Introduction to the Study and Theory of Film

This Summer 2014 course is now closed. Please join our mailing list to find out more about our Summer 2015 course offerings.
3 Points
Session I: May 27 - July 3
M, W 12 - 4 PM
Instructor: Nelson Kim

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 $1,512 per point ($4,536 for a 3-point course and $9,072 for a six-point intensive). For more detailed information, please see "tuition and fees":
Materials fee: $30

About the Instructor

Nelson Kim holds a BA in English and Film from the University of California at Berkeley and an MFA in Film from Columbia University. He is currently completing post-production on his debut feature film as a writer/director, Someone Else, starring Aaron Yoo (Disturbia, Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, The Tomorrow People) and Leonardo Nam (The Perfect Score, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, 1 and 2).

Nelson is an adjunct professor in Columbia’s Film Program and Fordham University’s Department of Communication and Media Studies. He is a regular contributor to the website Hammer to Nail, and has also written reviews and criticism for Senses of Cinema, Filmmaker Magazine and Fandor.

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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.