Introduction to the Study and Theory of Film

3 points
Session II: July 6 - Aug 14
M, W 12 - 4 pm
Instructor: Nelson Kim
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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
Most summer courses are offered at the standard Continuing Education tuition rate of
$1,570 per point ($4,710 for a 3-point course).
For more information on tuition and course fees, please refer to our Tuition & Fees page.

Materials Fee: $30
For questions about School of the Arts course content, please write to our summer team at For all other Summer Program questions, including admissions, registration, and billing, please contact the School of Continuing Education summer team at, or 212-854-9666.

About the Instructor
Nelson Kim

Nelson Kim received his MFA from Columbia’s Film Program in 2007. His short films have screened at Urbanworld Film Festival, Anthology Film Archives, Palm Springs Shortfest, Asia Society, CAAMFest, and the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival. more
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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.