Film Studies

Jef Safi.Flikr
Image credit: Jef Safi at Flickr

This course surveys the art and culture of cinema as it overlaps with and expands on literary analysis. It emphasizes critical approaches (social, political, aesthetic, technological) to analyzing cinema by situating the formal aspects of films within their cultural context. You will learn to recognize elements of mise en scène, cinematography, montage, and sound and to analyze the implications of variant uses of these formal elements. You will learn to recognize and analyze organizational structures (narrative film, documentary film, and experimental film) and genres. Finally, you will wrestle with questions about the relationship between film form and viewing experience, the role of film as political and social intervention, and the process of forming a “canon” of film. In other words, you will inquire into how films generate meaning and how viewers attribute value to films.






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