Scandinavian 115 Lynn Wilkinson

Introduction to Scandinavian Drama and Film

Scandinavia has produced some of the greatest modern dramatists and flimmakers. This course will provide an introduction to and overview of their work.

We will begin with several comedies by the Danish/Norwegian playwright, Ludvig Holberg (1684-1754). We will then turn to Bergman's film production of Mozart's The Magic Flute, a work which not only brings together film and the theater, but also takes us back to the eighteenth century and the conditions for performance at the time the first major Scandinavian theatrical works were produced. We will finish our section on the theater with some major plays by Ibsen and Strindberg.

The second half of the course will begin with silent films by the Swedish filmmakers, Viktor Sjöström and Mauritz Stiller. We will then turn to the work of the Danish filmmaker, Carl Dreyer, focusing on his The Master of the House, Day of Wrath and Ordet. Finally, we will look at five works by Ingmar Bergman, Smiles of a Summer Night, Wild Strawberries, Persona, Cries and Whispers, and Fanny and Alexander.

Understanding Movies  5th edition
The Essential Theater
Jeppe of the Hill and Other Plays, trans. Argetsinger and Rossel
Plays, ed. and trans. Michael Meyer, vols. 2, 3
Five Plays, ed. and trans. Carlson
Dreyer in Double Reflection
Ingmar Bergman:  A Critical Biography

Course Reader:
"The Well-Made Play and the Modern Theater"
"Some Character-Types Met with in Psychoanalysis"
"Soul Murder"
"The Stronger"
"Persona: The Film in Depth"
"The Mirror Stage"

Week One
Background Reading: Brockett, ch. 1
Feb. 4 Introduction; Holberg and his time

Week Two
Background Reading: Brockett, chs. 2 and 3
Feb. 9 Holberg: Pernilla's Brief Experience as a Lady
Feb. 11 Holberg: Ulysses von Ithacia

Week Three
Background Reading: Brockett, chs. 6 and 7
Evening: Bergman: Mozart's The Magic Flute; The Drottningholm Court Theater
Feb. 16 Holberg: Mozart, and the conventions of the eighteenth-century theater
Feb. 18 Ibsen: A Doll House

Week Four
Background Reading: Brockett, ch. 8
Evening: Losey: Ibsen's A Doll House
Feb. 23 Ibsen: An Enemy of the People
Feb. 25 Ibsen: Romersholm
  Freud: "Some Character-Types Met with in Psychoanalysis"

Week Five
Evening: Nunn: Hedda Gabler
  Sjöberg: Miss Julie
Mar. 2 Ibsen: Hedda Gabler
Mar. 4 Strindberg: Miss Julie

Week Six
Background Reading: Brockett, ch.9
Evening: Bergman: After the Rehearsal
Mar. 9 Strindberg: The Stronger, "Soul Murder", The Ghost Sonata
Mar. 11 Strindberg: A Dream Play

Week Seven
Background Reading: Giannetti, chapters 1 and 2
Evening: Selections by Lumiére and Meliés
  Sjöström: The Phantom Chariot
March 16 Avant-garde theater and silent film
March 18 Sjöström: The Phantom Chariot

Week Eight
Background Reading: Giannetti, chapters 3 and 4
Evening: Sjöström: The Outlaw and His Wife
  Stiller: Thomas Graal's Best Child
March 23 Sjöström and the filming of the natural world
March 25 Stiller and comedy

Week Nine
Background Reading: Giannetti, chapters 5 and 6
Dreyer: Selections
Evening: Dreyer: The Master of the House, Day of Wrath
April 6 Dreyer: The Master of the House
April 8 Dreyer: Day of Wrath

Week Ten
Background Reading: Giannetti, chapters 7 and 8
Cowie, chapters 1-3; 8
Evening: Dreyer: Ordet
  Bergman: Smiles of a Summer Night
April 13 Dreyer: Ordet
April 15 Bergman: Smiles of a Summer Night

Week Eleven
Background Reading: Giannetti, chapters 9 and 10
Cowie, chapters 9-11
Sontag on Persona
Evening: Bergman: Wild Strawberries, Persona
April 20   Wild Strawberries
April 22   Persona

Week Twelve
Background Reading: Cowie, chapters 12-16
Evening: Bergman: Cries and Whispers, Fanny and Alexander
April 27   Cries and Whispers
April 29   Fanny and Alexander
< previous