An introductory film course that offers an avenue to explore film as art and communication through the understanding of film theory, film analysis, and history, and the basics of film design and production. The course explores the power of cinema, the audio-visual and narrative elements that are essential to understanding how great films communicate.
Students will be challenged to examine the form, meaning, and style of various cinematic opuses to develop their skills in critical analysis, by introducing major elements of cinema: story and screenwriting, cinematography, sound, and editing, and by highlighting important concepts like mise en scène, poetic cinema, and montage. This is NOT a film production course but students will have opportunities to do production workshops through group projects and an individual scene-sequence analysis presentation. They will also investigate the work of several filmmakers, from Dziga Vertov to Quentin Tarantino. It is a requirement in this course to screen and critically analyze various films from around the world, and to evaluate how this ubiquitous and powerful medium acts as a forum for communication and as works of art.
Overall, the course hones in through the evolution of film throughout history, by setting an understanding of technical development in filmmaking, the various levels of themes, and the moral, social, and cultural implications of cinema in the contemporary world.
The goals of this course include the following:
- to understand film as a science and art, and as a powerful form of communication
- to identify, explore and apply the various elements of cinema and film production, from the screenplay to postproduction
- to situate the interrelationships between literature and film, and the political, cultural, religious, philosophical, and socio-economic ideologies, which influenced the work of many filmmakers.
- to analyze various films in cinema history, underlining the contemporary shifts in filmmaking and culture within the larger historical context.
- and to develop critical and creative thinking and a deep appreciation for the gift of cinema
Topics discussed in this course:
- A Brief Visit into Cinema History from Eadweard Muybridge to Christopher Nolan
- Elements and Concepts in Cinema and Film Criticism
- Auteur Theory, Realism vs. Formalism, Fiction vs. NonFiction Narrative, Mise En Scène and Themes as reflected and utilized in Production Design, Story and Screenwriting, Producing, Cinematography, Directing, Performance, Production Sound and Design, and Editing.
- Introduction of various concepts from the French New Wave, Italian Neorealism, and Dogme 95
- Film Production: From Preproduction to Post Production, Distribution, and Reception
- Scene-Sequence Analysis Presentations
The following are samples of the In-Class projects for this course: