FS 201 A1: Intro to Film History I

W. Beard

A historical survey of cinema from its beginnings in the 1890s to 1950. Major elements will include early cinema, the formation of “classical” film language, the arrival of feature films, the establishment of film industries in Europe, Japan and the United States, and studio production systems from the 1920s onwards. There will be some concentration on important moments in international cinema from the 1920s to the 1940s, including Scandinavian silent film, German Expressionism and Weimar-era cinema, French Poetic Realism of the 1930s, Japanese cinema in the interwar period, the so-called Golden Age of Hollywood studio filmmaking, and Italian Neo-Realism of the 1940s. Whenever possible, these developments will be exemplified in films of artistic stature, by filmmakers of historical importance.