Spring 2011 - Undergraduate Course Descriptions

Frome, Jonathan
Discipline and Number
FILM 2332 Section 501
T Time 7:00 PM - 9:45 PM
Course Title
Understanding Film

Description of Course:

This course is designed to familiarize students with the historical, narrative, and stylistic elements of cinema as a medium of expression; to enable students to become more informed and sophisticated film critics; and to teach students to formally analyze films as an aesthetic object. Roughly the first half of the course will be spent exploring how and why cinema became a mass medium and in outlining the features and techniques of film art. The remainder of the course will be devoted to considering the many ways these elements were employed by filmmakers working in Hollywood and elsewhere over the past century. The course will focus not on learning to appreciate film in a general sense, but on learning to formally analyze it in an academic manner. Generally, classes will consist of lecture (augmented by clips, film stills, and occasionally very short films) as well as discussion of the reading and screening for the week. You are fully responsible on exams for all in- and out-of-class screening material, including clips used in lecture.

Required Texts:

Bordwell and Kristin Thompson, Film Art: An Introduction, 8th edition (2008) or 9th edition (2010).

Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:

Out-of-class screenings, quizzes, and three exams.

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