Film: Styles, Narratives and Techniques

Course Code: ARTS 2000

Academic Year: 2021-2022

Film is a powerful art form that engages our senses of time and space, and which provokes intense emotions - from curiosity and suspense to affection and contempt. Yet none of this happens by accident. Filmmakers work very hard to control our attention, shape our responses and play on our conventional expectations about how stories and characters should turn out. In fact, Hollywood cinema mastered such techniques very early in its history. This course will provide students with a historical understanding of Hollywood film production and challenge the contemporary perspectives from which most of us view film. Beginning with a foundational discussion of film structure and narrative, this course will approach Hollywood cinema as an institution through an examination of its history and a look at the evolution of its genres. In addition to contextualizing cinema and gaining a broader understanding of its production processes, we will discuss and analyze a number of recent Hollywood films, reflecting on characterization, plot, symbolism, mise-en-scene, cinematography, editing, visual effects, and sound. Through course readings, class discussion, and some short writing exercises, students will develop the ability to read and evaluate film from historical, cultural, and technical perspectives. Category and Level: Arts and Humanities, Lower Level Restrictions: Bachelor of Film and Media Production and Bachelor of Digital Communications students are restricted from taking this course as a breadth elective.