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Film History


Film History
Pfarrer - Room 225
Extension #3225
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Description: This English elective course will focus on the history of film, with an emphasis on specific movies (and the people who made them) that have had a pivotal effect on the evolution of this medium or are representatives of important genres or developments within it.  We will also study film terminology, important professional roles within and outside of the film industry, as well as the technological, economic and cultural aspects of film.  Aspects of 20th century history will be reviewed in their relation to the films of the time.


Texts: A Short History of Film - Dixon & Foster
The Filmmakers' Eye - Gustavo Mercado
Moguls and Movie Stars - (documentary film) - Turner Classic Movies
Readings from 1000 Films You Should See Before You Die - Steven J. Sneider
            Scenes and Selections from at least 50 Classic Films
Reading:  Students will be assigned readings on a regular basis for homework.  Quizzes, written responses and participation based on the readings will be a major determinant of grades.


Quizzes and Tests: There will be quizzes based on the text and unit tests based on the text, film studied in class, and additional reading material.  
Writing Assignments: Students will have to contribute writing on a variety of film-related topics in class. There will also be five formal writing assignments: an analysis of a piece of filmmaking; a summary report on a specific film's production and reception; a thematic analysis of a particular film; a film review; a treatment or a screenplay.   Finally, there will be a class presentation based on one of these works, using visual media of the students' choosing.


Grading:                Formal Writing Assignments and Presentations: 25 %
                                   H.W. Questions, Quizzes and Informal Writing: 25%
                                   Tests: 25%
                                   Classroom Participation: 25%

Class Participation: Students are expected to actively engage in discussions, activities and viewing of film material.   Authentic inquiry, interpretation and analysis of all aspects of the work studied is encouraged.  There will be in class viewings, analysis and discussion of particular scenes from classic films.