French and Francophone Cinema Course (FREN 3350)

“Regarder la France Autrement” (Spring 2015)

An upper-division course that asked how French and Francophone filmmakers used technological or cinematic and thematic innovations to give their spectators a different view of France and its (former) colonies. The semester culminated in a “Cannes à Conway” festival during which students screened their own two-minute films (demonstrating the cinematic techniques they had studied during the term), open to all UCA students and faculty.

Highlights from the Course’s Syllabus

  • First Unit on how the birth of cinema and the later innovations (associated with the nouvelle vague and the cinéma du look) caused its spectators to see the world differently (regarder la France autrement).

  • Second Unit on how cinematographers–both French and African–turned their lenses on the former French empire (previously known as “la plus grande France”) to look at France and its colonial legacies differently (regarder la France autrement). Additional films not shown below included Ousmane Sembene’s Ceddo, and Ferid Boughédir’s Un été à la Goulette.

  • Final Unit on how filmmakers in France give us a different look at contemporary, multiethnic France and the socioeconomically disempowered Parisian “outer-city” called the banlieue, seen through Matthieu Kassovitz’s film La Haine (not included below). These films challenged us to look at contemporary France differently (regarder la France d’aujourd’hui autrement).