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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2010 Undergraduate - Unit

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

FacultyFaculty of Arts
OfferedNot offered in 2010
Coordinator(s)Con Verevis


Alternative film and video raises questions of aesthetics and politics to consider a varied body of work, one considered 'alternative'avant-garde, experimental, independentin relation to 'dominant' cultural practice and value. This unit begins with the new American cinema of the sixties (poetic, structural and underground film) and European counter-cinema of the seventies. It goes on to look at recent alternative film theory and practice, including trash cinema, post-punk cinema, American indie film, and recent digital video. Filmmakers considered include Brakhage, Snow, Anger, Kuchar, Smith, Warhol, Waters, Jarmusch, Zedd, Benning, Jarman, Korine, Gallo, and many others.


By the completion of this unit students will be expected to: recognise that alternative film must be understood in relation to mainstream or dominant film practice; identify a material, social and political difference between historically specific moments of alternative (avant-garde, experimental or independent) film theory and practice; identify 'political modernism' of the sixties and seventies as a discursive field produced by specific practices of film criticism and associated institutions; translate this formulation of political modernism into a more contemporary engagement of film practice with theory and the aesthetic characteristics of (post)modernism.


Essay (3000 words) : 60%
Visual test (1.5 hours) : 40%

Contact hours

1 x 1-hour lecture, 1-hour tutorial (Clayton only) , 2-hour screening

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study

Film and television studies
Comparative literature and cultural studies


One unit at first-year level in Film and television or approved discipline