Cinema Theory & Practice
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Level: Undergraduate, Graduate
Division: Parsons The New School for Design
School: School of Art, Media and Technology
Department: Art, Media & Technology
Course Number: PSAM 5712
Course Format: Seminar
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: No
  • Video
  • Cultural Studies
  • Film & Video History, Theory & Criticism
This class implements an “archeological” approach, it takes a number of contemporary films that the students can be expected to be familiar with, and work outwards and backwards into the fundamentals of film style and film form from the 1920s onwards, highlighting significant features in Hollywood, European and Asian traditions - making sure that students by the end of the course have a better understanding for why certain films keep showing up in critics' and filmmakers' Top Twenty polls, for instance, as conducted every ten yeas by the British Film Institute. Especially since the 1970s, when filmmakers increasingly attended film schools or had an arts school background, films pay homage to films and directors of the ‘past’ by evoking and reworking scenes, moments, tropes, and techniques of filming. These forms of appropriation are now very common, thanks to the wide availability of films from all periods on the web, which raises pertinent ethical issues, about “ownership” and fan appreciation. We shall be studying some of the examples of this new form of cinephilia, across video essays and installation art that increasingly appeal to museums and galleries. The theoretical framework will be based on Thomas Elsaesser’s and Malte Hagener’s Film Theory Through the Senses, which focuses on the way the spectator experiences film through their senses, and traces this appropriation of cinema by its audiences from outer envelope, like window and door, through the inner senses, like touch and the ear, to the brain and mind. Students will be creating their own video essays and/or short films as part of the class experience and exercise.
Course Open to: Degree Students with Restrictions
Course Pre/Co-requisites:
Open to: Masters degree in Design & Technology majors only.


Open to Graduate students.


Open to Design and Technology students.