Courses / Undergraduate

Fall 2014

  • The History of Film (Part 1)

    Film 25A | CCN: 31651

    Mark Sandberg

    Date and Time: W 6-9P, 188 DWINELLE

    4 Units

    This course provides an analytic overview of the narrative cinema as an emergent art form and social phenomenon from its late nineteenth-century origins to its mid-twentieth century consolidation and cultural dominance. We will focus on the rise of early film, the gradual development of cinematic narrative and fictional world building, the growing political and ideological power of narrative cinema, the development of national cinematic styles in the 1920s, the transition to sound cinema, and the proliferation of genres and studio filmmaking of the 1930s. Through comparison with adjacent media practices, we will examine the ways that cinematic art created a quintessentially modern combination of spatio-temporal mobility and storytelling capacity.

    Students who successfully complete the course will:
    1) understand the basic technological innovations that gave rise to cinema and caused the major shifts in filmmaking style within this period
    2) develop the ability to analyze short film sequences using appropriate analytic concepts
    3) learn to interpret entire films by situating them in the broader social, aesthetic, and historical contexts of American and European cultures in the early-to-mid twentieth century
    4) understand the key historical phases of international film industries up to WWII: early cinema, the transitional period and the emergence of the studio system, the formation of national cinemas in the 1920s, the transition to sound, and the establshiment of genre and studio filmmaking
    5) appreciate cinema as one medium among many and the ways in which media borrow from and influence each other