Film Studies

  • Department Information

    Film Studies

    Jessica Chan, Interim Coordinator (Languages, Literatures, and Cultures)
    Professor Kathrin Bower (Languages, Literatures, and Cultures), Francoise Ravaux-Kirkpatrick (Languages, Literatures, and Cultures), 
    Associate Professors Jessica Chan (Languages, Literatures, and Cultures), Abigail Cheever (English), Erika Damer (Classical Studies), Jeremy Drummond (Visual Media and Arts Practice & Art History), Peter Lurie (English), Jeffrey Riehl (Music), Monika Siebert (English)
    Assistant Professor Sonja Bertucci (Film Studies and French) 

    The film studies major is designed to furnish an integrated, interdisciplinary approach to the study of cinema, providing work in film history, theory, aesthetics, and production and considering U.S., international, indigenous and ethnic films. Students choose among courses offered in a number of different departments and programs to explore how individual movies, particular genres and stylistic movements, groundbreaking directors, and different regional, ethnic, and national film traditions reflect and influence the worlds of which they are a part. In so doing, students develop crucial skills in critical thinking, visual and textual analysis, and written and verbal communication that are vital for success in the majority of today's careers.

    The major consists of ten courses. Three core courses are required: the introduction to film studies, the introduction to film production, and a capstone research seminar to be taken in the junior or senior year. The remaining courses are electives offered by departments such as art and art history, classical studies, English, journalism, Latin American and Iberian studies, languages, literatures, and cultures, and music. These courses have been divided into three groups (A, B, and C); students choose two courses each from groups A and B. This range of courses provides students with the opportunity to construct a program of study that is targeted to their particular interests.

    New courses are continually being developed, so check the film studies web site and BannerWeb for the most up to date schedule of recent and upcoming courses.

  • Major

    The Film Studies Major

    Note: Note: No more than four courses can be taken at the 200-level or below without permission of the relevant professor and the film studies coordinator.

    10 units, including:

    FMST 201 Introduction to Film Studies

    FMST 202 Introduction to Film Production

    FMST 400 Research Seminar

    Two Group A courses

    Two Group B courses

    Three additional courses from either Group A, B, or C
    (The course groupings are listed under the Film Studies Course Groups tab.)

  • Minor

    The Film Studies Minor

    Note: Note: No more than four courses can be taken at the 200-level or below without permission of the relevant professor and the film studies coordinator.

    Six units, including:

    FMST 201 Introduction to Film Studies

    FMST 202 Introduction to Film Production

    One Group A course

    One Group B course

    Two additional courses from either Group A, B, or C
    (The course groupings are listed under the Film Studies Course Groups tab.)

  • Major/Minor Courses

    Film Studies Course Groups

    Core Curriculum:

    FMST 201 Introduction to Film Studies

    FMST 202 Introduction to Film Production

    FMST 400 Research Seminar

    Group A Courses:

    ENGL 367 Indigenous Film in North America

    FMST 265 German Cinema

    FMST 367 Culture in the Making: Conception and Actualization of a Film Festival

    FMST 371 Introduction to Latin American Film

    FREN 465 French Film

    LLC 227 Action Genre in East Asian Cinema

    LLC 283 Cinema Around the World

    LLC 355 Chinese Cinema

    Group B Courses:

    CLCS 329 The Ancient World in Cinema

    ENGL 361 Literature and Film

    ENGL 368 History and Aesthetics of Film

    ENGL 369 American Culture/American Film

    ENGL 379 Film Directors

    ENGL 380 Film Genres

    FMST 374 Film Theory

    MUS 221 Music in Film

    Group C Courses:

    FMST 302 Intermediate Film Production

    JOUR 307 Documentary Journalism

    VMAP 117 Introduction to Film, Sound and Video

    VMAP 260 Thematic Explorations in Sound and Video Art

    VMAP 310 Time-Based Media Studio

    Additional courses:

    FMST 397 Selected Topics in Film Studies (depending on subject matter, each iteration of this course would be categorized as either Group A, B, or C and apportioned accordingly)

Courses

Expand All
  • FMST 201 Introduction to Film Studies

    Units: 1

    Fulfills General Education Requirement (FSLT)

    Description

    Introduces the methodology of film studies through close textual analysis of narrative film. Special attention paid to the international history of the medium, the language of production, and major critical approaches. (Same as ENGL 220.)

