Term: Fall 2023 - Full Term (08/28/2023 - 12/11/2023)
Grade Mode: Letter Grading
|3:40pm - 5:00pm
This course examines the narrative structure of the thriller made famous in the cinema of Alfred Hitchcock. How does suspense function in various thrillers following in the vein of Hitchcock and its updated versions in recent cinema? How do characters regain control and authorship in narratives that place them radically at a loss of control? Looking at subgenres such as the spy, conspiracy, crime, legal, psychological, action, and sci-fi thriller, we will try to understand the multifaceted possibilities of thrillers to confront audiences with a sense of loss of power, of larger and mysterious forces of history determining the fate of the individual, while also assuring them of their powerful position as spectators observing protagonists engaged in uninvited conflicts and struggles for survival. We will also ask how recent thrillers accommodate the expression of identity such as class, race, gender, and nationality as well as their intersectionality. Filmmakers in addition to Hitchcock (North by Northwest) will include David Fincher (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Christopher Nolan (Memento), Joanthan Demme (The Silence of the Lambs), Michael Mann (Collateral), Sam Mendes (Skyfall), and Coen Brothers (No Country for Old Men). This course requires intensive use of Canvas.