2018 - 2019

  Critically Freak: Cinema and Disability                                                              
Slava GreenbergKIKOINE001Wed1200-1400 Sem  2
University credit hours:  2.0

Course description

Representations of disabilities in cinema have been common since cinema’s early days, yet, scholars, critics, and spectators tend to overlook the aesthetical and political functions of disability in these films. Disability studies are a new interdisciplinary field, foregrounding the relations between society and people with disabilities, and continuing feminist and queer theories. The intersection between disability studies and film theory has gone through three prominent phases; in the first two, scholars relying on early feminist theory articulated a methodology to expose negative representations of disabled people in film and television. In the third and current phase, which this course is part of, scholars seek to interpret cinematic images in aesthetical terms by relying on film theory and in political terms by applying critical disability studies. This course offers an examination of possible alternatives to mainstream representation by focusing on different genres: Hollywood comedies, Film-Noir, Sci-Fi, and animated documentaries. The following films will be discussed in class: Rear Window (Alfred Hitchcock 1954), There is Something about Mary (Bobby Farrelly and Peter Farrelly 1998), South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut (Trey Parker 1999), Oasis (Chang-dong Lee 2002), Finding Nemo (Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich 2003), Million Dollar Baby (Clint Eastwood 2004), Black Sun (Gary Tarn 2005), I am a Cyborg but that’s Okay (Chan-wook Park 2006), Mary and Max (Adam Elliot 2008), and Barton Fink (Joel Coen and Ethan Coen 1991).

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