First-Year Studies: History of Film

This is a course from a previous year. View the current courses

This course is an introduction to the history of the art of film from its beginnings at the turn of the 20th century to the present time. Form and meaning in the film medium, the techniques of film, and their expressive uses and effects will be the object of study. A wide range of films will be covered: older and more recent, mainstream and alternative, and films from countries all over the world. The transaction between films and their audiences—the ways in which a movie moves us, how it engages and orients its viewers, how it affects us and influences us—will be a central concern. Films will be considered in relation to the culture and society in which they were made. Special attention will be paid to the work of several major filmmakers. Students who feel disinclined to watch silent films, avant-garde films, films in black and white, or foreign films should not enroll in this course.