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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Eric C. Ames
C LIT 397
Seattle Campus

Special Topics in Cinema Studies

Varying topics relating to film in social contexts. Offered by resident or visiting faculty.

Class description

Werner Herzog and Documentary Cinema This course explores the terrain of documentary cinema through the films of Werner Herzog from 1970 to the present. What defines documentary as both distinct from and related to fiction? How do Herzog and his films relate, historically, to the idea and the practice of documentary filmmaking? Each week we will view and discuss one of Herzog’s films (including Land of Silence and Darkness, The Great Ecstasy of Woodcarver Steiner, Lessons of Darkness, Bells from the Deep, Little Dieter Needs to Fly, My Best Fiend, and Grizzly Man) along with one documentary made by another filmmaker (such as Luis Buñuel, Jonathan Caouette, Robert Flaherty, Robert Gardner, Kazuo Hara, Errol Morris, Ulrich Seidl), asking what the various combinations tell us both about Herzog and about documentary cinema more generally.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Eric C. Ames
Date: 11/12/2010