Motion Picture History & Critical Studies

Apocalyptic Cinema

GH191 (4 credit hours) 
Prerequisite: GH152A The History of Critical Analysis in Cinema 1
An in-depth exploration of the history of films that focus on alternative visions of the downfall of humankind as told through the eye of the cinema. Be it by pollution, terrorism, war, or the hand of God, the class will explore themes of redemption, self-destruction, judgment by God’s hand, and hope through the lenses of directors such as Robert Wise, Kinji Fukasaku, Alfonso Cuaron and Terry Gilliam; and through the pen of such great writers as Pierre Boulle, Arthur C. Clarke, Tom Stoppard and Rod Serling.

Film History: Auteurs

GH___ (4 credit hours)
Prerequisite: GH152A History of Critical Analysis in Cinema 1
An in-depth historical examination of the works of a great filmmaker such as Kurosawa, Hitchcock, Chaplin, or Bergman; or a filmmaker whose body or celebrated work continues to grow, such as Ang Lee, Woody Allen, and the Coen Brothers.

Film History: Genres

GH___ (4 credit hours)
Prerequisite:  GH152A History of Critical Analysis in Cinema 1An exploration of the history of a unique and enduring category of films.

Film History: Movements

GH___ (4 credit hours)
Prerequisite: GH152A History of Critical Analysis in Cinema 1
An in-depth exploration of the history of a cinematic movement.

Film History: Topical Surveys

GH___(4 credit hours)
Prerequisite: GH152A History of Critical Analysis in Cinema 1
An examination of the works of filmmakers whose works resonate on a particular subject or theme.

Film Noir

GH388 (4 credit hours)
Prerequisite: GH152A The History of Critical Analysis in Cinema 1
An exploration of the history of a unique and enduring category of films.

Gangster to Gangsta Films

GH381 (4 credit hours)
Prerequisite: GH152A History of Critical Analysis in Cinema 1
An exploration of the violent underworld of gangster films dating from the 1920s to the more recent reinvigoration of the genre through gangsta films – how the texture of the genre has changed, while the sociopolitical underpinnings are often quite the same. Students screen and analyze the films.

History of Critical Analysis in Cinema 1

GH152A (4 credit hours)
Prerequisite: F105 Visual Design
An introduction to the concepts, philosophies, and movements that have shaped cinema since its origins. Through lecture and screenings students will learn the progression of both film theory and film analysis, covering such wide-ranging topics such as formalism, romanticism, mise-en-scene, montage, structuralism, and semiotics. The class enables the student to develop a greater critical understanding of the cinema arts as well as fill their own arsenals with tools they will employ as filmmakers.

History of Critical Analysis in Cinema 2

GH252A (4 credit hours) 
Prerequisite: GH152A History of Critical Analysis 1
An advanced examination of the theories and philosophies that have influenced art in general and filmmaking specifically, including an in-depth investigation into the writings of Arnheim, Bazin, Kracauer, Eisenstein, Zavattini and others, as well as the screening of films relevant to their concepts. The course also examines how painting has influenced cinematography, the difficulties in adapting material from other media to the screen, and techniques of acting as taught by Hagen, Strasberg, Clurman, and Meisner.

Horror Films

GH383 (4 credit hours) 
Prerequisite: GH152A The History of Critical Analysis in Cinema 1
Introduces students to the genre of the horror movie by presenting the key works and their makers chronologically. Students will explore the subject matter, its presentation by artists with profound and personal cinematic styles, and the ways in which the works both reflect and affect their historical times.

National Cinemas

GH___ (4 credit hours)
Prerequisite: GH152A History of Critical Analysis in Cinema 1
Exploration of the history of the great filmmakers, culture, and cultural anthropology of a particular country or geographical region, often encompassing great film movements.

Pan-African Cinema

GH371 (4 credit hours) 
Prerequisite: GH152A The History of Critical Analysis in Cinema 1
An exploration of the films of the African Diaspora as well as Africa itself from the silent era through Jim Crow segregation and vilification by stereotype to the more modern day “blacksploitation” film, independent African American film voice, films by Caribbean filmmakers, and films that speak of post-colonial Africa. Class lectures and discussion delve beyond film to the cultural anthropology of those of African descent today.

