IMA Number: 782.02

Course Type: Analytical

Professor: Reiko Tahara

This class meets Thursdays, 6pm-10pm in HN 502

Full Course Description:

Third Cinema is a neglected movement in Western cinema studies. Born in Latin America in the 1960s–70s in the midst of socialist revolutions and consequent authoritarian military dictatorships, its pioneers sought alternative cinema culture models for the betterment of local societies outside of Hollywood (First Cinema) and European art films (Second
Cinema). Far from being an isolated movement, and beyond the Cold-War frame, their spirit influenced and informed the cinemas of liberated Africa and the Middle East and helped form the pan-African cinema models to take control of production, distribution, and exhibition of their own work (e.g. Nollywood in Nigeria). Efforts were made to connect their voices with those
of other formerly colonized regions, as well as minority communities in the First World. A small number of brilliant scholars, mainly scholars of color and professors in post-colonial studies, tried to keep the concept of Third Cinema alive by reinterpreting it for the post-Cold War, post-modernized world community. Ethiopian born scholar Teshome Gabriel proposes a new term, “Third Cinemas,” as a concept of living theory that has crossed the lines of geography, culture, class, race, gender, and religion. He writes: “This multicultural, polyvocal status of Third Cinemas need not, I stress, imply a loss of political commitment (as is sometimes claimed), but rather a multiplication of modes of resistance.” Now in the changing world economy, First Cinema and Second Cinema (which now includes the global art cinema industry) scramble for new audiences in the “emerging markets” and their diaspora populations. As a class, together we will investigate the ideas, players, and approaches of Third Cinema(s) then and now and workshop to ponder if and how we mediamakers with social conscience, can find alternative distribution routes outside the two dominant industries, and contribute to strengthen the ever-changing world of Third Cinemas. You will read, watch, discuss, research, and share information with the class. Besides weekly reading responses, major assignments will be powerpoint presentation and class blog entries about alternative global distribution/exhibition routes for underserved communities in the world.

Permissions: Cleared after advisement and with the Program Assistant