ENGL329G - Special Topics in Film Studies: Cinema History I

This course provides an introductory survey of world film history from its emergence in 1895 through the transition to sound. We will be examining a wide range of material, beginning with theearliest single-shot films of the Lumières and Thomas Edison, moving through silent comedy and the films of D. W. Griffith, to German Expressionism, Soviet montage, silent-era Japanese cinema, and Hollywood’s classical studio era. The goal of the course is to acquaint you with the broad contours of the first four decades of film history. We will explore questions such as: How did film narrative develop? What were the major film movements of the silent era? Where were these films seen, and who were their audiences? We will work to position these films within their historical and cultural context, while also remaining attentive to how they speak to film viewers today.