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FLM 20 — The History of Cinema Told Through Great Films: 1895–1932

Quarter: Fall
Day(s): Tuesdays
Course Format: Live Online (About Formats)
Duration: 8 weeks
Date(s): Sep 21—Nov 16
Time: 7:00—8:50 pm (PT)
Refund Deadline: Sep 23
Unit: 1
Tuition: $370
Instructor(s): Jonathan Crow
Class Recording Available: Yes
Status: Open
Please Note: No class on October 19
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Live Online(About Formats)
7:00—8:50 pm (PT)
Sep 21—Nov 16
8 weeks
Refund Date
Sep 23
1 Unit
Jonathan Crow
Please Note: No class on October 19
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
In December 1895, Auguste and Louis Lumière projected their moving pictures to a mesmerized audience at the Salon Indien du Grand Café in Paris, marking the birth of cinema. Though its creators had little faith in the future of their invention, film quickly would evolve from a sideshow gimmick to the most popular, and powerful, art form of the 20th century. This course will trace cinema’s evolution from its infancy to the sound era that began in the late 1920s. We will see how filmmakers working in America, like Alice Guy Blaché, D.W. Griffith, and Charlie Chaplin, created a cinematic grammar that transported moviegoers to beautiful dream worlds. Filmmakers in the nascent Soviet Union, such as Sergei Eisenstein in films like Strike and Battleship Potemkin created brilliant polemical works that revolutionized film editing. In such films as The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and The Last Laugh, German filmmakers like Robert Wiene and F.W. Murnau found ways to visually depict the interior world of unsound minds in ways that still feel shocking 100 years later. Students will come away with a strong understanding of the richness of silent movies and the historical contexts for these films.

All films can be rented or streamed instantly through Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube, iTunes, Google Play Movies, or other online platforms.

This course is part of a seven-course series on the history of film. While these courses build upon one another, each course can be taken independently as well.

Artist; Filmmaker

Jonathan Crow received an MFA in filmmaking from the California Institute of the Arts and an MA in Japanese studies from the University of Michigan. He worked in the Hollywood film industry for a dozen years as a writer and editor before working as a film journalist at Yahoo! Movies.

Textbooks for this course:

There are no required textbooks; however, some fee-based online readings may be assigned.