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Film Studies

Film Studies Video

Course Outline

Film Studies

Grades 9-12 - One Year

Fine Art Elective

Fulfills UC/a-g requirement

 

STANDARD 1: : The Birth of Cinema/ Silent Film     

Students will learn to recognize the preconditions necessary for the invention of cinema, understand the influence of patents worldwide on the development of motion pictures, identify major studios, directors and stars and discuss their influences on the industry and discuss the ramifications of industry standards.

The class will view some landmark short films such as "A Trip to the Moon," "The Great Train Robbery," etc. along with clips from Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd films. We will discuss Chaplin’s influence and watch a Chaplin classic.

Assessment: Silent Era test.

STANDARD 2: The Introduction of Sound / The Musical   

Students will identify the many ways that sound recording changed the nature of filmmaking, recognize usage of "Foley" sound editing and dubbing, understand the economic and social influences that led to the popularity of the musical, identify common elements found in musicals, discuss the changes that have occurred within the genre throughout the years, recognize some key studios, producers, directors and actors in that genre, and identify sub-genres such as backyard, backstage, concert, etc. 

We'll look at the history of the musical as described by "That's Entertainment" as well as "Singin' in the Rain," "A Hard Day's Night," or another film TBD.

Assessment: Sound/Musical test- Essay on a musical chosen from the approved list.

STANDARD 3: Censorship / The Comedy

The student will understand the effect of censorship on the film industry, identify the elements and themes of the comedy genre, discuss censorship in cinema from the "Hays Code" to modern political correctness, debate motion pictures responsibilities and rights regarding movie content, identify common elements found in comedies, recognize some key studios, producers, directors and actors in that genre and identify sub-genres such as slapstick, screwball, parody, etc.

We'll look at the history of the musical as described by "America Cinema; Romantic Comedy" as well as “Some Like It Hot,” ”Duck Soup,” “Bringing up Baby,” “What’s Up, Doc?” or another film TBD.

Assessment: Censorship/ Comedy test.- Essay on a comedy chosen from the approved list.

STANDARD 4: The Studio System / The Western      

The student will understand the effect of the studio system on the film industry, identify the elements and themes of the western genre, discuss the ramifications of the "Major" studios owning theater chains, identify the "Big Five" studios that made up the Hollywood Studio System, examine the effect of studio contracts on actors and directors, identify common elements found in westerns, recognize some key studios, producers, directors and actors in that genre, identify sub-genres such as serials, spaghetti, singing cowboy, etc. 

We’ll examine the history of the studio system as described by "America Cinema; The Studio System" and the history of the western as described by "America Cinema; The Western" as well as " High Noon" - "Shane," "Stagecoach," “The Searchers,” or another film TBD.

Assessment: Studio System/Western test. Essay on a western chosen from the approved list.

STANDARD 5: Patriotism and Propaganda / The War Film

The student will understand the effect of war on the film industry, identify the elements and themes of the combat genre, discuss the ramifications of McCarthyism and the House Un-American Activities Committee, identify propaganda vs. patriotism, examine the role of war films on recruitment and war bonds, identify common elements found in combat films, recognize some key studios, producers, directors and actors in that genre, identify sub-genres such as pro-war and anti-war, etc. 

We’ll explore Hollywood’s relationship to the military as described by “America Cinema; The Combat Film,” and as well as “Patton,” “The Dirty Dozen,” “Sands of Iwo Jima,” or another film TBD.

Assessment: Patriotism/Combat test - Essay on a war movie chosen from the approved list. 

STANDARD 6: Bias in Cinema / The Documentary

The student will understand the role of the documentary film on the film industry, identify the elements and themes of the documentary genre, discuss the effect of director bias and objectivity in the documentary, identify documentary vs. docudramas, identify common elements found in documentary films, recognize some landmark films and directors in that genre, identify sub-genres such as bio-pics, Cinéma vérité, propaganda, etc. 

We’ll explore the history of documentaries as seen in “Triumph of the Will,” “The War Room,” “Spellbound,” “JFK,” “ABC News Presents The Kennedy Assassination - Beyond Conspiracy,” or another film TBD.

Assessment: Documentary test - Essay on a documentary chosen from the approved list. 

STANDARD 7: Cinematography / Film Noir 

The student will understand the effect of cinematography on the film industry, identify the elements and themes of the film noir genre, understand the vocabulary of cinematography, explain the effects that different camera angles, movements, framing, etc. have on the audience, identify common elements found in film noir, recognize some key studios, directors and actors in that genre, and identify sub-genres such as Gangster, Crime, Sci-fi, etc.

We'll enjoy the history of film noir as described by “America Cinema; Film Noir” as well as “Sunset Blvd.,” “Double Indemnity,” “Maltese Falcon,” “The Big Sleep,” or another film TBD.

Assessment: Cinematography/Film Noir test - Essay on a film noir chosen from the approved list.  

STANDARD 8: Editing / The Suspense Film

The student will understand the role of the editing in storytelling, identify the elements and themes of the suspense genre, discuss the effect of editorial choices, discuss Hitchcock’s influence, identify common elements found in suspense films, recognize some landmark films and directors in that genre, identify sub-genres such as political thrillers, psychological thrillers, etc. 

We’ll learn about the art of editing as described by “The Cutting Edge” as well as “The Manchurian Candidate,” “Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” “North by Northwest,” various Hitchcock scenes or another film TBD.

Assessment: Editing/Suspense test - Essay on a thriller chosen from the approved list. 

STANDARD 9: Directing / The Drama Film

The student will understand the role of the director, identify the elements and themes of the drama genre, discuss the validity of the auteur theory, discuss the evolution of the director’s  influence, identify common elements found in dramatic films, recognize some landmark films and directors in that genre,.

We’ll learn about the art of directing as described by “America Cinema; The TV Age” as well as “Citizen Kane,” “On the Waterfront,” “Rebel without a Cause,” “RKO281,” or another film TBD.

Assessment: Director/Drama test - Essay on a drama movie chosen from the approved list.  

STANDARD 10: The Film School Generation / The Blockbuster

The student will understand the Hollywood takeover by the “Film School Generation,” identify the elements and themes of the blocbuster genre, discuss the effect of focus groups, discuss the importance of the release dates, identify common elements found in blockbuster films, recognize some landmark films and directors in that genre,.

We’ll learn about the art of directing as described by “America Cinema; The Film School Generation,” as well as “ET,” “Back to the Future,” or another film TBD.

Final Essay on a director – Final exam

Non-Discrimination Statement

The Capistrano Unified School District prohibits discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying in all district activities, programs, and employment based upon actual or perceived gender, gender identity, gender expression, race, ethnicity, color, religion, ancestry, nationality, national origin, ethnic group identification, sex, sexual orientation, marital or parental status, pregnancy, age, physical or mental disability or on the basis of a person’s association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics. Reference: AR 1312.3, BP 1312.3 and BP 5183.

Rich Montgomery, Executive Director, Human Resource Services/Compliance
33122 Valle Road, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
(949) 234-9200

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