Date(s) - Tue. Jan. 25, 2011 - Tue. Feb. 8, 2011
12:00 am GMT

Blue Sunshine

Kristopher Woofter


This course explores the characteristic styles, themes and conventions of the ‘haunted house’ film, from early cinema to recent films and television. Films featuring haunted structures express the need for anxieties around the past and future to be given embodiment in objects and structures. These films typically play upon fears of the unknown in nature and the psyche, and evidence a mistrust in the objectivity of modern perceptions of reality. Most recently, these films have used ghosts and haunting as a means of exploring anxieties related to virtual reality as a potentially spectral space. We will begin with an exploration of the Gothic trappings of the films in the ‘old dark house’ tradition, then move on to consider other key haunted house films in a variety of contexts. We also will discuss conceptualizations of haunting as a righting of past wrongs, as a means of ritualizing national and cultural guilt, and as a way to explore anxieties around family and the American Dream. Required reading for the course will be in the form of introductory articles related to the concepts and films we consider. Required viewing for the course will include numerous clips, and three films screened in class.