Film 101 - A Four Week Film Course
150 Minute Running Time
The movies are a complicated affair. Many movies tell stories – but with pictures as well as (or more than) language. Viewers typically know what they’ve seen and how they think and feel about what they’ve seen (and heard), but not quite how they’ve seen it or heard it. Film 101 is a gentle introduction to how movies work. It’s about noticing, about becoming aware of just what makes up the incredibly rich experience of seeing a movie. What are the basic elements of cinema? How have they come about? How do language and image work together? What makes good film? The idea is to provoke more questions than the group can answer. Taught by Professor Howie Movshovitz
Class 1: Monday, Sept. 23, 6:30-9:00pm
The beginnings. How film came to be. A look at the sequential photographs of Etienne-Jules Marey and Eadweard Muybridge. The first films – the “documentaries” of the Lumière brothers and the “fantasies” of Georges Melies.
Class 2: Monday, Sept. 30, 6:30-9:00pm
What is a shot? How does a shot make meaning? What changes when shots are put in sequence – meaning editing?
Short: “The Great Train Robbery” (Edwin S. Porter, 1903)
Clip: Battleship Potemkin (Sergei Eisenstein, 1925)
Feature: Bonnie and Clyde (Arthur Penn, 1967)
Class 3: Monday Oct. 7, 6:30-9:00pm
The story. How are stories put together? What makes them coherent and meaningful? The narrative genius of D.W. Griffith, and a film made from what’s considered one of the greatest of screenplays.
Short by Griffith: “The Girl and Her Trust” (1912)
Feature: Chinatown (Roman Polanski, 1974)
Class 4: Monday Oct. 14, 6:30-9:00pm
Complexity and ambiguity. Two of the characteristics that the best movies share.
Clips: Le Havre (Aki Kaurismaki, 2011) and The White Ribbon (Michael Haneke, 2009)
Feature: Grand Illusion (Jean Renoir 1937)