Jazz in the Movies
View Additional Course Information:

Including faculty, schedule, credits, CRN and location.

Level: Undergraduate
Division: The New School for Public Engagement
School: School of Media Studies
Department: Communication
Course Number: NFLM 3035
Course Format: Lecture
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: No
  • Film & Video History, Theory & Criticism
  • Media Studies
This course traces the symbiotic development of Jazz—the quintessential American art form—and modern American and European cinema, examining the ways in which the transformative elements of jazz music have influenced the modern cinematic experience. The class studies jazz as musical accompaniment during the gilded hedonism of the Jazz Age, the social and political contradictions of the Swing Era, and the hardboiled crime dramas of film noir. The role of jazz in cinema is explored through biographical films about jazz musicians as well as documentaries and fictional narrative films. Students identify cinematic elements influenced by jazz, such as rhythm, composition, and improvisation, while developing an appreciation for the structure and aesthetic of jazz music.The course provides a critical platform from which to analyze the work of filmmakers like John Cassavettes, Louis Malle, Shirley Clarke, Jean Luc Godard, Claire Denis, and Otto Preminger and the music of Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, Max Roach, and Billie Holiday.
Course Open to: Majors Only