This is most recent syllabus. Your final syllabus will be given during your first day of class
This course will study how mafia and organized crime is presented in Italian and American cinematic texts. The course will examine the different expressions of this genre, which dates back to the beginnings of film making, focusing on the technical, visual, and aesthetic aspects of crime films. Through a systematic study of canonical Italian and American films, students will become familiar with the narrative codes and conventions of the genre and analyze how various writers and filmmakers adhere, diverge, or evolve from the established codes.
This course will provide the necessary background to give students the tools needed to analyze films: basic cinematic techniques (shot, camera movement, cinematography, editing, sound) will be reviewed and more advanced issues in cinema analysis (narrative, performance) as well as core critical concepts (especially genre vs. auteur theory) will be introduced and applied when analyzing specific films.
Students in this course will:
- become familiar with numerous canonical works of Italian and American cinema;
- explore typical narrative dynamics behind Italian and American films and series dealing with the mafia and other organized crime;
- become familiar with basic and more advanced cinematic techniques in order to view films in an active and critical manner;
- use core critical concepts in film studies to analyze films;
- become versed in special techniques of film analysis; and
- acquire a sufficient appreciation of the representation of the phenomena of organized crime in Italian and American cinematic popular culture.
Sikov, Ed. Film Studies: An Introduction. NY: Columbia UP, 2010.
Corrigan, Timothy, and Patricia White. The Film Experience: An Introduction. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2004. 222-252. (on reserve in the Umbra Institute Library)
Niccolo Ammaniti I’m not scared
A Bronx Tale
Io non ho paura (I’m not scared)