In 1895 the Lumière brothers screened the very first moving pictures in a café in Paris.  Today the second largest film exporter after the US, France continues to play a central role in the international movie market. Once a year, in May, the world cinema community comes back to the birthplace of film and celebrates at the film festival in Cannes. A ten-day extravaganza of film screenings, star sightings, and prize awarding, the Festival (founded in 1946) is considered the most prestigious film festival in the world.

This Maymester class will begin on May 9 in Aix-en-Provence, a beautiful college town in the south of France, where we’ll do an accelerated course in French film history, from its origins, through the Golden Age on our way to the New Wave, and finishing in the present.

Having been thoroughly steeped in French film history and economics, we’ll head for Cannes where the film festival will be taking place.

After a week in Cannes, we’ll take the TGV to Paris and spend a week learning about the past and present of the French film industry. We will visit the Cinemathèque, a comprehensive archive of French film with a museum that traces the history of French film production. We’ll also visit a studio, and trace the path of famous locations in the world’s most filmable city, among other media-related activities.

The class will end on May 31, and students are free to return home or continue their travels in Europe.

Students will be responsible for paying for travel from the US to Paris and back home. Breakfast and dinner are included in Paris, as well as a group dinner in Aix and in Cannes, but no other meals are included in the price of the course (kitchens are available for use in Aix and Cannes).

This class is taught entirely in English and fulfills the AXLE INT requirement. It also counts toward the major and minor in French as well as the major in Cinema and Media Arts.

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