Home On-Campus
Online Schedule Summer
Assignments Grades Conduct Study Guides


FILM 2100: Introduction to Film

Instructor: Dr. Virginia Bonner

vbonner@clayton.edu :-)
678-466-4713 :-(

Web Address:


Office hours: in person in Carnes Hall 105 or by email, phone, or Teams
Fall 2023
3-0-3 credit hours

Section 1 CRN 80706 MW 12:45-2:00pm in UC 272
Section 2 CRN 80707 MW 2:10-3:25pm in UC 272
Section 90 CRN 80709 Online

Film Screenings:

Via D2L Free Streaming Links or via DVD Library Reserve


Course Objectives and Learning Outcomes

We are here because we all love movies! Film is both fun and an art form with a language and an aesthetic all its own. So, in FILM 2100 we will approach film as the public literature and graphic art of our time. Through lectures, readings, film screenings, and discussions, you will learn how to analyze the formal and stylistic, aesthetic and ethical elements of cinema. We will study a range of great movies from international film history; you may not love every film we study, but you will definitely become a more informed, sophisticated film viewer. You'll never watch movies the same way again!

Course Format

We will spend the first half of the course studying the formal techniques and terminology of film art--the language of cinema! During the second half, we will explore how various filmmakers have employed these cinematic techniques to achieve different historical and meaningful effects. Note that our reading load will be heaviest during the first half of the course as we learn this new language of cinema, becoming considerably lighter during the second half.

Be sure to check D2L Announcements and your CSU email account regularly for important notices and updates; this is especially important if you are enrolled in an online version of the course, since we do not regularly meet in person. "I didn't check my email for a few days so I only just got your message" or "I never check that account" might mean that you miss important course updates.

Please always arrive five minutes early to on-campus class lectures, not only because we will start promptly and you'll miss important stuff, but also because late arrivals are extremely disruptive to your classmates and professor. If you must arrive late, enter the room quietly and grab a seat on the aisle; do not step over people to get to a favorite seat, since this blocks the view of the screen for others. Please do not text, eat loud foods, sleep, answer cell phones, operate computers, check email, work on other projects, talk with classmates loudly, or leave the room for food or other non-emergencies during class lectures; these are a time for serious study of our film texts so you should be taking copious notes during each film and class lecture to prepare for your quizzes, class discussions, and exams. You may wish to bring a penlight to classes to help you take notes in the dark. Anyone behaving disruptively during class will be asked to leave.

Film Viewings

Please note that our assigned weekly films are fundamental to your success in the course, and this material will be on exams. If you do not plan to view the films streaming or in the library on DVD on your own outside of class, you should take our course at another time when you can devote the time needed to succeed.

You do not need to purchase these films. Most of our assigned films are available for free via streaming hyperlinks posted on D2L, and most are also on DVD reserve in the CSU library. Some of our films are also available streaming or via Netflix or Amazon for very reasonable rates. Do not watch our films via YouTube segments, and watch on as large a screen as you can; a phone is too small to see the details we'll be studying. Plus, the poor video and audio quality make this is a terrible way to study movies!

We will view additional excerpts from selected films during class lectures, and this material will be on exams as well. Be sure to print out the In-Class Screening List for the full list of film clips that we'll be seeing in class, and to bring it to class with you every day!

Recommended Textbooks (Textbook readings are optional but recommended; book is available at the campus bookstore or via online retailers)

1. Bordwell, David and Kristin Thompson, Film Art: An Introduction, 12th Edition. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2019 ISBN 978-1260565669.
Amazon link with free 2-day shipping for college students.

--Or purchase much cheaper earlier editions or rentals via Amazon or the e-book version via McGraw-Hill or the amazingly inexpensive EBookPlan downloadable ebook for just $25.00!
--Older editions of the textbook purchased used are just fine. Note that assigned page numbers differ in these older editions.
--You do NOT need to purchase the online textbook "Connect" materials; they are expensive! But you may certainly use them if you wish to study with them.
2. Selected supplemental readings (hyperlinks to PDF readings posted on D2L)
3. Required weekly films (free streaming hyperlinks via D2L or available free on DVD reserve in library, plus a few Amazon Instant Video rentals to rent individually.)

We will cover all chapters of these course materials in their entirety. Course textbooks & most of our films are on free reserve in the CSU library. You do not need to bring your book to class, but you do need to read it before class!

Computer Requirement

Each CSU student needs ready access throughout the semester to a notebook computer that meets hardware and software requirements for the student's academic program. For further information on CSU's Official Notebook Computer Policy, please go to http://www.clayton.edu/hub/itpchoice/notebookcomputerpolicy

Especially for online students, I recommend ear buds or headphones for our video lectures and films, and you will need a webcam with microphone if your computer does not include them to take our online quizzes.

In-class Use of Student Notebook Computers

Student notebook computers will not be used in the classroom in this course, except perhaps for one or two dates that will be posted on our syllabus in advance. Computers are required to access course materials and to communicate with your instructor outside of class. Online assessments will take place in D2L, the virtual classroom for the course. 

Computer Skill Prerequisites

Able to view streaming video files
Able to use a Web browser
Able to use (and own or borrow) a webcam and microphone (the library has computers you can reserve too)
Able to use D2L (see online tutorial videos for assistance)
Able to send and receive CSU e-mail
Able to attach and retrieve attached files via email

Disability Services

I'm happy to work with individuals who need to request accommodations; to obtain your paperwork, contact the Disability Resource Center in Edgewater Hall, Suite 255, 678-466-5445, DisabilityResourceCenter@clayton.edu

Note: If you have added this course during the schedule change period and/or were not present for the syllabus review/orientation the first day of class, you are required to meet with me immediately after class or during my office hours to review course requirements and policies.

Helpful Resources

The Center for Academic Success, or CAS, provides personalized one-on-one tutoring in over 100 subjects taught at the University. If you think you need a little more than a tutor, perhaps help with how to study or time management, the Center's Academic Coaches will work with you one-on-one to develop your academic competencies. You could also attend our academic success workshops, moderated study groups, and informal study sessions. Stop by for a visit! You will enjoy our comfortable study environment and can have a snack in our a student study lounge. You can just walk into the Center (we are in 276 Edgewater Hall around the corner from the bursar) or make a tutoring appointment online through the SWAN. Visit http://www.clayton.edu/cas/Tutoring for more information about how to schedule a tutoring appointment or call (678)-466-4070 or emailthecas@clayton.edu.

At The Writers’ Studio our goal is to give rise to better writers, not just to better writing. We don’t simply proofread your paper; we teach you how to become a more organized, resourceful, exacting, and accomplished writer. In our face-to-face and online sessions, a writing consultant will talk with you about any stage of your writing process, about any aspect of your project, regarding any subject. Here’s what we can do for you:

• Do you need help understanding an assignment?
• Organizing your thoughts?
• Developing a thesis statement?
• Documenting sources?
• Do you need a refresher on grammar, punctuation, or spelling?

Location: Arts & Sciences, Room G-224
Telephone: 678-466-4728
E-mail: writers@clayton.edu
Microsoft Teams: Front Desk on Microsoft Teams
Website: https://www.clayton.edu/arts-sciences/departments/english/writers-studio/ 

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS): A range of issues can cause barriers to learning, such as stress, strained relationships, feeling down, difficulty concentrating, and lack of motivation. During the semester, if you find that life stressors are interfering with your academic or personal success, consider contacting Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS). All students are eligible for counseling services at no charge. CAPS is located in Edgewater Hall, Room 245. You can reach them by phone at 678-466-5406 or email to request an appointment at counseling@clayton.edu.