Introduction to Film


The field of film studies evolved in the 1970s and developed three major areas of investigation ever since: 1) film history, 2) film theory and 3) film analysis.

This compact seminar will introduce each of these areas. It will thereby focus on American film history, film theory (montage and auteur theory) and the analysis (or close reading) of exemplary film sequences (especially openings). The course thus aims at giving an overview of the discipline as well as at providing the necessary analytical tools in order to understand how movies narrate stories and create meaning through the employment of certain stylistic devices (mise-en-scène, cinematography, editing, sound).

Day 1 will focus on film history, especially through the lens of genre (film noir), Hollywood as an industry and the development of film language in early cinema. We will then proceed on Day 2 with classical film theories and the basics of film analysis with the films of Stanley Kubrick (particularly 2001 – A Space Odyssey), while Day 3 will be devoted to the analysis of opening sequences of films by Alfred Hitchcock (Rear Window, Vertigo and Psycho).

2-6 LP


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