What makes movies unique? This course is a semester-long answer to that question, exploring films across a wide range of countries and periods, from silent movies to recent trends. We start by looking closely at how filmmakers have used formal elements - storytelling, camera movement, composition, color, and sound - as we build the tools, skills, and vocabulary of close reading. We then explore such topics as realism, including documentaries, neo-realism, and the Dogma 95 movement; art cinema, especially French New Wave and other innovations of the 1960s; the history of Hollywood studio filmmaking, particularly in the 1930s and 1970s; and the contrasts between Hollywood's film industry and other national cinemas in Europe, Asia, and the Soviet
Union. Screenings are mandatory.