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10/4: Great Books…and now Great Films

Originally Posted on admin, October 4, 2013

Santa Fe News


Gabe Gomez

Great Books…and now Great Films 

SANTA FE, NM: St. John’s College is proud to announce the creation of St. John’s College Film Institute, an eight-week summer program exploring great film. The program will run June 15 to August 8, 2014. In the tradition of St. John’s thoughtful attention to and careful reading of the Great Books, The SJC Film Institute is dedicated to cultivating the skills necessary to become better readers and viewers of great films. 

Students will learn to discuss and analyze films from many perspectives, delving into some of the greatest moments in cinema history. Each week is devoted to the work of a major director; films will span from 1922 to 1975. Films will be discussed in seminars three times a week; tutorials will be devoted to additional discussions of the films in light of works of criticism and analysis.

Morning lectures, talks, and workshops with experts and professionals in the filmmaking industry will help students appreciate the technical aspects of filmmaking. Seminars and lectures facilitated by full-time St. John’s tutors will teach the film institute afternoon classes; both will take place on the St. John’s campus. Film screenings will take place throughout Santa Fe in partnership with the Center for Contemporary Arts (CCA) and the Jean Cocteau Cinema. 

Class size will be limited to 20 students to ensure an engaged, learning environment. Tuition for the eight-week course is $4900, with college stipends available for current students, and on-campus housing is available.  Applications will be accepted between October 15th and December 14th. Contact or 505-984-6050 for more information or visit our website


Schedule of Seminars and Tutorials

Week One: Carl Theodor Dreyer
Films (M, W, F): The Trial of Joan of Arc (1928); Vampyr (1932); Ordet (1955)
Texts (T, Th.): C. T. Dreyer, Dreyer in Double Reflection

Week Two: F. W. Murnau
Films (M, W, F) Nosferatu (1922); The Last Laugh (1924); Sunrise (1927)
Texts (T, Th): Bela Balasz, Theory of the Film (selections)

Week Three: Jean Renoir
Films (M, W, F): Nana (1926); Rules of the Game (1939)
Texts (T, Th.): Jean Renoir, My Life and My Films

Week Four: Yasujiro Ozu
Films (M, W, F): “I Was Born, but . . .” (1932); Late Spring (1949); Tokyo Story (1953)
Texts (T, Th.): Paul Schrader, Transcendental Style in Cinema

Week Five: John Ford
Films (M, W, F): Stagecoach (1939); The Searchers (1956); The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence (1962)
Texts (T, Th.): essays by Andre Bazin and Robert Warshow

Week Six: Robert Bresson
Films (M, W, F): Diary of a Country Priest (1951); Pickpocket (1959); Au Hasard Balthazar (1966)
Texts (T, Th.): Robert Bresson, Notes on the Cinematographer

Week Seven: Ingmar Bergman
Films (M, W, F): Smiles of a Summer Night (1955); Wild Strawberries (1957); Persona (1966)
Texts (T, Th.): Ingmar Bergman, The Magic Lantern

Week Eight: Andrei Tarkovsky
Films (M, W, F): Andrei Rublev (1966); Mirror (1975)
Texts (T, Th.): Tarkovsky, Sculpting in Time

About St. John’s College

At St. John’s College students engage with big ideas and great minds. We believe that to understand and navigate our world today, students must immerse themselves in the ideas that were fundamental to shaping it. Our students attend one of two inspiring campuses – St. John’s East in Annapolis and St. John’s West in Santa Fe – where they wrestle with theories and theorems, musings and musical notes, lab experiments and mathematical proofs, all directly from their original sources. There are no textbooks, just original writings. There are no lectures, just intense discussions. This format compels students to confront and master history’s great ideas, ponder and discuss them, critique and defend them. As a result, St. John’s graduates are prepared to think critically, collaborate effectively, and explore endlessly, readying them for any path they choose.