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History & theory of film



This course is an introduction to serious consideration of cinema as an art form. The course will introduce the student to the analysis of form in film, genres, narrative structure and the relationship of film to culture. The goal is to develop visual literacy—sharpening powers of observation, developing skills and habits of perceptive watching and discovering complex elements of film art. The theory of film will be taught in context of the history of cinema. Students will be introduced to films from the early silents through contemporary movies. Special attention will be given to the great auteur directors and international cinema. Students will typically view about 15 full-length films during the course. The class is available to students who will be juniors and seniors in the fall. There is no prerequisite. History & Theory of Film does not fulfill the graduation requirement for Fine Arts.


Films are drawn from this list or similar work.

The Battleship Potemkin, Sergei Eisenstein

Birth of a Nation, D.W. Griffith

City Lights, Charles Chaplin

42nd Street, Busby Berkeley

The Grand Illusion,  Jean Renoir

Stagecoach, John Ford

Citizen Kane, Orson Welles

The Bicycle Thieves, Vittorio DeSica

On the Waterfront, Elia Kazan

The Red Shoes, Powell and Pressburger

The 400 Blows, Francois Truffaut

Psycho, Alfred Hitchcock

Seven Samurai, Akira Kurosawa

The Seventh Seal, Ingmar Bergman

2001: A Space Odyssey, Stanley Kubrick

Do the Right Thing, Spike Lee

Breathless, Jean-Luc Godard

Bonnie and Clyd, Arthur Penn

Hoop Dreams, Steve James

Hugo, Martin Scorsese



One-Minute Film Festival

Chicagoland High School Film Festival