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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Sudhir Mahadevan
C LIT 301
Seattle Campus

Theory of Film: Analysis

Introduction to the analysis of film. Covers major aspects of cinematic form: mise en scene, framing and camera movement, editing, and sound and color. Considers how these elements are organized in traditional cinematic narrative and in alternative approaches.

Class description

This course will introduce students to the basic elements of film language - narrative structures, editing, mise-en-scene, cinematography and sound.

Our aim is two fold. First, by the end of the quarter, you should be fully versed in the vocabulary and terms that constitute the language of film, and be able to analyze and interpret films using that vocabulary.

Second, you should also be able to grasp the role the elements of film language have played in the history of film criticism.

Some of the other questions we will ask include the following: How can film editing prescribe and proscribe viewing positions for us as spectators, transforming us into political and politicized subjects? What do the debates in classical film theory between proponents of montage and mise-en-scene have to tell us about presuppositions about the nature of film as a medium? What critical opinions and anxieties have been provoked about the relevance and nature of the cinematic medium because of technological transformations such as sound, widescreen, and digital media?

Grading will be based on essay-length close analysis of films, shorter responses to films screened, as well as contributions to more participatory discussion-based exercises.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Sudhir Mahadevan
Date: 02/14/2014