  • FMST 202 Introduction to Film Production

    Units: 1

    Description

    The art and technique of film production, including the fundamental principles of shot composition, lighting, sound, and editing and development of critical and aesthetic sensibilities.

  • FMST 265 German Cinema

    Units: 1

    Fulfills General Education Requirement (FSLT)

    Description

    Survey of German cinema from the 1930s to the present emphasizing the historical and cultural context in which the films were produced. (Same as LLC 265.)

  • FMST 283 Cinema Around the World

    Units: 1

    Description

    Global survey of contemporary cinema. Approaches the cutting edge of audio-visual media production in national and transnational contexts with a focus on their aesthetic, socio-cultural, political, philosophical, and historical significance. (Same as LLC 283.)

  • FMST 302 Intermediate Film Production

    Units: 1

    Description

    Intensive film production course for students with previous filmmaking experience. Includes sophisticated technical and aesthetic skills involved in professional level film production through writing, producing, and directing narrative films.

    Prerequisites

    Film Studies 202

  • FMST 367 Culture in the Making: Conception and Actualization of a Film Festival

    Units: 1

    Description

    Experience in the creation and preparation of a major annual cultural event, the French Film Festival presented by the University of Richmond and VCU, leading to significant enhancement of knowledge of contemporary cinema and culture, exposure to production and distribution models, and to cultural management. (Same as FREN 467.)

    Prerequisites

    Either FMST 201 or 202.

  • FMST 374 Film Theory

    Units: 1

    Description

    The course examines several different approaches to understanding what is unique the film medium as a both an expressive art and a social and critical discourse. Models include the classic theories of realism of André Bazin and Siegfried Kracuer; the social and material history of Walter Benjamin, Theodor Adorno, and the Frankfurt School; feminism and gender studies; phenomenology; sound in cinema; critical race theory and whiteness studies; and digital media, among others. (Same as English 374.)

    Prerequisites

    Film Studies 201 or English 220, 297, or 298 with a grade of C or better.

  • FMST 388 Individual Internship

    Units: 1

    Description

    Application of skills outside of the department in areas related to film studies. Possibilities might include working for a film festival or film series, on a film under production, or in associated fields. No more than one unit may apply towards the degree.

    Prerequisites

    Departmental approval

  • FMST 397 Selected Topics

    Units: 1

    Description

    Selected topics in film studies (such as various national cinemas; the significance of particular directors, schools, or movements; period designations, or thematic approaches) for students pursuing a Film Studies major.

  • FMST 399 Independent Study

    Units: .5-1

    Description

    Individually designed course of study supervised by a faculty member.

    Prerequisites

    Department Approval

  • FMST 400 Research Seminar

    Units: 1

    Description

    Required seminar for majors taken in junior or senior year. Seminar focused around the in-depth study of an individual topic, culminating in a substantial research paper. Topics and instructors vary from semester to semester.

    Prerequisites

    Film Studies 201 or English 220 with a grade of C or better

  • FMST 406 Summer Undergraduate Research

    Units: 0

    Description

    Documentation of the work of students who receive summer fellowships to conduct research [or produce a creative arts project] in the summer. The work must take place over a minimum of 8 weeks, the student must engage in the project full-time (at least 40 hours per week) during this period, and the student must be the recipient of a fellowship through the university. Graded S/U.

    Prerequisites

    Approval for summer Arts and Sciences fellowship by faculty mentor