TAS106 Transatlantic Connections in Cinema [only for second year students]

Teacher responsible:

dr hab. Rafał Syska

Brief course description:

This course will examine the mutual relations between American and European cinema. The students will be expected to see and analyze the most significant American and European films, in which the transatlantic connections are the result of the development of the art-house style in USA and deconstruction of film genre, as well as the consequence of the dichotomy between Hollywood studio and authorship cinema. During the course students will gain knowledge upon differences between various filmmaking strategies in historical terms as well as on the stereotypes which are use for creating the positive and negative outlook on Americans (in European cinema) and Europeans (in Hollywood movies). Each lesson will be divided into three sections: lecture (about historical, political, cultural contexts), screening (one full-length movie or a few short films) and discussion.


After finishing the course students will know the various relations between American (Hollywood or independent) and European (art-house or genre) movies. They will recognize the most typical strategies which combine mutual fascination, aversion, complexes, regrets, clichés and historical relationships.


1. Deconstruction of the classical model of Hollywood cinema
2. Transposition of classical model of Hollywood genre and plot into European film
3. European Directors in USA – work in Hollywood studios
4. European Directors in USA – outside the studio: fascination
5. European Directors in USA – outside the studio: deconstruction
6. European Directors in USA – outside the studio: criticism
7. European Directors in USA – outside the studio: myth
8. European Directors in USA – outside the studio: avant-garde cinema
9. American directors and Europe – to be in exile
10. American directors and Europe – to be on holiday
11. American directors and Europe – to be between
12. American directors and Europe – to pay homage

Reading list:

Patrick McGilligam: Robert Altman: Jumping off the Cliff – the chapter on film Images
Mette Hjort: essay on Lars von Trier
Jonathan Romney: essay on Béla Tarr
What This Land Says to Me (a chapter from a book Architecture of Vision) – an article on Zabriskie Point by Michelangelo Antonioni
Wim Wenders: Like Flying Blind Without Instruments On the Turning Point in Paris, Texas
Andrew Dickos: Streets with No Name (Introduction and chapter about the influences German Expressionism on American Film Noir)
Leitch, Thomas M: Twice-Told Tales: The Rhetoric of the Remake, Literature/Film Quarterly; 1990; 18, 3
Guzman, Tony: The Little Theatre Movement: The Institutionalization of the European Art Film in America, Film History; 2005; 17, 2/3
Lev, Peter, Three Adaptations of The TRIAL, Literature/Film Quarterly
Exiles in Hollywood, Major European Film Directors in America (e-pub format)
Constantine Verevis: Film Remakes
Thomas Elsaesser: European Cinema, Face to Face with Hollywood