Frames of Mind: Introduction to Film Theory and Film Analysis

This course will meet in Carpenter Center 402.A basic introduction to the language of film theory, aimed at developing analytic skills to interpret films. We offer a historical survey that spans from turn-of-the-century scientific motion studies to the emotion studies of Hugo M?nsterberg, and reaches the virtual movements of our new millennium. We consider Eisenstein\’s theory of montage, the cultural history of the cinematic apparatus, and the body of physical existence, going from Kracauer to gender studies. Different theoretical positions open up our understanding of films and guide us in reading them. Particular attention is paid to theories that enable close analysis of films. In considering cultural transformation, for example, we test Walter Benjamin\’s view of the age of mechanical reproduction vis-`-vis its contemporary representation in the film, The Matrix.Note: Recommended as preparation for GSD 4351 and GSD 4352.