This course is an introduction to the
diversity of approaches to film, one of the most influential of art forms in
the 20th and 21st centuries. Using a variety of films and film clips from Hollywood,
independent, and foreign cinemas to illustrate, the course will cover film’s
aesthetic, cultural, social, and political dimensions, as well as its narrative
forms and genres. By the end of the course, students will have developed a
visual literacy and an awareness of film’s impact on us and our culture in its
construction of paradigms by which we live and test our environment; they will
have surveyed cinema’s narrative elements, the ways a film can “tell”
a story; and they will have reviewed one or two of film’s popular genres,
either the western, the gangster film, the musical, the family melodrama,
romantic comedy, or film noir and their variations over periods of American
history and culture as they reflect the values and myths of those periods.
Assignments include two papers (4-6
pages); quizzes; and a final examination.
Textbook: Timothy Corrigan & Patricia
White, THE FILM EXPERIENCE, Second Edition, Bedford/St. Martin; and a packet of
three or four articles.
Films (subject to change): CITIZEN KANE, THE BICYCLE THIEF, CHILDREN OF
MEN, BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN, RUN LOLA RUN, WORKING GIRL, THELMA AND LOUISE,
WITNESS, IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT, THE GRADUATE, ANNIE HALL, THE SEVENTH SEAL, IN
A BETTER WORLD, REAR WINDOW, THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT