Film Studies Courses

Course level:
100 | 200 | 300 | 400
FILM-101 Introduction to Film and Film Studies
Introduction to film and film studies. This course provides an overview of the basic properties of film as a medium and as a field of study. Topics covered include film production, film form, the concept of style, plus basic issues of film analysis, film history, film theory and film as a cultural phenomena.


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FILM-218 Global Media Cultures
Consideration of the current state of international media, combining theoretical approaches to globalization with case studies of films, websites and broadcasting systems. Lecture and discussion is complemented by live interactions (either in person or online via skype) with media producers from across the world. The course emphasizes the development of students’ abilities to merge theoretical insights with empirical data, allowing class participants to engage in original analyses of specific aspects of the rapidly growing world of international media.


FILM-220 Video Production
Introduction to the basics of video production. This course provides the basic hands-on skills and requisite conceptual backing to understand the entire production process for video. Students learn the basic properties of camera optics, mise-en-scene, lighting, sound design, editing, screen-writing, narrative, documentary and experimental forms. Students also come away with basic terminology and concepts that apply over a wide range technical situations, as well as how the medium is used in varying social, political and historical contexts.


FILM-226 Media and Cultural Theory
Investigation of the major theories that guide the study of media texts and systems. This course aims to enhance the student’s ability to analyze film, radio, television, the Internet and video games from a perspective that emphasizes the cultural significance of these media. Through an overview of thinkers from traditions including structuralism, Marxism and British Cultural Studies, students will learn to write about specific texts in a manner that engages deeply with broader traditions of social thought.


FILM-250 History of World Cinema , 1895 to 1945
Exploration of the origins and evolution of world cinema from its official inception in 1895 up to the end of World War II. Notable developments, such as the invention and diffusion of cinema, early Italian features, French Impressionism, German Expressionism, Soviet Montage, Japanese cinema in the 1930's and the Rise of American cinema as the dominant economic force, are all covered. In lab, students watch a film or films that represent a particular time period and/or a particular national or regional cinema. In lectures, these films are analyzed and discussed in light of every possible contextual factor (cultural, national, political, industrial, etc.) which explains why films are made in certain ways under different conditions.


FILM-251 History of World Cinema, 1945 to the Present
Exploration of world cinema from the end of World War II up to the present day. Notable developments and movements are covered from all over the globe. In lab, students watch a film or films representing a particular time period and/or a particular national or regional cinema, including examples from Italy, France, Japan, Cuba, the USSR, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Iran and the United States. In lectures, these films are analyzed and discussed in light of every possible contextual factor (cultural, national, political, industrial, etc.) which explains why films are made in certain ways under different conditions.


FILM-252 Film Aesthetics and Analysis
Study of various types of films and what makes them complete works of art resulting in certain aesthetic effects. This course provides various critical, analytical and theoretical models which help students understand a single film in its entirety, noting how various discrete parts make up a single aesthetic whole. The films shown in labs include popular Hollywood films, independent films, European art cinema, Asian cinema and others. Students are asked to write in-depth analyses of these films, and to note their own aesthetic responses. Prerequisite: Film 101 or permission of the instructor.


FILM-261 Japanese Cinema
Overview of Japanese Cinema. This course explores the history and the various manifestations of Japanese cinema. It examines why Japanese cinema is arguably the most successful national cinema historically. It also explores the sheer complexity of Japanese cinema, from its highly accomplished auterist strands, to its more generic fare, including anime.


FILM-262 Hong Kong Cinema
A historical investigation of Hong Kong Cinema from the 1960's to the Present. This course explores the works of Bruce Lee, Jet Li, Jackie Chan, Michael Hui, Ann Hui, Tsui Hark, John Woo, Chang Cheh, King Hu, Lau Kar-leung, Stanley Kwan, Wong Kar-wai and others to determine how this is arguably the most physical and energetic popular cinema ever created. Generic, cultural and industrial backgrounds are provided to explain a cinema that actually kept Hollywood at bay for decades.


FILM-270 Topics in Film
Study of a variety of directors, genres, techniques and other aspects of film and filmmaking.


FILM-272 Introduction to Documentary Film Studies
Introductory course in the history and theory of documentary film practice. Students explore the ethical issues of representing "reality", as well as the social, political, and cultural functions of the medium through the examination of various types of documentary films. Students analyze the components of documentary style including narrative, cinematography, mise-en-scene, sound, and editing; as well as the different modes of documentary representation.


FILM-280 European Cinema
Introduction to the cinemas of Europe of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Study of well-known movements such as Weimar Expressionism, Italian Neorealism, French Nouvelle Vague, etc. The course challenges the widely accepted binary opposition between European Art Cinema and Hollywood by also considering popular genre cinema. Similarities and differences between national cinemas are studied in their respective historical, cultural, and commercial contexts. Conducted in English. Cross-listed with Film Studies.


FILM-284 Arab Film
Introduction to the diversity of Arab cultures as presented through contemporary film. Special emphasis is given to film as a linguistic text, exploring ethnographic and commercial films through attention to speech variation, speech communities and dialects, language and politics, the ethnography of speaking, and gender and social class. A variety of ethnographic and commercial films are viewed in conjunction with readings on such themes as resistance, corruption, religious identity, modernity, generational change and political conflict.


FILM-290 Television History and Criticism
Exploration of broadcasting content and technology from the origin of television to the present day. Major technical, regulatory, cultural and aesthetic developments are placed within a historical context. Students engage with the preeminent schools of thought in television criticism, including those emerging from Marxism, feminism, post-colonialism and critical race theory. Although the United States plays a major role in the course material, international topics are also discussed at length.


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FILM-330 The Social Network from Durkheim to Facebook
Exploration of the concept of the social network spanning from early sociological theorists to today’s online world. This course provides students with historical and theoretical contexts necessary to illuminate the impact of social networks as well as the cultural and economic factors that affect their formation. Students will analyze websites including Facebook, Match.com and Moveon.org in order to develop a critical understanding of their place in society both off and online.


FILM-350 Topics Seminar in Film Theory
Study of a variety of directors, genres, techniques and other aspects of film theory. Prerequisite: One course in Film.


FILM-375 Comparative National Cinema
A study of comparative national cinemas. This course is an in-depth look at the notion of "national cinemas." This concept seems straightforward as numerous film courses and film festivals are organized around it. But there are numerous issues raised by trying to define a national cinema, none of which are easily resolved. This course explores these issues by comparing four distinct "national" responses to a globalizing medium. Prerequisite: One course in Film.


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FILM-450 Individualized Study-Tutorial
Individualized tutorial counting toward the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded A-F


FILM-460 Individualized Study-Research



FILM-461 Individualized Study-Research
Individualized research counting toward the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded S/U


FILM-470 Individualized Study-Intern
Internship counting toward the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded A-F.


FILM-471 Individualized Study-Intern



FILM-474 Summer Internship
Summer Internship graded A-F, counting in the minimum requirements for a major or minor only with written permission filed in the Registrar's Office.


FILM-475 Summer Internship
Summer Internship graded S/U, counting in the minimum requirements for a major or minor only with written permission filed in the Registrar's Office


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