Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The Horror, the Horror

Yesterday I began teaching a three-week December Break course here at Knox College, "The Gothic in Film." We started by considering Gothic (and Gothic-influenced) lit--The Castle of Otranto, Jane Eyre, Poe, Hawthorne, "The Yellow Wallpaper," Stoker--and will explore a number of topics as they arise in various films--paying special attention to the visual/aural elements that help define the Gothic movie.

Here's the schedule of topics/films; play along at home.

WEEK 1 (December 1-5)

Introduction to Course: Nosferatu (1922)
Expressionism: The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920), Batman Returns (1992)
The Oneiric: Eraserhead (1977)
The Outsider: Bride of Frankenstein (1935), Freaks (1932)
The Doppelgänger: The Shining (1980)

WEEK 2 (December 8-12)

The Body: The Fly (1986)
Ghosts: Ju-On (2003)
The Other: The Exorcist (1973)
Fate and Inevitability: Angel Heart (1987)
Revenge of Nature: Them! (1954)

WEEK 3 (December 15-19)

The Noir Sensibility: Citizen Kane (1941), Touch of Evil (1958)
The Freudian Sensibility: Psycho (1960)
Grand Guignol: Mad Love (1935), Day of the Dead (1985)
Moral Tales: The Dead Zone (1983)

As you can tell, I'm not so much dedicated to advancing a single argument as giving the students as many options as possible to approach the Gothic. I'm also interested in non-horror films' Gothic sensibilities, especially film noir.

As we go along, I'm compiling a filmography for each topic, and welcome your suggestions.

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