A survey of international film history from the beginnings of public film exhibition to the coming of sound. This course covers early motion picture technology, the development of narrative and editing techniques, and the growth of the Hollywood studio system and national cinemas around the world.
G Building, Room 103
Thursday, 5:00 – 6:00 PM
The following are available at the Queens College Bookstore, Student Union Building, Phone: (718) 997–3573, through online retailers, and on reserve at Rosenthal Library.
Starting in 2009, required course materials qualify for a tax credit.
Required course readings not found in the textbook are available electronically from the course website. When prompted, enter the username and password provided on the first day of class and on the announcements section of Blackboard.
I have established a blog where I will post summaries of course lecture and commentary related to the topics we are covering. I will regularly post analyses related to the films we covered in class or elaborate on the material covered in lecture.
We will be using Blackboard for announcements, assignment guidelines, and your individual grade book. You will also use Blackboard to take quizzes and submit each of your assignments.
Please update your email address on Blackboard to one that you currently check, preferably your QC email address.
If you don’t use it already, I highly recommend using Dropbox to store your files in the cloud. You can sign up for free and receive two (2) gigabytes of cloud based storage. This is an invaluable tool for accessing all of your files anywhere without having to carry a USB flash drive. I hate those things.
This class consists of five components. You cannot satisfactorily complete this course without all five of these.
Each lecture will form the basis of the material I expect you to know for the exams. I will present on the historical and cultural context relevant to the film movement covered that particular week. I will post outlines and slides from each lecture, but believe me, those serve as poor substitutes for attending each week’s lecture.
There will be an in-class screening each week, usually following the lecture. I will lead a brief discussion after these screenings, depending on time constraints.
You will also be responsible for an outside screening. These films are available at on reserve at Rosenthal Library. Some of the titles are available for rent/purchase on Amazon or iTunes. You may also stream some of these titles through Hulu Plus or Netflix.
Please read the assigned course material prior to each week’s class. Consult the Course Schedule for the required reading assignments.
All assignments must be completed on time in order to receive full credit. Late assignments will be penalized by a 10% reduction for each 24-hour period it is late. After seven calendar days, the assignment will not be accepted and you will likely fail this class.
Exams comprise half of your course grade and are written to reward regular attendance and diligent studying. Exams will be administered in class and must be taken at the specified date and time.
Please respect the classroom environment. You should pay attention to the lecture, take notes, and avoid distractions, such as web surfing and using your mobile phone. Studies have consistently shown that students using laptops and mobile phones perform about 11% worse than students who are not distracted by these devices. On a personal note, it’s very difficult to stay motivated as a teacher if I see students seemingly disinterested in their own education. If I find you engaging in disruptive behavior, such as watching online videos, passing notes, instant messaging, chatting, or texting, I will remove you from the classroom and have you withdraw from the class.
Please submit your work on time. Late work will be penalized by a 10% reduction for each 24-hour period it is late. After one calendar week, the assignment will not be accepted and you will likely fail this class.
There will be no incomplete grades for this class except in the case of a documented emergency in the final weeks of the semester. If you experience such an emergency, please contact me immediately, and we will work out a schedule for you to complete the outstanding work before the beginning of the following semester.
But aside from these circumstances, no late work will be accepted and no “incomplete” grades will be granted. If you have difficulty keeping up with coursework, consider giving yourself extra time to complete assignments, reducing your overall course load, and/or taking this class at a later semester.
Academic dishonesty is prohibited in The City University of New York. Penalties for academic dishonesty include academic sanctions, such as failing or otherwise reduced grades, and/or disciplinary sanctions, including suspension or expulsion. Examples of Academic Dishonesty include cheating, plagiarism, obtaining an unfair advantage, and falsification of records and official documents.
