New semester

The new semester starts next week, with quite a heavy workload for a guy who is just recovering from weeks of flu.

First of all there is the undergraduate film history course (Media History), this year for 1st year’s and 2nd year’s students at the same time, plus exchange students, so we’ll have a packed auditorium (c. 110-120 students altogether). Of course six weeks is much too short to treat the whole film history, twelve weeks would have been more right; so no non-Western cinema, alas, and little time for recent developments. I wish I could change it. But at least a good share of classical film titles covering prewar modernism, classical Hollywood cinema and postwar European modernism, with Eisenstein’s Potemkin (yes, the famous stairs scene), Vidor’s Gilda (Rita singing Put the Blame on Mame) and Antonioni’s La Notte (Jeanne Moreau wandering about the beautiful, ugly parts of Milan), plus a series of classic avant-garde shorts by Clair, Bunuel and Fischinger, and one of Dutch shorts (Ivens, Haanstra, De Nooijer, Dudok de Wit). The Dutch release of Martin Scorsese’s Hugo matches quite prefectly with the first lesson, in which of course Georges Méliès is treated. That’s why the above inserted picture of Méliès’ Trip to the Moon as visualised by Scorsese became the course banner for this year.

Secondly I’ll start the Crossmedial Exhibition Master’s course, which will include talks with various professionals involved in this exhibition, such as the curator, the designer and the organizer. Have a look here at the trailer for the exhibition, the new permanent exhibition of the Amsterdam Museum, called Amsterdam DNA. So visual ways of representation of the past, the history of Amsterdam, target audiences, narratives in museums, exhibition design, space syntax, etc.

Thirdly, we’ll start another Master’s course: Cinematic City, which takes the new EYE building as starting point (opening 5 April! see below for pictures), and compares it to both other European film museums and to exhibition venues in Amsterdam. So students will perform research on cinema exhibition history, museum architecture, social stratification, archival research, analysis of websites etc. In collaboration with Maurice de Kleijn (Spinlab) and Yolande Spoelder, there will be a large dosis of new media there, using digital log journals and wiki’s, and geo-referenced digital maps of Amsterdam where all venues will be indicated, across four different moments in time. We will also visit the Filmmuseum Düsseldorf and have talks with the professionals here as well. Both courses are excellent, challenging opportunities to collaborate with my colleagues prof.dr. Bert Hogenkamp, endowed professor at our Department, expert in nonfiction cinema, and Head of Research at the Institute for Sound & Vision (Hilversum), and with prof.dr. Koos Bosma (Architecture) with whom I already co-taught an intriguing Master’s course on fascism, film & architecture in Rome in 2010. “Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”

Atrium, high angle, EYE Film Institute

~ by Ivo Blom on January 31, 2012.

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