This class will focus on cinema as emancipatory and political practice. We will concentrate on so-called third and fourth cinemas, which have emerged as answer to colonial living conditions and social oppression in the decades following the 1960s. Third cinema was a movement for alternative modes of production and distribution and was mainly centered on Latin America during the sixties, later activating film-makers in Asia and Africa. For groups like Cine Liberación, film-making was a political tool of liberation; these groups understood aesthetic change as key to social change. Following Argentine filmmaker Fernando Solanas’ text on third cinema, we will screen and discuss key films of third and fourth cinema. During recent decades, third cinema has developed styles questioning the modes of production, as well as the aesthetics and values of US and European auteur cinemas, focusing either on capitalist or individualist film-making practices. In accordance with this, we will discuss examples of Latin American film-making, as well as from African cinema, in recent decades. This will help us understand how political film-making can challenge dominant models of production and reception. Fourth cinema was and is a constant struggle for self-representation and a challenge to western models of narration, history, subjectivity and time. It can be understood as a way of re-working and challenging modes of representation and introduces new world images and cosmologies to cinematic representation.
Both notions – third and fourth cinema – must not be understood as hierarchised, but rather as historical counter-movements to first and second cinema. In Time Image, Gilles Deleuze writes about the minor cinema as developing new modes of storytelling and new images challenging the hegemonic production of western films. Minor cinema is a “small art” facilitating the emergence of new subjectivities, as well as new collectivities. According to Deleuze, modern political cinema, is a collectivity yet to invented – by cinema. A people is not to be represented, but brought into existence by cinematic representation. In this context, ‘minor’ refers to new perceptions of the world. Minor cinema produces experimental aesthetics, as well as (collaborative) modes of production, asking for social change: Minor resists the major, the dominant or hegemonic modes of film-making.
We will discuss one film each week and read accompanying texts on film-making, film philosophy and decolonial movements. Short input film presentations are to be prepared by student teams. Besides discussion and presentations, we will have team work units and poster presentations.
B. A. Medienkultur, EMK, Media Arts, Arts, International Students, Bauhaus-Semester