VACV141 The Art of Independent Cinema (formerly COMC141)

Department of The Arts: Cinema/Video Production

I. Course Number and Title
VACV141 The Art of Independent Cinema (formerly COMC141)
II. Number of Credits
3 credits
III. Number of Instructional Minutes
IV. Prerequisites
Writing Placement Test score of 6 or COMP107 (C or better)
V. Other Pertinent Information
Students must attend an off-campus film screening.
VI. Catalog Course Description
Students examine films made outside of the film industry, which fall into three genres -- experimental, documentary, and animated. Particular emphasis is given to form and technique and how they are used to express meaning. The course traces the development of alternative cinema from its beginnings to the present.
VII. Required Course Content and Direction
  1. Course Learning Goals

    Students will:

    1. examine the importance of non-theatrical films produced outside of the film industries;
    2. interpret the possible meaning of a film using appropriate vocabulary and analysis;
    3. analyze how films create meaning apart from traditional narrative structure;
    4. explain the connection of the independent film to historical events; and
    5. identify ways in which avant-garde films have crossed over to influence mainstream cinema.
  2. Planned Sequence of Topics and/or Learning Activities

    Students view and analyze examples of documentary, animation, and experimental films. Film types studied may include: Dada, Cubist, Surrealist, Propaganda, American Avant-garde Cinema, Cinema Verite. They will learn basic terminology used in the study of films and apply this vocabulary to the discussion of films viewed. Students examine film as a reflection of its cultural origin and explore how it can be interpreted in the context of history, religion, politics, economics, social hierarchies, race relations, gender roles, etc.
  3. Assessment Methods for Course Learning Goals

    Students submit a mandatory film review and analysis paper, which demonstrates proper use and citation of research materials, and additional writing assignments.
  4. Reference, Resource, or Learning Materials to be used by Student:

    Students view films during class. Instructors select required readings and support materials. See course syllabus.

Review/Approval Date - 3/07; Revised 3/2010; New Core 8/2015