COURSE Code: HUMA 200
Cinema is the foremost art of the last 100 years and as viewers we have developed habits of watching that sometime obscure our awareness of how the art of cinema achieves its effects and tells its stories. In this class we carefully examine the formal and narrative properties of fictional film. Form relates to how we experience feeling and meaning as film audiences; it also relates to the formal properties of film (such as repetition and variation of distinct themes or elements, development, and the overall effects of unity and disunity). Narrative in film relates to the structure of plots and how story information is assembled by viewers. On the basis of our understanding of how form and narrative shape film meaning, we take up another major element of this course: what are the principle techniques of film? These include mise-en-scène, cinematography, editing, and sound. In assembling an analytic vocabulary of techniques, students become informed observers of a film’s style and of the contributions style makes to a film’s overall meaning. Once students understand the formal, narrative and stylistic properties of film they can then fulfil a main objective of this course: the critical analysis and evaluation of recent examples of the cinematic art.