Perspectives on Film
I. Course Prefix/Number: HUM 260
Course Name: Perspectives on Film
Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)
III. Course (Catalog) Description
IV. Learning Objectives
A. Identify different narrative, non-narrative, and documentary modes of filmmaking.
B. Recognize and evaluate the most recent critical methodologies for examining film (at least three methodologies will be examined).
C. Develop media literacy by learning to read films as media texts, that is, to be active rather than passive viewers.
D. Apply concepts and classroom experiences to increase their enjoyment of film outside of class.
E. Develop their critical thinking and writing skills.
V. Academic Integrity and Student Conduct
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.
There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.
Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at
VI. Sequence of Topics
A. Modes of Filmmaking
B. Introduction to the Course
C. Critical Methodologies for Studying Film: A Brief Overview
D. Narrative Film: Form and Function
E. Documentary Film: Form and Function
F. Animation/The Experimental Film: Form and Function
G. Genre Theory
H. What is Genre Theory?
I. Genre #1: The Conventions of the Western (or horror, sci-fi, musicals)
J. Interpreting the Western
K. Genre #2: The Conventions of Film Noir
L. Interpreting Film Noir
M. Authorship Theory
N. What is Authorship Theory?
O. What makes a Director an Auteur?
P. Director #1: (s/b director from the past, i.e. Hitchcock, Wilder, Ford)
Q. Director #2: (s/b director from the recent past, i.e. Coppola, Scorsese)
R. Director #3: (s/b contemporary director, i.e. Spielberg, Lee)
S. The Director in Contemporary Hollywood
T. Issues of Creative Control
U. Corporate Hollywood vs. the Auteur
V. National Cinema
W. What is the study of a national cinema?
X. Introduction to the Cinema of Iran (or France, Australia, China, etc., etc.)
Y. The Cinema of Iran - Continued
Z. The Cinema of Iran - Conclusion
AA. The following are alternative topics for Section IV:
BB. Feminist Film Studies
CC. What is a Feminist Approach to Studying Film?
DD. The Earliest Theories and Writings
EE. Changes in Feminist Film Theory
FF. Issues Regarding Women in Film
GG. Female Characters and the Motion Picture Production Code
HH. Issues Regarding Women in Film
II. Female Characters in Male-Dominated Genres
JJ. The Hero in Cinema
KK. Introduction to the Study of Heroes (A Part of Structuralism)
LL. The Hero’s Journey and the Classic Hollywood Protagonist
MM. The Hero Falls: Protagonists from the Film School Generation
NN. Contemporary Heroes
OO. Hollywood and the Star System
PP. Introduction to Star Studies
QQ. What Are the Star System and Star Images?
RR. History of the Star System
SS. Stars as Cultural Barometer
TT. Stars as a Storytelling Technique: How Directors Use Stars
VII. Methods of Instruction
B. Small group work
D. Student presentations and debates
E. Guest speakers
F. Field trips may be required
Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.
VIII. Course Practices Required
B. Standards for written work
F. Final Project
G. Special policies about make-up exams, late papers, or other matters of concern
IX. Instructional Materials
A. Text: VARIES BY INSTRUCTOR
X. Methods of Evaluating Student Progress
A. Quizzes/Exams……40 points
B. Essays……40 points
C. Final project with oral presentation……10 points
D. Attendance and participation………10 points
E. Grading scale: 90-100, A…….80-89, B………70-79, C……….60-69……..D
XI. Other Course Information
Office and office hours:
Email and website:
If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.
Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.
Resources and support for
- pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
- victims of sexual misconduct
Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at www.oakton.edu/lgbtq.