10640 Understanding Movies: Introduction to the Art of Cinema

Credits: 6 intermediate credits in Film Studies or in Communication

Prerequisites: none

The course is based on a translation of Understanding Movies, by L. D. Giannetti; on The Poetics and Technique of Cinematic Expression, by I. Avisar; and on ten outstanding cinematic works.

The course is designed to acquaint students with the technique and poetics of cinematic expression, and to provide means for understanding the varied and rich elements of the cinematic work, from the single shot and the cinematic continuum to the movie as a complete narrative stylistic unit. It examines how the cinematic medium creates an experience similar to other arts, and how cinematic expression advances the plot and supports the transmission of social and ideological meanings and messages. The course offers the student methods for analyzing, evaluating and judging cinematic works. Movies and selections from movies, some rare, from varied periods and styles, are screened and analyzed in-depth.

Topics: Photography; Mise-en-scene; Movement; Editing; Sound; Acting; Drama; Story; Writing; Ideology; Theory; Synthesis Citizen Kane.