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Steven Hoelscher, Chair Burdine 437, Mailcode B7100, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-7277

Fall 2009

AMS 315 • Movies go to War, WWI-Vietnam

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
29925 MWF
3:00 PM-4:00 PM
bur 216

Course Description

This course will introduce some of the most famous war films, and some less familiar ones, from the US and Europe-- from Grand Illusion through Saving Private Ryan. Each war has developed its own kinds of war movies, from World Wars I and II, through the Korean police action, and the Vietnam conflict. These films will be used to introduce how to "read" films as part of cultural history and think critically about their content. Scenes from each war will be compared to the "real history" behind the film, to pose questions about how history can be written and rewritten in films. Take a trip through cinematic battlefields, to see how films have helped their audiences think about the roles of the world's superpowers in world contexts!

Topics to be addressed include: -cultural stereotypes of heroes, villains, and victims -different countries' takes on the same war experience (Stalingrad, Enemy at the Gate) -adaptations (book to film= King Rat, play to film = HartÂ’s War) -the politics of war films -rewriting history through war movies -anti-war films -documentary, docu-drama -how to read point of view and cultural perspectives out of movies.

Grading Policy

completion of online quizzes that correspond to issues in class: 40% midterm -- short answer/identification plus essay: 30% final -- short answer/identification plus essay: 30%


Possible Texts James Monaco, Nick Drjuchin (Illustrator), David Lindroth (Illustrator). How To Read a Film: Book (3rd ed.) and DVD-ROM. Harbor Electronic Publishing; 2000; ISBN: 0966974492 Films to be viewed outside of class; some with text analogues for reading Fact sheets on each film


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