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College of Arts and Letters | Michigan State University

FLM 490: THE MSU Film Collective

We are the professors, students, filmmakers, screenwriters, and cinephiles at MSU who gather weekly in FLM 490 to watch and discuss good films. In the spirit of the Cinématèque Française and the generation of film critics and French New Wave directors it inspired, our collective abides by the principle that good film writing and good filmmaking (and just plain good living) begin with serious film watching.



Spring 2015 FLM 490 Series

Back to the future: 1980-1989

This semester’s Collective returns to the cinema of the 1980s—the decade preceding the one in which most of our current students were born.  All decades are arbitrary temporal markers, retrospective fantasies, and—occasionally—productive ways of delimiting a period of cinematic and cultural history. The goal of this, the first MSU Film Collective organized by period, is to explore the range of cinematic production in and of this decade: symptomatic films, significant achievements, uncelebrated gems, insolent junk. We seek not to indulge in uncritical nostalgia for the 1980s so evident in contemporary media culture (Rubik’s cubes! Tron! Van Damme! the Berlin Wall!) but to think about films from this decade as offering prehistories of our present.


Full syllabus TBA!