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Film Studies

  • Builds Understanding of Cinematic Storytelling
  • Analyzes and Discusses Films
  • Develops Cultural Aptitude

Whether your goal is to write a screenplay, work in the film industry, or simply explore and enjoy cinematic stories, these courses develop skills essential for analyzing and discussing films. Be transported to diverse cultures and historic periods through films.

Celluloid Love: A Decade-by-Decade Look at Movie Love Stories

We will view one film from nearly every decade of the past 100 years to uncover how our ideas of love have developed, both on screen and off.

2017 Fall
2 sections

From Script to Screen: Hollywood Classics

Read four screenplays of classic Hollywood movies and then watch the films, examining what worked, what didn’t, and why.

2017 Fall
1 section

Italian Neorealism: From The Earth Trembles to Umberto D

Explore lesser-known films of Italian neorealism, a style that excelled at portraying the harsh realities of life in Italy during and after WWII.

2017 Fall
1 section

Major English and European Directors: From Mike Leigh to Claire Denis

Watch and discuss films of major English, Italian, and French directors, including Leigh, Olmi, the Taviani brothers, Denis, and Tavernier.

2017 Fall
1 section

Sidney Lumet: New York's Quintessential Director

View the films of Sidney Lumet and discuss the way in which he used locations—most often New York City—as characters in his films.

2017 Fall
1 section

The Darker Side of Noir: From Touch of Evil to Sweet Smell of Success

Go beyond the private eye and femme fatale and discover six different types of noir films.

2017 Fall
1 section

The Modern Biopic: From Coal Miner's Daughter to Lincoln

Explore how modern filmmakers have reinvented the biopic and now use the genre to explore how history still resonates today.

2017 Fall
1 section

Dekalog: An In-Depth Study of a Modern Masterpiece

View and discuss Krzysztof Kieslowski’s Dekalog, considered one of the 20th century’s greatest achievements in visual storytelling.

2017 Summer
1 section

Let's Go to the Movies

Examine a wide range of films and engage in lively discussions about what makes each a truly exceptional work of art.

2017 Fall
3 sections

Movies Made in New York

Explore 10 films that are set in New York and feature the City not just serving as a backdrop but playing a major role in the narrative.

2017 Summer
1 section

The American Movie Musical

Watch six movie musicals and discuss the genre’s evolution, common themes, and relevance today.

2017 Summer
1 section

The Antihero in Television: From Tony Soprano to Claire Underwood

Explore why the antihero is so prevalent on television shows, including The Sopranos, The Wire, and Mad Men.

2017 Summer
1 section

The Modern Horror Film: The Revolution of 1968 and Beyond

Watch landmark horror films in class and discuss them, with a special emphasis on interpreting them as expressions of sociopolitical anxieties.

2017 Summer
1 section

The War Film: From the Battlefield to the Home Front

View and discuss eight films that depict war, both on the battlefield and at home.

2017 Summer
1 section

American Screwball Comedy Films

Watch a variety of screwball comedy films, and discuss how each represents and deals with the harsh economic realities of the time.

Art on Film/Film on Art

View 10 memorable films about art, and discuss the fascinating issues that emerge in them.

Espionage on Film: From The 39 Steps to Zero Dark Thirty

Explore a variety of espionage films, and discuss how each reflects society at the time it was created.

Hollywood on Hollywood History

Learn about Hollywood history and the business of the film industry by watching and discussing films that cover filmmaking.

International Politics and Film

Watch and analyze six political films from six different countries that are as varied in cinematic styles as in political commentary.

Italian Cinema: Envisioning a Country's Complex Identity

Explore Italian culture through the country’s rich tradition of cinema.

Italian Neorealism: From Rome, Open City to La Dolce Vita

Explore the genre of neorealism in Italian cinema, a style that excelled at portraying the harsh realities of life in Italy during and after WWII.

More Great British Cinema

Watch and discuss terrific, but lesser known and rarely screened, movies from Great Britain, including must-see films in a variety of genres.

Social Class in American and English Film

Examine the different ways that American and British films have dealt with class power, consciousness, and culture through film.

Strange Bedfellows: Politics and Passion in the Movies

Examine six stylistically diverse movies that alternate between serious, political films and lighter-toned features about love and relationships.

Superheroes: A Mythic Battle of History, Media, and Culture

Examine the superhero genre, analyze what these films tell us about Hollywood, and reflect upon how these films express sociocultural anxieties.

The Cinema and the City

Explore a variety of remarkable (and lesser-known) films that have created indelible images of cities.

The World According to the Coen Brothers' Films: From Blood Simple to A Serious Man

Examine a wide range of Coen brothers’ films and engage in lively discussions about what makes each a truly exceptional work of art.