Theatre 180

THEA 180: Introduction to World Cinema

Credit Hours: (3)

A study of the cinematic arts from its inception to current times. The focus will be on the aesthetic, technological, economic and geopolitical historical progression of the cinematic arts.

Note(s): This course has been approved for Core Curriculum credit in Visual and Performing Arts or Global Perspectives.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

Topical Outline:

  • Before 1895 the early beginnings
  • Shadow Shows - Panoramas - Dioramas - The Magic Lantern - Zoetrope - Kinetograph - Kinetoscope - Peep shows
  • Cinematographe, the Lumèire Brothers of Lyon
  • Cinema as a world wide phenomena
  • Early Transitions
  • From machine to art form
  • From still to moving pictures
  • From moving snapshots to the juxtaposition of images in an expressive continuum
  • Barnstorming
  • America - France - Germany - Italy - Russia
  • Coming of age
  • Bringing the classical theatre to the screen
  • New literacy - the camera as narrative vehicle
  • The emergence of America as a super power
  • Propaganda and hate films
  • Escapism: the serial
  • The golden age of Swedish and Danish cinema
  • Post War Cinema
  • The golden age of German cinema (expressionism and Reinhardt School)
  • France (Impressionism, Dadaism and Surrealism)
  • Soviet Union
  • Britain (Cinematograph Films Act of 1927)
  • India
  • Japan
  • American cinema conquest and annexation
  • Staples: The Western - The Spectacle - The Great Comedians - The News Reel - Animated Cartoons
  • Cinema as industry
  • Resistance
  • Economic game
  • Between the Wars
  • The factory system
  • The Musical
  • The resurgence of British Cinema
  • The flowering of the independent French cinema
  • The documentary
  • World War II
  • The Nazi film machine
  • Film making in occupied France
  • Italian renaissance
  • Post War
  • Reorganization of the studio system and rise of the independents
  • French Independents
  • Socialist Bloc Film Makers
  • Cinema in the television age
  • New Technologies
  • Blockbusters
  • From television to the silver screen
  • Britain: Literary Adaptations and the Golden Age of Comedy
  • Cinema Self-Consciousness
  • The influence of International Film Festivals
  • International Film
  • The Wide Screen: mise-en-scene vs. montage
  • Form vs. Content
  • Movements
  • Free Cinema
  • New Wave
  • Underground
  • Contemporary Trends


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

This course will involve lecture, demonstrations, viewings, discussion and student presentations. Students will be expected to communicate effectively orally, in writing and electronically. Students will be expected to use traditional, new and emerging technologies to gather, process and organize and present information.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

  • Students will understand and learn to use the basic vocabulary of the cinematic arts.
  • Students will develop an understanding of the interrelationship between the aesthetic, technological, economic and geopolitical nature of the cinematic arts.
  • Students will learn what makes a significant work of cinematic art.
  • Students will learn about the cultural, political and historical evolution of cinematic art.
  • Students will learn about and be exposed to significant works of cinematic art.

Students will experience and analyze ways in which the visual and performing arts reflect and communicate aspects of the human experience.


Students will be able to:

a. analyze works of art in terms of the medium's distinctive language and syntax

b. identify and explain how works of art express human values and experiences within specific historical, cultural, and social contexts

c. identify and explain how the visual and performing arts have been used as vehicles for influencing culture

d. evaluate works of art from the perspectives of aesthetic and critical criteria


Students will also understand how social and cultural (for example, political, historical, economic, environmental, religious, or geographic) forces shape experiences in the global setting.


Students will also be able to:

a. compare and contrast different perspectives used to explain the world or international issues

b. use material studied to explain cross-cultural issues in the world

c. evaluate differences and similarities among world cultures that affect perceptions, beliefs, or behaviors, and thus relationships between those cultures


Assessment Measures

  • Graded and ungraded homework assignments will be used to assess the student’s understanding of the films, ideas, values and theoretical concepts being presented in the course.
  • Classroom discussion and presentations will be used to assess the student’s ability to construct logical and persuasive arguments, communicate effectively in an oral manner and work effectively in a group learning environment.
  • Quizzes and examinations will be used to assess the acquisition of basic course specific knowledge, the ability to construct logical and persuasive arguments and communicate effectively in a written manner.
  • A final project either a web, media or written presentation/paper on some aspect of world cinema will be used to assess the student’s research abilities, ability to think clearly and ability to communicate effectively with appropriate tools.


Other Course Information



Review and Approval

September 2005