Course Details

Course offered Autumn 2017

HONORS 398 B: Discovering European Cultures through Seattle Film Festivals

HONORS 398 B: Discovering European Cultures through Seattle Film Festivals (A&H)

SLN 16076 (View UW registration info »)

Ileana Marin (Comparative History of Ideas; Comparative Literature)
Phone: 206 604-1831

Credits: 2, c/nc
Limit: 25 students

Credit Type

NOTE: This course does NOT fulfill Interdisciplinary Honors requirements, as it is only a 2 credit course. It will only award non-Honors UW elective credit and a great experience.

Students may have to pay an additional $25 to see some of the films required for the course.

We will watch 6 films in total. Every other week we will participate in a film festival at SIFF Uptown (511 Queen Anne Ave. N) and get engaged with their prominent guests. We will learn about Ireland, France, Italy, Poland, and Romania through their most representative works and thus connect ourselves to contemporary Europe and its stories. After each screening we will share our understanding of the cultural profile of each nation in a creative way.

This class will explore cultural identities of contemporary Europe through films. Starting at the western margin of the old continent with an Irish production, we will move inland and discuss works by famous French and Italian contemporary and former directors while we learn about the oldest cinemas in Europe. We will continue our journey to Central Europe and watch a Polish film. Once we step inside the former communist bloc, we will try to answer questions engaging political and historical aspects in film. Do contemporary Polish films tell a story that reflects their 50 years of communism? Are there deep wounds that Polish film-makers want to heal? While Poland used to have one of the best communist cinemas in the second half of the twentieth century, Romania, the last stop of our cultural cinematic
journey, is one of the most awarded countries for contemporary films.

Students will respond to films and cultures by creating artifacts that reflect their understanding of the cultural diversity presented by our film selection: designing a poster, creating a Facebook event, writing a blurb for a pamphlet or a short imagist poem à la Ezra Pound, recording a short interview with one of the guests. Finally, students examine their own understanding of diversity and how it has changed in the course of the 10 weeks of intensive exposure to European national cinemas.