Remakes & Sequels

GH285 (4 credit hours)
Prerequisite: GH152A The History of Critical Analysis in Cinema 1
Imitation is the sincerest form of Hollywood. From the pioneering days of cinema, remakes and sequels have been a staple of the business. This course is a critical study of motion pictures that have been remade or turned into a franchise, and the underlying artistic and business motivations that spawned them. Comprehension is tested through evaluations, criticisms, and research papers.

Science Fiction Films

GH394 (4 credit hours)
Prerequisite: GH152A The History of Critical Analysis in Cinema 1
An examination of the science fiction feature film and its historical development. Works examined include Metropolis, Alien, and Star Trek.

Script Analysis 1

GH155 (4 credit hours) 
Prerequisite: None
How do you arrive at a script’s dramatic core so as to give it maximum impact and express its deepest meaning? This course attempts to identify the essential elements of drama and to understand how those elements affect an audience and create the dramatic experience. Students develop analytical tools for penetrating to the intellectual and emotional heart of a script.

Script Analysis 2

GH255 (4 credit hours)
Prerequisite: GH155 Script Analysis 1
The methods of Script Analysis 1 are put to work in a rigorous and practical way. Several scripts are analyzed in a variety of genres. The student examines—separately—the original script and the finished film, comparing her own analysis and dramatic plans with those of the actual filmmaker.

Script Analysis 3

GH355 (4 credit hours)
Prerequisite: GH255 Script Analysis 2, 3rd Year
Taught collegially by several faculty members, the course combines advanced script analysis with the student’s area of film specialization. A directing student, for instance, analyzes the script to direct it, working with the Script Analysis instructor and a Directing instructor. The student creates a detailed plan for realizing the script and compares it with the actual film.

Shakespeare on Film

GH386 (4 credit hours)
Prerequisite: GH152A The History of Critical Analysis in Cinema 1
A review of Shakespeare on film, including early experiments such as the Pickford/Fairbanks silent classic Taming of the Shrew and the Max Reinhardt A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the classics of the genre by Olivier and Welles, modern variations by Zeffirelli and Branagh, and classics adapted from Shakespeare by filmmakers such as Kurosawa, Mazursky and Stoppard.

Great American Plays All Filmmakers Should Know

GH211 (4 credit hours)
Prerequisite: GH101 Writers Workshop 1, GH155 Script Analysis 1
In a cinema-oriented world, the root of narrative expression -- the theatre play -- is often overlooked. In this course, students will read and analyze six or more American plays from the past 100 years to better understand their structure, theme, and impact on American culture.

TV History: The Greatest TV Shows Ever

V210C (4 credit hours)
Prerequisite: GH152A History of Critical Analysis in Cinema 1
In this class, students take a critical and fun view of groundbreaking, benchmark programming from Lucy Ricardo to Archie Bunker, from Tony Soprano to Olivia Pope. This course offers a history of American television from its inception in the late 1940s, as “radio with pictures”, to its more recent role in media convergence. Each week students will assess the varied components that make good television.

Visual Design

F105 (4 credit hours)
Prerequisite: None
Explores the expressive visual components of motion pictures, including color, line, shape, movement, rhythm, and time, and how these elements are exploited and organized into narrative structure. As a final project, students produce a slide storyboard accompanied by music—learning to tell a simple story without words.

Western Films

GH380 (4 credit hours)
Prerequisite: GH152A The History of Critical Analysis in Cinema1
The American Western is a genre unto itself. Like Film Noir, it represents an American art form that has had profound impact on world cinema. From Australia to Japan the American Western has been emulated by some of the world’s most renowned directors. The themes of The Western resonate today in the form of many crime dramas, even in futuristic films such as “Star Wars,” and in the occasional resurgence of the genre. But it was during its golden era, the mid 30’s to late 50’s, that the genre showed its greatest dominance.