Department of Art & Art History

Landscape in Film and Across the Arts: Public Talk Highlights the Film Studies Minor

The Department of Art and Art History was pleased to bring Prof. Melinda Barlow (University of Colorado Boulder’s Film Studies Program) to the University at Albany in September for a public talk and film screening as part of the Visiting Artist and Art Historian lecture series. In tandem with the Film Studies minor and current Film Studies course titled Cinematic Space: Art, Architecture, and Landscape in Cinema, Prof. Barlow’s lecture on landscape in cinema and across the arts followed a public film screening of Terrence Malick’s film Days of Heaven (1978). Prof. Barlow’s talk, titled “Each Moment is a Place You’ve Never Been – Landscape, Imagination, and the American Sublime,” examined the history of the American sublime as it has been expressed within and across the arts of film, photography, video, painting, earthworks, and poetry from the mid-19th through the early 21st centuries. Exploring aesthetic affinities and differences between works by Terrence Malick, Mary Lucier, the Hudson River School, Timothy O’Sullivan, Emmet Gowin, Robert Smithson, David Maisel and Wallace Stevens, this talk addressed the complexity of sublimity as a charged experience of terror mixed with pleasure and triggered by a dramatic encounter with the land. Prof. Barlow’s lecture and visual presentation spoke to the interdisciplinary nature of Film Studies and Art History at UAlbany, highlighting aesthetic analysis within the context of cultural studies, art history, and visual literacy of the arts.

This event marked the first film historian to participate in the Visiting Artist and Art Historian lecture series, and points to some of the directions that current Film Studies students may take in their studies at the University at Albany. The Film Studies minor in the Department of Art and Art History offers a vibrant exploration of cinema as an art form, and provides an overview of film history, theory, and criticism in relation to other disciplines and the arts. This interdisciplinary minor can be combined with any major offered at the University. Popular upcoming courses include Introduction to Film Studies, New American Cinema, Significant Cinema Directors, Women in Cinema, Documentary Film History, and an impressive range of film-related topics courses across multiple departments in the College of Arts and Sciences. Full course listings can be found on the Film Studies website in the Dept. of Art and Art History

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