IMA Number: 780.83 | 3 credits

Course Registration Number: 81237

Professor: Jill Godmilow

This class meets W 6:10-9pm in HN 544

Full Course Description:

This course will take on the question “what’s wrong with the liberal documentary” and answer it with the study of the contrary strategies of politically ambitious, post-realist non-fiction films (anti-docs, also called “can-openers” or “bunker-busters”) which strategically disrupt, crack, break or pop the lid on traditional documentary form – deconstructing realistic representation in a self-reflexive, “traumatizing” way, by refusing documentary transparency, evidentiary arguments, psychological explanations, sympathetic identification systems and us/them symmetries – or by fiercely exploiting any or all of these. With a special emphasis on the use of re-enactment and performance strategies, we’ll watch over 30 unaccountably under-appreciated, short-form anti-docs from all over the world, from the 1920s to the present, and every week respond to them – not in academic analysis, but in poetry, as is due the poet-filmmakers and which should be productive of original language to take up the experience of these films. A final project will consist of three successive drafts of a script or articulated design for short, non-fiction films using original post-realist strategies, developed by teams of two.

Permissions: Cleared after advisement with IMA Director and Program Coordinator