Communication And Culture | Media Theory
C410 | 1168 | Klinger

Topic: Film Theory and Aesthetics

Class meetings: 1:00-2:15 TR BH330

Screenings: 7:00-10:30 p.m. Wednesdays (check schedule of classes for

This course provides an introduction to major theories of the cinema from
the 1920s to the early 1980s, giving students a solid foundation in a
major area of inquiry within Film Studies. Our survey of film theory will
feature the work of some of the most influential writers on the subject,
such as Andre Bazin, Sergei Eisenstein, Christian Metz, and Laura Mulvey,
as they have formulated and debated what the essential nature of film is,
both as a medium and as an art form.

Certain questions have preoccupied film theorists through the years: What
is and should be film's relation to reality? How is cinema different from
the other arts? How does cinema communicate cultural beliefs? How can
filmmakers create films that will challenge dominant systems of belief?
How does cinema uniquely affect the spectator? What makes us identify with
the images we see on screen? What makes the fictional worlds films present
so compelling?

Throughout the discussion of such central issues in film theory, a wide
variety of films will be shown and discussed as they demonstrate or test
theorist's ideas. There will be 3 exams (including the final) and a short