ENGL245 is intended as an introduction to film form, history, and theory. We begin with silent film and end with a recent Hollywood “blockbuster.” In between, we view both classic and current films. In the first half of the course, we examine the various approaches to film analysis and consider film as narrative. Then we survey the major formal elements of film: acting, mise-en-scène, cinematography, editing, and sound design. In the second half of the course, we study film as a cultural phenomenon. We give special attention to some of the many alternatives to traditional models of narrative fiction or genre film, particularly auteur, avant-garde, and documentary films.
In this course, you will learn about the major formal elements of film, along with a general history of the cinema and the views of the most influential film critics past and present. You will also develop the ability to analyze and critique films—to move beyond consuming films as entertainment and learn instead to find enjoyment in the examination of film as an art form and as a vital expression of culture. For this reason, writing about film, particularly in online environments, is strongly emphasized.