Gearing Up for an Introduction to Film Studies

Lumière Brothers, Workers Leaving The Lumière Factory (1895)

Last semester I had the pleasure of designing and implementing an upper level film history course at Kwantlen Polytechnic University titled "Film and the City: Representations and Realities of the Metropolis." Teaching this course has been one of the highlights of the year for me, and I had a fantastic group of students with whom I was able to explore and discuss the themes of the dynamic intersections of the filmic medium and the emergence of the “city” as both a conceptual and material idea, examining how filmmakers and the techniques of filmmaking from the early 20th C. forward have been closely bound up in representing the visual, spatial, and mental contours of the metropolis.

As a result of the interest in the course and the growing popularity of film studies courses at Kwantlen, I was asked to put together an Introduction to Film Studies course (to be debuted this September) that covers some of the basic context and history of the medium. The fact that the Vancouver International Film Festival runs each year in the fall semester was also an important consideration when putting the course together, and students will be encouraged to check out the event as part of the class. Kristi Alexandra, the culture editor over at The Runner, called me a few weeks ago to run a story on the interest in film studies at Kwantlen Interest in Film Studies Piques at Kwantlen and did a nice job of summarizing my enthusiasm for the new course (which I think is now full!).