Reading Film

This lower-division film course will introduce you to the complex connections between narrative and visual media in film so you can explore the cultural significance of movies in society. You will begin by developing a technical vocabulary for investigating how film as an art form and text communicates meaning. The formal analysis that this vocabulary will enable you to perform with be the foundation for the second half of the term, when you will wrestle with questions about the role of film in society, such as the relationship between film form and viewing experience and the role of film as a political and social intervention. As a HAP (Hawaiian, Asian, and Pacific Issues) designated course, expect much of the content to reflect the intersection of Asian and Pacific Island cultures with Native Hawaiian Culture. The film selections will reflect this content, as will approaches and topics, such as indigenous land claims, anticolonial resistance, and genre films in Pacific Islander contexts.  Overall, you will inquire into how films generate meaning and how viewers attribute value to films. A central goal of the course is that you use film as a tool for learning and for organizing meaning and that you develop your media literacy, critical thinking, and writing skills. Expect to attend weekly film screenings and to write weekly film analyses, in addition to completing longer papers and projects over the course of the semester.