Art of Cinema, Introduction to
  I: Administrative Information   II: Course Details   III: Topical Outline(s)  Printable Version
Section I: Administrative Information
  Total hours: 42.0
Credit Value: 3.0
Credit Value Notes: N/A
Effective: Spring/Summer 2017
Prerequisites: N/A
Corequisites: N/A
Equivalents: N/A
Pre/Co/Equiv Notes: N/A

Program(s): General Education
Program Coordinator(s): Sarah Sinclair
Course Leader or Contact: Peter Steven
Version: 20170508_00
Status: Approved (APPR)

Section I Notes: N/A

Section II: Course Details

Detailed Description
This course is designed to provide students with an introduction to some of the basic concepts and methods used to examine and analyze films. This includes an introduction to the concepts of film production. Theoretical and historical foundations include topics such as key concepts in the construction of form and aesthetics as well as genre and film production roles. A survey of international and Canadian film and video provides opportunities to understand the role of film culture from a global perspective. Through interactive lecture, discussion, written analysis and selected screenings, students will analyze film styles, narrative structures, genre forms, and thematic expression in the popular media.

Program Context

General Education Program Coordinator(s): Sarah Sinclair
Students examine and analyze film styles, narrative structures, genre forms, and thematic expression in the popular media.

Course Critical Performance and Learning Outcomes

  Critical Performance:
By the end of the course, students will have demonstrated the ability to explain the theoretical framework within which film has historically been constructed and the role of film in a global context.
Learning Outcomes:

To achieve the critical performance, students will have demonstrated the ability to:

  1. Identify the origins of cinema.
  2. Analyze the socio-cultural impact of cinema on the world.
  3. Describe the importance of historical art and film movements and the contributions of key filmmakers to the development of world cinema.
  4. Analyze the development of theory and criticism in world cinema.
  5. Evaluate key issues in the construction of film image (e.g.documentary, animation, experimental).
  6. Discuss the origins and construction of the Canadian film industry within a global context and in comparison to other national cinemas.
  7. Research the history and development of world cinema using various data sources (e.g. internet, film journals, Cinematique Ontario Library).
  8. Analyze theoretical models to deconstruct the aesthetics on content in film.
  9. Generate potential scenarios, based on research, for future production and distribution trends in Canadian and world cinema.
  10. Collaborate effectively with peers to complete group research assignments.
  11. Communicate effectively in written, verbal and graphic form through a variety of activities and assignments that reflect quality research, creativity and original thought.
  12. Complete required assignments in a responsible, timely and professional manner.

Evaluation Plan
Students demonstrate their learning in the following ways:

 Evaluation Plan: IN-CLASS
 Quizzes (#1 x 5%, #2 & #3 x10%)25.0%
 Final Exam25.0%

Evaluation Notes and Academic Missed Work Procedure:
TEST AND ASSIGNMENT PROTOCOL To encourage behaviours that will help students to be successful in the workplace and to ensure that students receive credit for their individual work, the following rules apply to every course offered within the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. 1. Students are responsible for staying abreast of test dates and times, as well as due dates and any special instructions for submitting assignments and projects as supplied to the class by the professor. 2. Students must write all tests at the specified times. Missed tests, in-class activities, assignments and presentations are awarded a mark of zero. If an extension or make-up opportunity is approved by the professor as outlined below, the mark of zero may be revised by subsequent performance. The penalty for late submission of written assignments is a loss of 10% per day for up to five business days (excluding weekends and statutory holidays), after which, a grade of zero is assigned. Business days include any day that the college is open for business, whether the student has scheduled classes that day or not. 3. Students, who miss a test or in-class activity or assignment or fail to submit an assignment on time due to exceptional circumstances, are required to notify their professor in advance of the class whenever possible. A make-up test may be supplied for students who provide an acceptable explanation of their absence and/or acceptable documentation explaining their absence (e.g., a medical certificate). All make-up tests are to be written at a time and place specified by the professor upon the student's return. Alternately, students may be given an opportunity to earn the associated marks by having a subsequent test count for the additional marks. Exceptional circumstances may result in a modification of due dates for assignments. 4. Unless otherwise specified, assignments and projects must be submitted at the beginning of class. 5. Students must complete every assignment as an individual effort unless, the professor specifies otherwise. 6. Since there may be instances of grade appeal or questions regarding the timely completion of assignments and/or extent of individual effort, etc., students are strongly advised to keep, and make available to their professor, if requested, a copy of all assignments and working notes until the course grade has been finalized. 7. There will be no resubmission of work unless this has been previously agreed to or suggested by the professor. 8. Students must submit all assignments in courses with practical lab and field components in order to pass the course.

Provincial Context
The course meets the following Ministry of Colleges and Universities requirements:


Essential Employability Skills
Essential Employability Skills emphasized in the course:

  • Communication Skills - Communicate clearly, concisely and correctly in the written, spoken, visual form that fulfills the purpose and meets the needs of the audience.
  • Communication Skills - Respond to written, spoken, or visual messages in a manner that ensures effective communication.
  • Critical Thinking & Problem Solving - Apply a systematic approach to solve problems.
  • Information Management Skills - Analyze, evaluate, and apply relevant information from a variety of sources.
  • Information Management - Locate, select, organize and document information using appropriate technology and information systems.
  • Interpersonal Skills - Show respect for the diverse opinions, values, belief systems, and contributions of others.
  • Interpersonal Skills - Interact with others in groups or teams in ways that contribute to effective working relationships and the achievement of goals.
  • Personal Skills - Manage the use of time and other resources to complete projects.
  • Personal Skills - Take responsibility for one's own actions, decisions, and consequences.

