Film critic Robert Warshow once said that movies are "the mirror in which we see ourselves, and the screen through which we see reality." The remark is as apt today as when it was written almost half a century ago. Film, video, and television are components of global communications networks that entertain people and inform them about the planet they live on and the societies they live in. They are used to persuade us how to think, to convince us to buy things, and to entertain, but also to express the breadth of human imagination in vivid and emotionally compelling ways. Though commonplace -- perhaps because they form part of the daily lives of so many people -- they are important facets of contemporary culture. As viewers, we cheer the World Cup, sing along with the Live Aid musicians, share the terror of a devastating tsunami, in our millions, from Toronto to Tehran to Tokyo.
Without its visual media, the modern world would be unimaginable. In Film Studies, we approach many varied types of visual medias as means for understanding and participating fully in that world. The concentration includes historical inquires into the forces that have shaped the cinema and media; critical analysis of films and television and video productions; theories that explore the principles and functions of film; and the methods of making film and video. In most Film Studies courses, a film or video is used like a textbook in any other course, or like a specimen in a biology lab. First we have a look at it from the outside. We start examining how it's put together. Then we try to determine why it is the way it is.
Taught by four profs, assisted by a battery of student assistants who lead small-group discussions, Film Studies introductory course Film, Culture and Communications introduces students to a stimulating range of topics and approaches to film and contemporary culture from around the world. In addition to Film concentrations, Stage and Screen Studies, a collaborative program with the Department of Drama, offers students the opportunity to combine courses in film and theatre, and to explore their interaction.
The Department of Film Studies welcomes well-rounded high school graduates and does not require you to be media experts before you register. You have the opportunity to take courses in film and video production and in historical, critical and theoretical ways of understanding the many roles of the moving image in the world we inhabit.
No specific high school course is required to pursue a concentration in Film Studies
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Phone: (613) 533-2178
Fax: (613) 533-2063