This course will introduce students to the history, theory, techniques, language and aesthetics of world cinema by examining the social, cultural, political, intellectual and economic underpinnings of the medium. We will look at many of the films in the canon of the world's most influential and important films from the works of the Lumiere brothers through work by contemporary Hollywood, independent, and foreign filmmakers. We will cover numerous genres and approaches, including the dramatic, musical, comedic, documentary, autobiographical and experimental modes. The intent of the course is to give students the necessary tools for understanding how and why cinema works both as an art and as an industry. Films to be studied include: Birth of a Nation, Metropolis, Battleship Potemkin, Modern Times, The Jazz Singer, Citizen Kane, Bicycle Thief, 400 Blows and current releases such as Smoke and Mrs. Dalloway. Readings will include textbooks on film narrative, history, and theory.