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Introduction to Film Studies

Course Overview

Introduction to Film Studies offers students a semester-length introduction to the basic concepts of film analysis and topics in film studies. It operates on the premise that before students can explore more complex facets of film studies—such as advanced theory, criticism, and production—they must first develop expertise in analyzing the basic elements of film form and style. We will experiment with both film analysis genres, such as the film review, and basic filmmaking activities. This class will prepare students for later classes, both in this school and beyond, that task them with dissecting and analyzing visual arts and media. Students will be able to articulate the relationships between film and its historical, cultural, economic and technological contexts and apply techniques of critical film analysis to analyze film in the context of culture, society, and individual identity. This elective course will be accessible to students of all grade levels, with students completing weekly writing and filmmaking assignments that ask them to apply what they’ve learned from the readings. During most weeks, they will view and take notes on films chosen to illustrate concepts in film analysis and to introduce them to a variety of types of filmmaking. Students will also explore film genres, including film noir, the Musical, the Western, and documentary filmmaking, by both watching examples and discussing the boundaries and definitions of these visual genres.