Film Studies: Film as Art
Course Number: ENG 195
Transcript Title: Film Studies: Film as Art
Created: September 1, 2012
Updated: August 19, 2014
Total Credits: 4
Lecture Hours: 40
Lecture / Lab Hours: 0
Lab Hours: 0
Satisfies Cultural Literacy requirement: No
Satisfies General Education requirement: Yes
Grading options: A-F (default), P-NP, audit
Enhances understanding of film through analysis of film history and form. Develops visual literacy and analysis skills by offering a range of tools to study any film. Analyzes ways in which a film may both contribute and react to its time and culture; analyzes film through studying the techniques by which it was made; and substantiates observations with examples taken from film tradition and from the film itself. Prerequisite: WR 115 and RD 115 or equivalent placement test scores. Audit available.
Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
- Use understanding of film technique and film as an art medium as tools to analyze film.
- Articulate a position, orally and in writing, by situating a film in a cultural context, and substantiating observations with examples taken from that tradition and from the film itself.
- Use reflective visual reading, writing, listening and speaking skills to recognize, develop and articulate personal standards, predispositions and theories regarding film and critical responses to film.
- Use a larger vocabulary in discussing the making, marketing, exhibition, and audience experience of film.
- Apply knowledge to analysis of current films in distribution depending on availability.
Outcome Assessment Strategies
Assessment tools may include informal responses to study questions; evaluation of small- and full-group discussion; in-class and out-of-class writing, including informal responses to study questions and other forms of informal writing; analysis of film reviews; frame and/or sequence analysis; presentations by individuals and groups; storyboards; screenplays; and short- and long-essay exams. Both instructor and peer evaluation may be incorporated in the assessment process.
Course Activities and Design
- Reading and discussion of the text, Film Studies, and complete a take-home final over the same by term’s end.
- Viewing/discussing as a class one classic representative film from each of the genres studied during the term and writing up a brief report/response on each.
- Watching outside of class an additional film from each genre, picked from lists provided by the instructor.
- Weekly lectures on each of the genres studied during the term, notes from which students will incorporate into the writing of the take-home final.
- Completing extra-credit assignments, as needed, to satisfy the course requirements.
Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)
Themes, Concepts and Issues
- History of film as an art form
- Mise en scene
- Film sources
- Film distribution
- Types and functions of settings
- Frame composition
- Symmetrical and asymmetrical composition
- Use of space
- Color and colorization
- Camera distances
- Angles and point-of-view
- Frame/the world outside the frame
- Moving camera
- Slow motion
- Sound effects
- Classical Hollywood cinema
- Italian neorealism
- French New Wave
- Independent films
- Avant-garde films
- Chronological and non-chronological time
- Narrative and non-narrative techniques
- War films
- Production Code of the Motion Picture Producers and Directors of America, Inc. – 1930s
- Feminist film criticism
- Cinema verite
- Viewer-response criticism
- Genre criticism
- Psychoanalytic criticism
- Special effects
- Gender issues
Competencies and Skills
- Understanding films through contexts, such as society and politics; artistic conventions; financial constraints; multiple interpretations of a director; etc.
- Writing about films.
- Critical reading (film reviews and analysis)