Cinema was arguably the first form of global culture, and there can be no doubt that the many screen fictions it has spawned dominate our contemporary cultural landscape. This course will teach you to develop sophisticated approaches to understanding screen fiction through the study of exemplary movies, assigned readings, lectures, and discussions. In the first half of the semester, you will learn to analyze screen narratives, concentrating on specific elements of film language and visual grammar, such as editing and cinematography.

The second half of the class will focus on more theoretical issues, such as authorship, genre, and the nature of interpretation. By the end of the course, you will be better equipped to think about how films create meaning and circulate values—that is, how they entertain us and how they shape our socio-political environments and personal identities, both within US culture and globally.