popular film genres produced and circulated in Asia that have had impact on cinema and other cultural forms across the region and beyond. The course takes a necessarily selective and focused historical and transnational comparative approach to analyzing shifting narrative and visual and other cinematic realizations of each genre across different contexts, including Western reception and cross-cultural adaptations. Filmmakers in myriad Asian countries now produce a wide range of genres that this course might consider, including martial arts, horror, musicals, anime, melodramas, science fiction, monster movies, and comedy. In Spring 2018, the course will emphasize the first three genres listed above, to trace how those genres have emerged since the 1960s and more recently particularly in East and Southeast Asia. (We will focus initially on mid-20th century films made in Japan and Hong Kong, with attention then turning to more recent works also from Thailand, South Korea, and the Philippines and China as well as India). Requirements: scrupulously regular class attendance and participation (crucial in part because the course will involve a great deal of in-class interaction among students); attentive, timely reading in the substantial course packet of critical essays (no other course textbook); assigned out-of-class viewing of some feature films (some viewing occurs in class); and willingness to work (with instructor help) on honing critical reading, research and writing skills through several short Moodle postings, one essay synopsis, and one 6-page formal essay writing assignment. You will also as part of a group of about 6 students give an individual 5-min. oral presentation on a weekly topic relating to an assigned reading or film. The course will conclude with a final given during the regular time-table-scheduled time which will test mastery of key terms, developments, figures, approaches and concepts through both objective “identifications/definition” and essay questions.