General Education
This General Education course relates to the following themes as specified by the Ministry of Colleges and Universities.

  • Arts In Society

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition
PLAR Contact (if course is PLAR-eligible) - Office of the Registrar
Students may apply to receive credit by demonstrating achievement of the course learning outcomes through previous relevant work/life experience, service, self-study and training on the job. This course is eligible for challenge through the following method(s):

  • Challenge Exam
    Notes:  N/A
  • Portfolio
    Notes:  N/A
  • Interview
    Notes:  N/A

Section III: Topical Outline
Some details of this outline may change as a result of circumstances such as weather cancellations, College and student activities, and class timetabling.
Instruction Mode: In-Class
Professor: Joachim Oepkes
OptionalOtherElectronic resources made available via SLATE

Applicable student group(s): General Education Elective
Course Details:

Module 1

Why Study Films?
Screening: Shadow of a Doubt (Alfred Hitchcock, U.S., 1943)

Module 2

Understanding film – Mise-en-Scene and Cinematography 
Screening: Sherlock Jr.  (Buster Keaton, U.S., 1923)
Reading:  SLATE - Properties of the Single Shot.

Module 3

Authorship / Genre.  Themes and Motifs
Screening:  Mildred Pierce (Michael Curtiz, U.S., 1945)
Reading:  SLATE - Glossary;  The “Woman’s Film.”

Module 4
Quiz - 5%
Film Noir – Style and Genre      
Screening:   Film Noir Classic Moments
Reading:  SLATE - Film Noir.

Module  5            

Film Structure: Story and Plot 
Screening:  Rebel Without a Cause (Nicholas Ray, U.S., 1955)
Reading:  Jonathan Rosenbaum on Nicholas Ray --

Module 6

World Cinema. The Art Film as Genre
Screening: Volver (Pedro Almodovar, Spain, 2006) 
Reading:  SLATE - The Art Film; Composition. 

Module 7
Mid-term - 25%
Screening: Volver part two

Module 8
Quiz - 10%
World Cinema
Screening: Chungking Express (Wong Kar Wai, Hong Kong, 1994)                                         
Reading:  SLATE - Camera Position.

Module 9     

World Cinema.  Comedy and Politics
Screening: Bend it Like Beckham (Gurinder Chadha, Britain, 2002) 
Reading:  SLATE: Functions of Comedy.

Module 10

Quiz - 10%
World Cinema.  Film Music and Sound
Screening: Let the Right One In (Tomas Alfredson, Sweden, 2008)

Module 11

World Cinema 
Screening:  C.R.A.Z.Y. (Jean-Marc Valée, Quebec, 2005)    

Module 12

Essay Due - 25%
Screening:  C.R.A.Z.Y. Part Two 

Module 13

Modern Hollywood
Course Review
Screening:  Do The Right Thing (Spike Lee, U.S. 1989)  

Module 14

Final Exam - 25%



Sheridan Policies

All Sheridan policies can be viewed on the Sheridan policy website.

Academic Integrity: The principle of academic integrity requires that all work submitted for evaluation and course credit be the original, unassisted work of the student. Cheating or plagiarism including borrowing, copying, purchasing or collaborating on work, except for group projects arranged and approved by the professor, or otherwise submitting work that is not the student's own, violates this principle and will not be tolerated. Students who have any questions regarding whether or not specific circumstances involve a breach of academic integrity are advised to review the Academic Integrity Policy and procedure and/or discuss them with the professor.

Copyright: A majority of the course lectures and materials provided in class and posted in SLATE are protected by copyright. Use of these materials must comply with the Acceptable Use Policy, Use of Copyright Protected Work Policy and Student Code of Conduct. Students may use, copy and share these materials for learning and/or research purposes provided that the use complies with fair dealing or an exception in the Copyright Act. Permission from the rights holder would be necessary otherwise. Please note that it is prohibited to reproduce and/or post a work that is not your own on third-party commercial websites including but not limited to Course Hero or OneNote. It is also prohibited to reproduce and/or post a work that is not your own or your own work with the intent to assist others in cheating on third-party commercial websites including but not limited to Course Hero or OneNote.

Intellectual Property: Sheridan's Intellectual Property Policy generally applies such that students own their own work. Please be advised that students working with external research and/or industry collaborators may be asked to sign agreements that waive or modify their IP rights. Please refer to Sheridan's IP Policy and Procedure.

Respectful Behaviour: Sheridan is committed to provide a learning environment that supports academic achievement by respecting the dignity, self-esteem and fair treatment of every person engaged in the learning process. Behaviour which is inconsistent with this principle will not be tolerated. Details of Sheridan's policy on Harassment and Discrimination, Academic Integrity and other academic policies are available on the Sheridan policy website.

Accessible Learning: Accessible Learning coordinates academic accommodations for students with disabilities. For more information or to register, please see the Accessible Learning website (Statement added September 2016)

Course Outline Changes: The information contained in this Course Outline including but not limited to faculty and program information and course description is subject to change without notice. Any changes to course curriculum and/or assessment shall adhere to approved Sheridan protocol. Nothing in this Course Outline should be viewed as a representation, offer and/or warranty. Students are responsible for reading the Important Notice and Disclaimer which applies to Programs and Courses.

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