To get us started this semester I am going to spend the first two classes giving you background lectures about some basic cinematic concepts. Once you are a little more familiar with basic film terminology, we will be ready to look at the history of movies in the United States. You’ll be expected to attend showing of films on Tuesday evenings at 7 o’clock in Jennings Auditorium. That’s our lab. Then during our Wednesday seminar, we’ll discuss in depth the movie we saw the night before. We are not covering silent films in this course. We will begin with the first talking motion picture, The Jazz Singer, released in 1927. The next week, we’ll be looking at The Gold Diggers of 1933, a piece that is very representative of the escapist trend in films released during the depression. Some of the films we will be watching will probably be new to you, like Frank Capra’s Why We Fight. Others you might have already seen on TV like Rebel without A Cause starring James Deane, or Stanley Cooper’s Doctor’s Strange Love. However, I hope you see even familiar film with new eye. In the last three weeks of the course, we will be watching films from the 1980s and you’ll choose one of them as a subject for an extensive written critique. We’ll talk more about the requirements of the critique later in this semester.