Cheating is the unauthorized use or attempted use of material, infonnation, notes, study aids, devices or communication during an academic exercise. Plagiarism is the act of presenting another person’s ideas, research or writings as your own. Obtaining Unfair Advantage is any action taken by a student that gives that student an unfair advantage in his/her academic work over another student, or an action taken by a student through which a student attempts to gain an unfair advantage in his or her academic work over another student.
For tips and information on how to maintain academic integrity, consult Writing at Queens document, “What is Plagiarism?”.
Please silence or turn off the radio in your mobile phone (power down the phone or set to “Airplane” mode). Not only do ringing phones disrupt class, most phones will also interfere with the media equipment in the room.
Students must surrender mobile phones and tablets on exam days.
Please check your QC email account (email@example.com) on a daily basis, if not more frequently. I will broadcast announcements and send point-to-point communiques using your official email address.
Please note that I am not allowed to discuss your grade from an account that is not your official email account.
Queens College has a history of commitment to the enhancement of education of students with disabilities. The Office of Special Services for Students with Disabilities was established in 1974 to provide equal opportunities for a college education to academically qualified students with physical disabilities. The office offers comprehensive support services to students with various disabilities. Queens College prohibits discrimination against students with disabilities and it ensures full access and equal opportunity to qualified students with disabilities to all academic programs and social activities on campus.
To receive these services, a student must first register with the office in Kiely 171. To do so, you must bring proper documentation pertaining to the nature of your disability from a qualified professional. To learn more about CUNY Assistive Technology Services and the office located at Queens College, call (718) 997–3775 or visit Kiely Hall 173. For more information, visit The Office of Special Services.
Each week, I will post a quiz consisting of review questions. The questions cover the material covered in lecture and in the assigned readings. Each quizzes is due on Wednesday after our class, at noon. No late quizzes will be accepted.
I will provide you with thirty (30) events relevant to the history of film and global culture. Give the four digit year event took place.
Deservedly or not, film historians have credited D.W. Griffith with developing and popularizing some of the most durable narration techniques of the cinema. In this assignment, you will analyze some how Griffith uses film techniques to craft narrative form in one his early films produced at Biograph.
In the first three decades of the cinema there were inventors and innovators working on motion pictures throughout the world, often developing very unique approaches to the technical and creative aspects of the motion picture. As we have seen thus far this semester, cinema produced in one nation might be made for a different context than films produced in a different nation. And the purpose of filmmaking reflects or determines the stylistic conventions used in the making of a body of films.
The midterm exam is an in-class exam, consisting of true-false, multiple choice, identification and short essay questions. The exam will cover the course material from the first six weeks of the class.
Like the midterm exam, the final exam is also an in-class exam, consisting of true-false, multiple choice, identification and short essay questions. The exam will cover the course material from the second half of the course.
Answer the questions for Week 2 in the Quiz section of Blackboard, due February 13.
Answer the questions for Week 3 in the Quiz section of Blackboard, due February 27.
Answer the questions for Week 4 in the Quiz section of Blackboard, due March 6.
The following screenings are available on the DVD set: Biograph Shorts: Griffith Masterworks (Kino Video, 2002). It is available on reserve at Rosenthal Library and for sale on Amazon.
Answer the questions for Week 5 in the Quiz section of Blackboard, due March 13.
D.W. Griffith and Narrative Form assignment due in class today.
No quiz this week. Study, study, study.
We will take the midterm exam in class.
Answer the questions for Week 8 in the Quiz section of Blackboard, due April 10.
Answer the questions for Week 9 in the Quiz section of Blackboard, due April 17.
Answer the questions for Week 10 in the Quiz section of Blackboard, due April 24.
Answer the questions for Week 11 in the Quiz section of Blackboard, due May 1.
Style and Culture of National Cinema assignment due in class and on Blackboard.
Answer the questions for Week 12 in the Quiz section of Blackboard, due May 8.
Answer the questions for Week 13 in the Quiz section of Blackboard, due May 15.
We will take the final exam in class, between 1:45 – 3:45 PM.