Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Summer 2021
Units: 4
Hours: 4 lecture, 1 laboratory per week (60 total per quarter)
Advisory: Not open to students with credit in F TV 2A or VART 2A.
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Area I: Humanities
Transferable: CSU/UC
Grade Type: Letter Grade (Request for Pass/No Pass)
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Student Learning Outcomes

  • A successful student will demonstrate the ability to analyze and synthesize the language of moving image media.
  • A successful student will identify major film historical movements in U.S. and International film from 1895 to 1940.


Survey of the development of motion pictures from beginning to the 1940s. Emphasis on understanding evolution of international filmmaking.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:
A. Identify and explain basic facts concerning the early techniques of film-making.
B. Identify and describe the historic evolution of such film forms as fiction, documentary, experimental.
C. Describe the evolution of camera, lighting, editing, sound, mise-en-scene.
D. Identify the major films and film-makers who contributed to film art and commerce.
E. Critique and evaluate films in terms of genre, style and technical accomplishment.
F. Critically write, analyze, and research on film.

Course Content

A. Formative years of filmmaking; its artistic and commercial expansion
1. The experiments and works of Edison, Lumieres, and Melies
2. The development of narrative fiction: Hepworth and Porter
3. Contributions and innovations of Griffith
4. Establishment of producer/distributor/exhibition system
B. Evolution of narrative fiction, documentary, and experimental film
1. Impact of the new technology
2. The establishment of the studio system
3. Emergence of film genres, the 'star' system
4. Refinement of the 'alternative' films, such as documentary and experimental films
C. Establishment of an international film language
1. Technical advancements in lighting, editing, camerawork and sound
2. Influence of German Expressionism, Soviet montage, French Dadaism, Surrealism
3. Emphasis on culturally diverse evolution of film
D. Major films, major film-makers
1. Historical and artistic value of individual films
2. Pioneering contributions of individual film-makers
E. Appraisal of major films
1. Critical thinking to appraise artistic merit of individual films and director's style
2. Evaluation of the cultural, historic and sociological aspect of films
3. Critical act of writing and the purpose and importance of research and documentation

Lab Content

A. Screenings of films and videos either on-campus or via the internet, including narrative fiction, fine art, and documentary for completion of written assignments.
B. Feedback on tests and assignments either in person or online via chat rooms, listservs and newsgroups.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

A. Forum-type room with projection booth, video projection system, amplified sound system. Internet access and laptop computer patch to system. Playback equipment formats required: DVD, Blu-Ray, audio cassette.
B. Library for film research, books, scripts, videotape/DVD playback facility.
C. When taught via Foothill Online Learning: on-going access to computer with email software and capabilities; email address, JavaScript-enabled internet browsing software, and videotape viewing ability as stated in B.

Method(s) of Evaluation

Methods of Evaluation may include but are not limited to the following:

Exams or quizzes which reference the reading materials, films, and text
Written research and analysis essays on individual films, film movements, creative artists
Presentation of research project
Viewing assigned films and videotapes
Written journals and discussion forum when taught via Foothill Online Learning

Method(s) of Instruction

Methods of Instruction may include but are not limited to the following:

Lectures and presentations that present and examine course objectives
Discussion and critique of assigned reading and representative media
Cooperative learning exercises that require students to apply course content
Group project presentation followed by in-class or online discussion and evaluation
Screenings of media that illustrate and support course content

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Bordwell, David, and Kristin Thompson. Film History: An Introduction. 2009.

Cook, David. A History of Narrative Film, 4th ed.. 2016.

Corrigan, Timothy. A Short Guide to Writing About Film, 5th ed.. 2014.

Sklar, Robert. Film: An International History of the Medium. 2009.

Mast, Gerald, and Bruce Kawin. A Short History of the Movies, 11th ed.. 2011.

Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

A. Critical film analyses in the form of journals or online discussion assignments.
B. Analytical essay that requires student to select film(s) from viewing list and construct, develop and defend an argument referencing the film and the reading materials.
C. Analytical essay that requires student to conduct independent research on a film of their choosing in relation to film form, theory, ideology, or historical issues.


Media Production or Film Studies