The course will start with a film created in the Hollywood tradition, familiar to the students. “Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears” is a film that received an Academy award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1980. It is a Cinderella story, in which three provincial girls are trying to become successful in Moscow. This film introduces the overarching idea of growth and maturation that will be explored in my course.
During their second week the students will watch “I am Twenty,” a more challenging film of the thaw era, an example of poetic cinema influenced by the French New Wave. This films that explores coming of age during the thaw (the 1960s), will be contrasted with the third week “chernukha (dark stuff)” film about similar experience of the teenagers of the perestroika era (the 1980s). From now on, the films will be linked two by two thematically and chronologically. The most challenging experience of the course (the initiation ordeal) will be working on the films portraying the experience of children in the WWII, created in the 1960s and 1980s, “Ivan’s Childhood” and “Come and See.”
After the nightmarish films about the horrors of the WWII, the students will watch and analyze an auteur feature film and an animation film that recreate childhood memories through exploring everyday objects and landscapes, which the filmmakers encountered as children, “The Mirror” and “Tale of Tales”. These works will prompt the students to think of the ways they could represent their own childhood memories through film, which will become one the most important assignments of the course.
To help my students create their own films I will collaborate with my colleagues from the CIP before and during the fall semester.