This course trains students to understand and appreciate film aesthetics, and to compose both written and oral film analysis that attends to both form and content. Drawing on a range of fiction films, most made after 1960, we will isolate and study core aspects of cinematic language, e.g., editing, lighting, mise-en-scène, stars, and cinematography, as well as key concepts in the study of narrative film and film genre. In the second half of the course, once students have some grounding in film aesthetics, students will make presentations in groups on select contemporary indie films.  Students should leave the course with an understanding of how filmmakers use film techniques to explore culture, generate meaning, and express mood and feeling on screen.

Tentative Film List

  • Tangerine
  • When a Woman Ascends the Stairs
  • Moonlight
  • In the Mood for Love
  • Todo Sobre Mi Madre
  • Touki Bouki
  • Una Mujer Fantástica 
  • Female Trouble
  • All That Heaven Allows
  • Cleo from 5 to 7
  • Bringing up Baby