St. John Vianney High School

File Studies

Film Studies


Course Objectives: The objectives for the course is to expose students to a variety of film genres, helping them develop an appreciation and understanding of this art form and to increase their ability to use writing as a form of critique.

As an introductory course, the focus will be on the process of film-making. As such, the course material will deal with the following cinema basics: Direction, Acting, Cinematography, Editing, and Music.

The course films will be divided into film genres. Since the course work is a broad overview of the cinema many great films will be missed. Each student is expected to:
View each film
Complete the written assignments for each film genre
Understand each film genre covered in class
Participate actively in discussions
Research what critics and others say about each film
Research the lives and works of major film directors and actors.
Key concepts to be explored in class:
The role of the director
The process and business of film-making
How a film develops meaning/significance
What makes a film great
'Suspension of disbelief'
The role of the film critic

Course Assignments: Assignments must be typed. Assignments may be submitted by e-mail but must arrive by class on the due date. Late assignments will not be accepted. Review assignments must be one page in length and no longer than two pages. Standard margins (1" top & bottom, 1.25" L. & R.,) 12 pt. Times New Roman type and double-spaced.
Each student is assigned one critical review due by the class following the completion of each film genre.
Each student will be assigned the name of a major film director. The student must research the life of the director and produce a written report submitted the day before an oral report. The oral report will have at most six minutes. The material covered should include dates of birth and death, major life events, major life influences, major works and major awards. The report should also include the director's auteur style. The oral presentation should be as creative as possible.
Each student is expected to write a major review of a film currently playing in the theatres. The student may select the film, with the approval of the instructor.

Students are expected to watch each film. If absent, for any reason, student must watch the film on his own time. Each film is readily available from most major rental locations.

Plagiarism is a serious academic offense. A student who deliberately or unintentionally submits as his own work anything which is in part taken from another person without proper acknowledgement, use of quotation marks, credits, footnote, etc., is guilty of plagiarism and will fail the course receiving an F as the final course grade.

Grade computation:
Written reviews 50%
Class participation 15%
Research Assignment 15%
Movie term test 10%
Quizzes on films 10%.