The whole ethos of this course can be summed in this very short video clip (and this handout too...):
Our primary interest this year will be in reading—in this case, reading the language of cinema in order to improve our critical understanding of the way texts create meaning. In this way, we will proceed much like an English class, with many of the same goals. Since the alphabet of cinema is not comprised of A, B, C, etc., though, we will have to start from scratch. As storytelling device, as historical document, as expression of imagination, as artistic object, there is no form more capable of capturing our interest and provoking the senses. The cinema can create worlds of magic, fantasy and romance just as easily as it can expose the reality of life.