Introduction to Film Studies
Fall 2008

Mondays, 2:30 to 5 p.m.
Thursdays, 2:30 to 3:20 p.m.
Studio B, Children’s Center for the Arts

Mr. Bryan Cardinale-Powell
Room 6, Children’s Center for the Arts

Office Hours: Mondays through Wednesdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., or by appointment.
Please be sure to confirm your plans to meet with me via email.

Course Description:
This course lays a foundation for the study of motion pictures and their important contributions to cultural and social discourse. Assigned readings, movie screenings and class discussions will introduce students to vocabulary, concepts, and perspectives helpful in the critical study of motion pictures. Our aim is to examine the various ways meanings and pleasures are generated by the film viewing experience. This knowledge is then put to use in the completion of exams and essay assignments which offer each student opportunities to develop and demonstrate his or her own ability to discuss a film’s potential meanings and analyze the manner in which these messages are conveyed.

Course Objectives:
Upon successful completion of this course, the student should be able to demonstrate the following:
  • familiarity with terminology useful in the description and analysis of films;
  • the ability to identify and explain a variety of codes and conventions deployed in movies;
  • an awareness that various aspects of the film experience and movie culture may be mobilized in order to explain the variety of meanings associated with any given film text;
  • the ability to apply his or her knowledge in a written analysis of a film text.

Required Texts:
  • Turner, Graeme. Film as Social Practice IV. Routledge: New York, 2006. ISBN: 0415375142
  • Coursepack.

As deemed necessary by the instructor,
additional readings may be assigned during the term. Any additional readings will be distributed in class or electronically via email. More information will be provided as necessary.

Readings assigned for this course were selected to complement class activities and screenings. Therefore,
reading assignments should be completed before attending class.

Course Requirements:
In addition to the assigned readings mentioned above, student requirements for this course include the following:
  • Attendance and participation in classroom activities/discussions
  • Quizzes
  • Mid-term Exam
  • Term Paper
  • Final Exam

Attendance and Participation: Each student is entitled to two unexcused absences, but keep in mind that failure to attend class is the best way to fail class. Your attendance is expected and will be monitored and factored into your final grade for the course.

Quizzes: Students will complete short pop quizzes at the discretion of the instructor. These quizzes will cover reading material assigned for that class session and will likely include multiple choice, matching, and short answer questions.

Mid-term exam: The mid-term exam will focus primarily on vocabulary and formal elements of film design. It will likely include multiple choice, matching, and short answer questions.

Term paper: Over the duration of the semester, each student will develop an analytical essay that closely examines one film text. This project will occur in three stages, details of which will be distributed as appropriate throughout the semester.

Final exam: The final exam will require students to use examples from class readings and screenings in the completion of short essays.

! Throughout the semester, class-related information will be communicated via email. To ensure that this works as smoothly as possible, please be sure you have access to your email account, and that you check that account regularly. If you’d rather use a different email address for class-related correspondence, please let me know by the end of the first week of classes.

Plagiarism, cheating, and/or academic dishonesty in any form will not be tolerated in this course. For further details, please refer to the Policy on Academic Honesty on page 40 of the 2008-09 undergraduate catalog available online here. Sanctions for violations of academic honesty are at the discretion of the instructor and can be severe.

Students will earn final grades based on the following formula:

10% Attendance
10% Quizzes
25% Mid-term exam
30% Term paper
25% Final exam

Assignment scores and calculated totals will correspond to letter grades according to the following scale:
94-100 A 75-78 C+
90-93 A- 72-74 C
86-89 B+ 68-71 C-
83-85 B 60-67 D
79-82 B- 0-59 F

Make-up work and late assignments may only be accepted with the advance permission of the instructor, and such permission will be granted only in cases of verifiable hardship.

An incomplete (I) will only be granted according to the university policies published on page 46 of the 2008-09 undergraduate catalog.

If you need an accommodation due to a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act, please contact the Student Health and Disabilities Service Office immediately at (405) 208-5991 or (405) 208-5090. Advance notice is required for many accommodations.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at any time during the semester to discuss your classroom performance. However, I will not disclose any grades via email.

They’re your grades. You earn them.