ART 200: History of Motion Pictures: 1895-1945

Citrus College Course Outline of Record

Citrus College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Fall 2023
Credits: 3
Total Contact Hours: 54
Lecture Hours : 54
Lab Hours: 0
Hours Arranged: 0
Outside of Class Hours: 108
Total Student Learning Hours: 162
Transferable to CSU: Yes
Transferable to UC: Yes - Approved
Grading Method: Standard Letter

Catalog Course Description

An introductory course in motion picture history covering the years 1895-1945. The historically significant technical and thematic developments of world cinema are analyzed in detail in the context of production systems. 54 lecture hours.

Course Objectives

  • Demonstrate an appreciation for the development of the motion picture as an art form both historically and technically.
  • Explain the sociological links of a "mass" art form; how film reflects the society in which it is produced, both on purpose (as propaganda) and more subtly, such as horror, German expressionism, etc.)
  • Demonstrate skills of critical analysis in examining technical and thematic problems of film history such as the development of storytelling, genre development and filmmaker's signature styles.
  • Explain the way the film making industry developed around the world as a business, an art form and a tool of persuasion.

Major Course Content

  1. Early Cinema
    1. The Lumières
    2. Early story-telling film -- the shot
    3. The "trust" and development of the American production system
  2. The First World War
    1. American production hegemony -- D. W. Griffith and editing
    2. The German response -- German Expressionism and mise-en-scéne
  3. The Russian Revolution
    1. Film as polemic
    2. Eisenstein and Pudovkin -- montage
  4. The Classic Hollywood Film
    1. Defining a style -- technical elements -- advent of sound
    2. Defining genres -- screwball comedy, social document
    3. Exemplars -- Frank Capra, John Ford
  5. Non-Hollywood Film
    1. Britain -- Hitchcock 
    2. German mise-en-scéne in the sound era
    3. France -- non-Hollywood realism
  6. Changing Themes as WWII Approaches
    1. Rules of the Game
    2. Meet John Doe

Suggested Reading Other Than Required Textbook

Academic articles provided on or linked off of course website.

Examples of Required Writing Assignments

Write a paper critiquing film style of a silent film. Essay on the relationship between early cinema and culture. Discussion board posts about film topics.

Examples of Outside Assignments

Watch a silent film and write a discuss post on its techniques and respond to other students’ posts.

Instruction Type(s)

Lecture, Online Education Lecture

IGETC Area 3: Arts and Humanities

3A. Fine Arts