Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

CCOG for ENG 197 Fall 2022

View archive version »
Course Number:
ENG 197
Course Title:
Film Studies: Contemporary Themes and Genres
Credit Hours:
4
Lecture Hours:
40
Lecture/Lab Hours:
0
Lab Hours:
0

Course Description

Enhances understanding of film through analysis of contemporary film-making, narrative techniques, genres, themes and critical approaches. Develops visual literacy and analysis skills by offering a range of tools to study any film. Analyzes contemporary film techniques and the ways in which the films may both contribute and react to their time and culture. Covers contemporary film theory. Substantiates observations with examples taken from the film tradition and from the film itself. Prerequisites: (WR 115 and RD 115) or IRW 115 or equivalent placement. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon completion of the course students should be able to:

  1. Analyze film technique and film as an art medium.
  2. Articulate a position, orally and in writing, by situating a film in a cultural context, and substantiating observations with examples taken from that tradition and from the film itself.
  3. Use reflective visual reading, writing, listening and speaking skills to recognize, develop and articulate personal standards, predispositions and theories regarding film and critical responses to film.
  4. Explain how individual films are representative of the contemporary culture and historical moment that produced them.

Integrative Learning

Students completing an associate degree at Portland Community College will be able to reflect on one’s work or competencies to make connections between course content and lived experience.

General education philosophy statement

English and Writing courses align with the PCC General Education philosophy by providing an appreciation of writing and literature from global and personal perspectives. Students in English courses engage the imagination, critical inquiry and self‐reflection, and in the process of doing so, cultivate a more complex understanding of their own culture(s), linguistic/communication practices, and perspectives in relation to others. Because the literary arts lie at the heart of most human cultures, they are essential for understanding each other and navigating our differences. In literature classes, students explore significant texts from diverse cultures and periods in history. Students look closely at texts from a range of genres, articulating the way elements of writing, content, form, and style are interrelated, and considering how values and interpretations have changed over time and through different theoretical lenses. Students engage texts through critical analysis and creative response, learning to use evidence to support their interpretations and to navigate critical conversations. Students explore literature both as an art form designed to provoke thought and challenge social norms, and as an expression of human experience. Writing and Literature courses foster a stronger sense of engagement with history, culture, and society. Writing and Literature students develop an awareness of themselves as readers and writers in a global world, and an enlarged understanding of the relationships between language, identity, ideas, scholarship, communication, and transformation.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Assessment tools may include informal responses to study questions;  evaluation of small- and full-group discussion; in-class and out-of-class writing, including informal responses to study questions and other forms of informal writing; analysis of film reviews; frame and/or sequence analyses; presentations by individuals and groups; storyboards; screenplays; and short- and long-essay exams. Both instructor and peer evaluation may be incorporated in the assessment process.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Themes, Concepts and Issues:
history of film as an art form
silent film
mise en scene
cinematography
editing
sound
film sources
censorship
film production
film distribution
types and functions of settings
characters
acting
frame composition
symmetrical and asymmetrical composition
lighting
use of space
color and colorization
camera distances
perspective
angles and point-of-view
shots
frame/the world outside the frame
moving camera
early film editing
scenes
sequences
superimpositions
juxtapositions
action and reaction
parallel editing
fast and slow cutting
montage
slow motion
early film sound
sound effects
music
silence
classical Hollywood cinema
Italian neorealism
French New Wave
independent films
avant-garde films
conflicts
plot
storyboard
screenplay
chronological and nonchronological time
narrative and nonnarrative techniques
documentary films
horror
Westerns
war films
thrillers
hybrid films
animation
Production Code of the Motion Picture Producers and Directors of America, Inc. -- 1930-4
explicit and implicit meaning
auteur theory
marxist film criticism
feminist film criticism
cinema verite
viewer-response criticism
reception theory
genre criticism
psychoanalytic criticism
special effects
gender issues
stereotyping
Competencies and Skills:
analysis
synthesis
understanding films through contexts, such as society and politics; artistic conventions; financial constraints; multiple interpretations
of a director; etc.
writing about films
visual "reading"
critical reading (for instance, of reviews and critical essays)
understanding roles of cinematographer, director, etc.
speaking and listening reflectively
small-group collaboration