Required Viewing (Film Appreciation)

In this series of seminars students will become familiar with how to understand and read the visual language of cinema and will become more acquainted with some of the greatest filmmakers who have ever lived.  Pre-registration is required. Email craig@nwfilmforum for registration.

See our past Required Viewing classes here.


A Survey of Experimental Film & Video

March 2nd - 23rd (Wednesdays) 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Instructor: Gretchen Burger
Tuition: $120 ($95 for Film Forum members)

A Survey of Experimental Film & Video:

What do hand-painted films from the 1950’s have to do with datamoshing? How do early found footage films intersect with gif cutlure and digital storytelling platforms like Zeega? In this survey class, we will pair the work of pioneering experimental film and video giants like Maya Deren, Stan Brakhage, and Nam Jun Paik with contemporary artists, and examine different types of film experimentation—including expanding storytelling beyond linear narratives, working with rule sets, repurposing found footage and manipulating the medium (celluloid, signal, pixels).  If you have ever left an experimental film screening feeling curious, perplexed or mad, this just might be the class for you!

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Reception Studies

March 21st - April 11th (Mondays) 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Instructor: John Trafton
Tuition: $120 ($95 for Film Forum members)

This four-week workshop will look at the interaction between audiences and film—how the context and conditions surrounding a film’s release influence the way a spectator views a film. Reception Studies departs from the traditional Film Studies argument that the film’s text is the site of meaning, instead focusing on how historical events, cultural influences, demographic shifts, and technological advances can shape audience reception. Participants in this workshop will gain a stronger understanding of what can be revealed through studying a film’s reception at a given historical moment and how studying film reception can strengthen their own skills as filmmaker, film writer, or a scholar of a related

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Film & Media Theory

March 30th - April 20th (Wednesdays) 6:30pm - 9:30pm
Instructor: Vaun Raymond
Tuition: $120 ($95 for Film Forum members)

Students will learn and apply analytical skills for understanding how people create meaning through metaphors in film and other media.

The primary goal of the workshop is to provide filmmakers with classical concepts and terminology for discussing and understanding films, including their own. A secondary goal is to emphasize the power of metaphor and encourage filmmakers to recognize the opportunities and responsibilities associated with this power in today's society.

We will examine films from both academic and practical standpoints. Academic considerations will include aesthetics, symbolism, ideology, politics and cultural references. Practical considerations will include story structure, mise-en-scene, visual composition, creative use of lenses, blocking, camera movement, sound design and other technical matters. The latter discussions will focus on how practical techniques are used for aesthetic and metaphoric purposes.

The workshop will consist of four sessions of three hours each. Each session will be a blend of multi-media presentations, learning games and screenings of films with frequent pauses for guided discussion.

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Disability in Film

March 15th - April 5th,  (Tuesdays) 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Instructor: David Church
Tuition: $110 ($90 for Film Forum members)

People with disabilities have long been stereotyped in the movies, serving as easynarrative shortcuts to fear and pathos for nondisabled viewers. This course explores examples of traditional disability representation, plus films pushing the boundaries of how disability can be cinematically depicted. Students will be expected to watch and discuss two films per week. Films may include: Freaks, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Blue, My Left Foot, The Idiots, The Station Agent, The Tribe, Long Jeanne Silver, and more.

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The Art of the Documentary

January 13th - February 24th (Wednesdays) 6:30pm - 9:00pm
No class Feb 10th
Instructor: Jay Kuehner
Tuition: $110 ($90 for Film Forum members)

A Survey of Creative Non­Fiction Filmmaking:

This required viewing class will explore the evolution of creative documentary practice, tracing a genealogy back to roots in Vertov and Flaherty, the subsequent politicization of non­fiction during wartime, the impact of verité, direct, and observational cinema, the uses of ethnography and cultural anthropology, the birth of the modern “popular” documentary, and the current trend of docu­fiction. This survey, spanning a century but emphasizing current production, is intended to explore the creative strategies and methodologies that have effectively transformed the genre from mere reportage to an ascendant art form, one which has perhaps superseded fiction film's capacity to engage our collective cinematic imagination. Practicing filmmakers will be exposed to an artistic itinerary that challenges the genre's status quo, while filmgoers will be compelled to discern between topical and enduring strains of documentary cinema.

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