10911 The Thriller: Genres in Cinema 1

Credits: 6 advanced credits in Film Studies

Prerequisites: 36 credits, including Understanding Movies: Introduction to the Art of Cinema. Students must also fulfill all English requirements and take bibliographic instruction in the Library.

Recommended: History of the Cinema: From the Beginning of Cinema to the Appearance of Sound, History of the Cinema: From Classical Hollywood to Italian Neorealism

The course is based on Thrillers, by M. Rubin (Cambridge University Press, 1999), a reader edited by Inbar Shaham and on movies loaned to students.

The course analyzes the meta-genre of the thriller and its six sub-genres: the tough detective genre, the police thriller, the spy thriller, the horror thriller, the psychological thriller and film noir. The course introduces methods for analyzing thematic and structural characteristics of each genre and acquaints students with key concepts and methods of analysis in genre research. It discusses mythical, psychological, social and political meanings of genre conventions and the influence of historical, economic and technological factors on developments within each genre.

Tutorial sessions include guided viewing of movies.

Topics: Research on cinematic genres general introduction; The thriller as a meta-genre: general characteristics; Thriller genres in the age of the silent movie; The classic detective and the detective thriller; The police thriller; The spy thriller; The horror thriller; The psychological thriller; Film noir; Genre and auteur: Roman Polanski; A comparison between the thriller and the adventure genre.


1Students may write a seminar paper in this course although it is not required.