This course is an introduction to the technology, history, semiotics, and ideology of film. It is a required pre-requisite for most other film classes at CMU. In this class, we focus on the Hollywood film, with special concentration on the studio era of that form, 1920-1950. The course will be organized more or less historically, beginning with early films, moving through the development of different cinematic styles in European and American silent features, and then into the sound era. Throughout the course, we will be concerned with the ideologies present in the films we see, especially those concerning gender and class. At several points, we will focus specifically on a theory of film criticism, including feminism and auteurism. In general, our approach will be to draw connections between the films and the larger culture.
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