Fall 2016 - Undergraduate Course Descriptions

McLean, Adrienne
Discipline and Number
FILM 2332 Section HN1
TR Time 2:30 PM - 3:45 PM
Course Title
Understanding Film

Description of Course:

This course is designed, using primarily classic or canonical film works, to familiarize students with the history and formal and stylistic elements of cinema as a medium of expression, and to enable them to become more informed and sophisticated film viewers, evaluators, and cultural critics. 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-plus. Generally, classes will consist of lecture (augmented by brief screenings of relevant material) as well as discussion of the reading and screening(s) for the week.

Required Texts:

Michael Wood, FILM: A VERY SHORT INTRODUCTION (Oxford University Press, 2012), ISBN 9780192803535.

In addition, several book chapters and articles from a variety of sources will be posted on eLearning or electronic reserve for reading, printing, and/or downloading. Films are also assigned each week for out-of-class viewing; all will be on reserve at McDermott Library but are also available from a variety of other sources (Netflix and the like).

Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:

Attendance and participation, 15%; group project, 10%; three short in-class exams, 45% total; two critical/reflection papers (4-5 pages each), 30% total.

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