CIN378Y0 Aspects of a National Cinema: Britain

This course offers a critical study of British film cultures, with an emphasis on British film genres, movements and cycles from the 1960s to the present day. Although earlier representative works, to include the British documentary movement, will provide a foundational base for a comparative study of contemporary British cinema. Major as well as minor film cultures will be studied in their institutional, social, and cultural contexts to include: the long standing tradition of British realism; the Free Cinema Movement; the “New Wave;” “Swinging London;” “Thatcherite” cinema, including its heritage, art cinema, Brit-grit and Black British iterations; in addition to the recent “lad boy” underclass cycle that reconfigures the traditional conceptualization of British cinema as strictly oppositional “realism or tinsel.” Debates pertinent to the way in which British films relate to a shifting sense of national identity, towards examining the “Englishness” of British national cinema, will be highlighted.

Prerequisites: CIN 105YI or relevant humanities-based academic preparation: English, History, Visual Studies or Art History.
BR = 1
CIN378Y0 – Preliminary Course Outline

Field Trips: Two excursions to London, to include: British Film Institute, BBC archives, INIVA (Institute of International Visual Arts), Stanley Kubrick Archive (University of the Arts, London), Cinema Museum, Tate Modern, and Isaac Julien’s film studio. Students will also have the opportunity to meet with and hear presentations from experts on British cinema in London, featuring a lecture by renowned film scholar Laura Mulvey. The cost of these trips is as follows:

  • CAD$335, paid to U of T for all fees, guides and return bus transportation.
  • CAD$25 paid onsite for local transportation and tips.

Instructor: Professor Kass Banning teaches at the Cinema Studies Institute, University of Toronto. Her research and teaching focuses on screen alterity, to include minor cinemas and new media. She has a long-standing interest in the relationship between national cinemas and transnationalism, and has published extensively in the areas of Canadian and Black British cinemas and documentary media, most recently in the gallery context. She is a co-editor of an anthology on Canadian women’s cinema with University of Toronto Press, and a co-founder and co-editor of the journals CineAction and Borderlines. Organizing a University of Toronto tri-campus retrospective and symposium on the work of British filmmaker John Akomfrah in (November 2013) occasioned her most recent publication, The Nine Muses: Recalibrating Migratory Aesthetics” (Black Camera).

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