Traveling Through Film: New Class Analyzes World Cinema

By Cassandra Sottile 
Elm Staff Writer

Want to take a course in which you can watch films from all over the world? Now you can.

Starting in the fall semester, the Communication and Media Studies Department will be offering World Cinema I, taught by Dr. Alicia Kozma. The course is an aesthetic, historical, and industrial survey of film from its commercial beginnings up to 1957. World Cinema II will cover 1957 to the present.

“We will start the class by understanding how to watch a movie—looking at the type of shots used, editing patterns, technology, etc.—to critically analyze a movie. Armed with these skills, we will move toward evaluating film including aesthetics, narrative, content, genre, form, and the three primary aspects of the film industry: production, distribution, and exhibition on a global scale,” Dr. Kozma said.

Students will watch films from the U.S., China, Russia, Japan, India, Germany, France, Great Britain, and more.

“Film has always been a global culture, so to study film is to study the world,” Dr. Kozma said.

World Cinema I and II are part of a new concentration to the communications major—film studies. Part of the seven required classes for the concentration is a sequence of required three courses: World Cinema I, World Cinema II, and Film Theory. Film Theory will also be offered this fall semester for the first time, while World Cinema II will be offered in spring 2019.

“The addition of a film studies concentration was a result of the students—since I’ve been at WC students have been asking about a film studies program. Now we have one,” she said.

There are no prerequisites to take either of the World Cinema courses. While there are no prerequisites for Film Theory either, it is a 400-level class, which means only sophomores and above are recommended to take it.

“The idea and scope of the class has been the foundation to the academic study of film for decades, so it comes from a long tradition of film scholars. As a film scholar and teacher myself, I am excited to teach this class,” she said.

The class will meet three times a week, broken up into two class periods that are a mix of lecture, discussion, and project work. The third class meeting is a unique lab at WC in which students will watch movies.

“One of my favorite things about teaching this class which is something that happens every time I’ve put it on a schedule—students always like it more that they think they will, and they end up learning so much because of that,” Dr. Kozma said.

The class will contain creative work such as storyboards and visual essays, but students do not have be artists or have an art background for the class.

“Creative work in this class is more about finding multiple ways to express your knowledge that making something that can hang in a gallery. Take it from someone who can’t even draw a straight line,” Dr. Kozma said.

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