Course Description

Course Name

Understanding Film

Session: VDNS3121

Hours & Credits

18 Credit Points

Prerequisites & Language Level

Taught In English

  • There is no language prerequisite for courses at this language level.


An introduction to the basic analytical and critical skills as they apply to the study of moving images, specifically film. Issues of form, style and genre are addressed.
This paper is designed as an introduction to basic analytical and critical skills applied to the study of film. It is required of all film and media studies students and is also highly recommended for anyone wishing to pursue any film or media-related profession. Students will learn approaches to film analysis, including stylistic analysis of film (for example, how film techniques are used to tell stories), formal analysis (for example, how stories are structured in narrative cinema, and how documentaries and experimental film follow different structuring principles), film genre, and film authorship.

Course Structure
This course features modules on:
-Film style, including editing, cinematography, mise-en-scène and sound
-Film form, including classical narrative, art cinema, experimental film and documentary
-Theories of reception

-Library exercise 8%
-Online quiz 7%
-Descriptive and analytical essay 15%
-Critical essay 25%
-Final examination 45%

Learning Outcomes
-Demonstrate knowledge of stylistic and formal analysis of film
-Demonstrate knowledge of critical approaches to film
-Demonstrate skill in the written expression of ideas

Book: Film Art: An Introduction, 10th edition, David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson
Course Reader
Individual readings on Blackboard

All required reading will also be on reserve at the University Library

*Course content subject to change