Introduction to Film Studies

Introduction to Film Studies


FIS 100, W01 – Introduction to Film Studies

Fall 2008

Janet Kennedy, Instructor

Course Objectives: At the end of the course, students should be able to:

Employ reasoning and independent thought in assessing films

Identify individual elements of the filmmaking process

Communicate clearly and effectively about their opinions in written

and oral English.

Appreciate the experience of cinematic art.

Text: Understanding Movies, Eleventh Edition, by Louis Fiannetti

Method of Instruction: A combination of lecture and discussion will be used. Both instructor and students will present material pertinent to the films being studied. The viewing of films will be a large segment of the class. Some films may be assigned to view outside of class. Dependent on time, students may present a mini lecture about one of the films to be shown in class.

The Student: Students must complete weekly reading before class. Written assignments must be turned in on time. Attendance is essential, as we meet only one day a week. Students must keep a journal of all films viewed, readings and on class discussions, which will be handed in periodically. A final paper will be handed in at the end of the term.

Tentative Class Schedule

(Instructor reserves the right to change syllabus as necessary during the progression of the course)

Week 1:Course Introduction


Why Study Film?

Viewing: Chocolat

Week 2:Chapter 1 Photography

Special Effects

Viewings: Special Effects DVD

The Matrix (selections)

Week 3:Chapter 2 Mise En Scene

Viewing : War of the Worlds

Week 4 Chapter 3 Movement

Viewing : Almost Famous

Week 5 :Chapters 4 & 5 Editing and Sound

Viewing : Big Fish

Week 6 : Chapter 6 Acting

Viewing : Seabiscuit

Week 7 : Chapter 6

Viewing: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

Week 8: Chapter 7 Drama

Viewing: Elizabeth

Week 9: Chapter 8 Story

Viewing: Fight Club

Week 10:Chapter 8 Story

Viewing: Pan’s Labyrinth

Week 11Chapter 9 Writing

Viewing: Chicago

Week 12Chapter 10 Ideology

Viewing: The Kite Runner

Week 13Chapter 11 Critique

Viewing: Documentary DVD

Week 14 Chapter 12 Synthesis


Week 15

Citizen Kane

Week 16 Final paper due.

In addition to reading assignments, students are required to keep a journal documenting responses to films, discussions and readings. Journals will be collected periodically for grading purposes.

Grading Policy

Attendance: 30%

Participation: 20%

Journals: 25%

Final Paper 25%

Attendance Policy:

Please review attendance policies as stated in the GBC General Catalog. Attendance is of extreme importance, as is punctuality. We will be viewing films in their entirety whenever possible. Please contact the instructor as soon as possible if you are unable to attend. You are expected to watch the movie you miss during the class period you do not attend.

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