Summer Film Course | Introduction to the Study and Theory of Film

3 points
Session 2 (July 5-August 12), MW, 1-4:10PM
Instructor: Stuart Weinstock

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The goal of this course is to introduce students to the fundamentals of film history and film analysis. We’ll focus on cinema as an art form first and foremost, but always taking into account technological, economic, and cultural/political/ideological factors as well.

Over the course of six weeks, students will:

• Learn the basic grammar of film language and examine how story and meaning are communicated to viewers

• Analyze film scenes by breaking them down shot by shot

• Gain a broad understanding of cinema history, from the early years of silent film in the United States and Europe to recent innovations in Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East

• Study key moments in the medium’s development, including the coming of sound, the rise and fall of the classical Hollywood studio system, the transition from celluloid to digital video, and more

• Consider how film evolved in relation to the other arts and media

• Explore the work of major directors such as D.W. Griffith, Fritz Lang, Alfred Hitchcock, Vittorio De Sica, Akira Kurosawa, Agnes Varda, and Wong Kar-Wai

• Learn about modes of filmmaking outside the mainstream narrative tradition, including documentaries and avant-garde/experimental film

• Sample a wide range of approaches to film criticism and theory, from Soviet montage and auteurism to feminism, post-colonialism, and beyond

Tuition & Fees
The 2016 rate for current degree seeking students and visiting students is $1630 per point. Students enrolled in postbaccalaureate and certification programs can review tuition and fees here.

Materials Fee: $30
For questions about School of the Arts summer courses, including those concerning admissions, registration, and billing, please contact the School of Professional Studies summer team at or 212-854-9666. With questions about specific course content, please contact Film Departmental Representative Robert King at

About the Instructor
Stuart Weinstock is a writer, a director, and a professor of Film. He earned his BA in Film Studies and Psychology from Columbia College, and his MFA in Directing from Columbia's School of the Arts. His short films have screened and won awards at film festivals worldwide. Stuart has taught Film at Ramapo College of New Jersey, Mercy College, and the New York Film Academy. His courses for Columbia include Topics in American Cinema: the History of Comedy, Auteur Study: Steven Spielberg, and New Hollywood: 1967-1980. Stuart also works with Columbia's Institute of Israel and Jewish Studies, programming Israeli films and film speakers for the entire university community.
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Columbia University School of the Arts offers MFA degrees in Film, Theatre, Visual Arts, and Writing, an MA degree in Film Studies, a joint JD/MFA degree in Theatre Management & Producing, a PhD degree in Theatre History, Literature, and Theory, and an interdisciplinary program in Sound Arts.