Film Studies: Film as Art

Course Number: ENG 195
Transcript Title: Film Studies: Film as Art
Created: September 1, 2012
Updated: August 26, 2019
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
Repeats available for credit: 0

Prerequisite / Concurrent

Course Description

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/concurrent: WR 121. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Use understanding of film technique and film as an art medium as tools to analyze film.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Use a larger vocabulary in discussing the making, marketing, exhibition, and audience experience of film.
  5. Apply knowledge to analysis of current films in distribution depending on availability.

Alignment with Institutional Core Learning Outcomes

Major 1. Communicate effectively using appropriate reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills. (Communication)

Major

2. Creatively solve problems by using relevant methods of research, personal reflection, reasoning, and evaluation of information. (Critical thinking and Problem-Solving)
3. Extract, interpret, evaluate, communicate, and apply quantitative information and methods to solve problems, evaluate claims, and support decisions in their academic, professional and private lives. (Quantitative Literacy)

Major

4. Use an understanding of cultural differences to constructively address issues that arise in the workplace and community. (Cultural Awareness)

Minor

5. Recognize the consequences of human activity upon our social and natural world. (Community and Environmental Responsibility)

To establish an intentional learning environment, Core Learning Outcomes (CLOs) require a clear definition of instructional strategies, evidence of recurrent instruction, and employment of several assessment modes.

Major Designation

  1. The outcome is addressed recurrently in the curriculum, regularly enough to establish a thorough understanding.
  2. Students can demonstrate and are assessed on a thorough understanding of the outcome.
    • The course includes at least one assignment that can be assessed by applying the appropriate CLO rubric.

Minor Designation

  1. The outcome is addressed adequately in the curriculum, establishing fundamental understanding.
  2. Students can demonstrate and are assessed on a fundamental understanding of the outcome.
    • The course includes at least one assignment that can be assessed by applying the appropriate CLO rubric.

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

  1. The determination of teaching strategies used in the delivery of outcomes is generally left to the discretion of the instructor. Here are some strategies that you might consider when designing your course: lecture, small group/forum discussion, flipped classroom, dyads, oral presentation, role play, simulation scenarios, group projects, service learning projects, hands-on lab, peer review/workshops, cooperative learning (jigsaw, fishbowl), inquiry based instruction, differentiated instruction (learning centers), graphic organizers, etc.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Themes, Concepts and Issues

  • History of film as an art form
  • Mise en scene
  • Cinematography
  • Editing
  • Sound
  • Film sources
  • Film distribution
  • Types and functions of settings
  • Characters
  • Acting
  • Frame composition
  • Symmetrical and asymmetrical composition
  • Lighting
  • Use of space
  • Color and colorization
  • Camera distances
  • Perspective
  • Angles and point-of-view
  • Shots
  • Frame/the world outside the frame
  • Moving camera
  • Scenes
  • Montage
  • Slow motion
  • Sound effects
  • Music
  • Classical Hollywood cinema
  • Italian neorealism
  • French New Wave
  • Independent films
  • Avant-garde films
  • Conflicts
  • Plot
  • Storyboard
  • Screenplay
  • Chronological and non-chronological time
  • Narrative and non-narrative techniques
  • Westerns
  • War films
  • Thrillers
  • 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
  • Stereotyping

Competencies and Skills

  • Analysis
  • 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)