CINE 18 -- American Cinema (Lopez)

This site is an introductory resource for those interested in enrolling in the City College of San Francisco CINE 18 (American Cinema) ONLINE course for Fall 2014

The course is entirely online, and there will be no in-person class meetings. 
There are no prerequisites for this course. 

CINE 18 City College Course Catalog Description:

CINE 18. American Cinema (3 units)
P/NP (Pass/No Pass) Available
An introductory course in film studies, bringing Hollywood filmmaking into clear focus as an art form, as an economic force, and as a system of representation and communication. Explores how Hollywood films work technically, artistically, and culturally to reinforce and challenge America's national self image.
UC/CSU (course is accepted as transfer course in University of California and California State University schools)

Course Information (for Fall 2014):
Course number (CRN): 76253 
Course Section: 831 Onl  

Go to the bottom of this page to open the syllabus as a PDF

Instructor Information:
Name: Trina Lopez
Voicemail: By request
Office hours and location: by arrangement

  • This course is entirely online. There are no in-person meetings.
  • No prerequisites are required for this course. 
  • You do not need to be a Cinema major to take this course. It can be used to fulfill the Humanities General Education requirement for an Associates degree. 
  • This course is an overview of the history of American cinema, and will involve the examination of its history, aesthetics, technical qualities, and various genres. 
  • This course will help develop your scholarly academic writing skills and will do so in a systematic way that will result in a final paper that will require you to compare and contrast an American film and a remake of that film.
  • Assignments are released on Mondays and must be completed by 11p.m. on the following Sunday. 
  • Expect between 5 - 7 hours of work for the course each week. This includes reading assignments, Discussion Forum posts on the CCSF Insight course website, responses to your fellow students on their Discussion Forum posts, and any whole film and / film clip viewing you need to complete.

CINE 18 is a compelling, thorough investigation into American film that looks at how this national cinema is constructed, delivered to, and perceived by, audiences. Not only will students learn about the chronological history of American cinema (how it has developed over the years), but they will learn about the techniques (acting, camera placement and movement, lighting, sound, costumes, etc.) used to influence viewers' perceptions of film content, and how the institution of Classical Hollywood Cinema has influenced filmmaking on a global level. The course will examine how the Hollywood studio system developed, and what changes it underwent to arrive at the experience we have with movies today. How have things changed? How have they stayed the same? Where does American cinema go from here?

Student Learning Outcomes:
Upon successful completion of this course a student will be able to:

  1. Define American cinema’s history from the silent era to present day movies and identify its influence on changing cultural preferences
  2. Compare and contrast how developing film technology influences aesthetics 
  3. Recognize how the tools of camera angles, lighting, editing and sound create a universal cinematic grammar
  4. Appraise and assess directing styles and popular genres employed by American filmmakers over the course of cinematic history

The online version of CINE 18 will require students to carefully organize their weeks to assure successful completion of the course. Weekly assignments will be posted on Mondays, and must be completed by the following Sunday night at 11p.m. This includes, but is not limited to, watching the American Cinema telecourse episodes (available online), watching films or film clips, posting to online Discussion Forums (similar to a blog posts), responding to other students' Discussion Forum posts, completing timed quizzes, and writing papers. Students will also be required to go see one film at a historic movie theater in their community. Students are STRONGLY encouraged to check the course website every Monday to learn what tasks they will need to complete during the week.

Once enrolled, students will gain access to the Insight online course website for CINE 18. This is where students will check for their assignments, post to Discussion Forums, complete quizzes, submit midterm and final paper assignments, and interact with the instructor and fellow students. Click here for the Insight home page. You will be able to see where you will log in for CINE 18.

Please visit the CCSF Distance Learning webpage for more information on online courses. I highly recommend you complete the online learning self-evaluation.

Students who need academic accommodations should request them from the Disabled Students Programs and Services (DSPS) located in the Rosenberg Library, Room 323, on the Ocean Campus. Telephone: (415) 452-5481; (v) (415) 452-5451 (TDD). DSPS is the campus office responsible for verifying disability-related needs for academic accommodations, assessing these needs, and arranging accommodations in cooperation with students and instructors as needed and consistent with course requirements.

While many of the tasks will be completed independently, student participation in the Discussion Forums allows a free flow of information among and between students and the instructor, and will serve to foster a sense of community. The hope is that an online "community" will emerge, and both the students and instructor will gain new insights on the various films and film topics that will be examined.

As the instructor of CINE 18 for Summer 2013, I hope you will enroll in the course, and will put forth all my efforts to guarantee that the class is fun and thought-provoking. Together we will learn more about America's national film tradition, how it influences us, and we, as a society, influence it, as well.

Please feel free to contact me prior to the beginning of the CINE 18 online course with any questions you may have. The best way to contact me is via the e-mail address I've included above.

Trina Lopez
Instructor, CINE 18

Course requirements:
  • Viewings of the PBS series American Cinema, a video instructional series on film (10 one-hour and 3 half-hour video programs). This is available as free streaming video online, or can be viewed at the Rosenberg Library's Media Center at the CCSF Ocean (main) campus.
  • Additional film screenings to be done independently, including a visit to a historic movie theater. Arrangements can be made with the instructor if visiting a movie palace is not possible in their vicinity.
  • Participation in weekly online discussion forums on the class website (posting comments and responding to at least one other student's comments)
  • 1-4 quizzes
  • A five-page midterm paper on a topic addresses in the course up to the point of the midterm. 
  • A final paper (6 - 7 pages) that compares and contrasts an American film and a remake of that film.

Textbook availability:
The textbook and study guide will be available through the CCSF Bookstore on the Ocean campus. You can order or rent them online through the bookstore. A copy of the textbook and study guide will also be on reserve at the Rosenberg Library on the Ocean campus. Go to the Library online catalog. Once on the page, click on "RESERVES by course", and type in "CINE 18". You can access the videorecording lisitng under "Rothstein, Ira", and you will see the book entries under either "Staff" or specific instructor names. You are free to purchase or rent your own new and used copies of the books online, but be sure that you get the 4th edition of both books.

A note on the independent film screenings:
You will be expected to be able to access films to fulfill your course requirements. You are encouraged to have a subscription to Netflix, GreenCine, or another online video rental site, or to rent from your local video store. You will be given at least one week to find the films necessary to meet your course requirements, and efforts will be made to give you more than one week. Some films will also be available for viewing at the Rosenberg Library, free of charge. They may also be available online for free on YouTube or other sites. 

Information on viewing the American Cinema series and other films at the Rosenberg Library Media Center:
Films from the Audiovisual Department Collection on VHS or DVD are available for individual student viewing in the Media Center. Please check their website for their hours. 

50 Phelan Avenue, Rosenberg Library Building, Room 403
San Francisco, CA 94112
(415) 452-5423 or (415) 452-5426

Students will need to bring their CCSF ID to access materials.

The Audiovisual Department Collection contains one copy of most items.  If the film is reserved or checked out by an instructor it is unavailable for individual student viewing.  For up to date information, please see the online catalog. Once on this page, go down the menu and select "RESERVES by course" and type in "CINE 18". Select Professor Rothstein to view the availability of the American Cinema videotapes. 

CINE 18 Writing Resources:

CCSF Learning Assistance Center -- Visit the center for assistance with tutoring, access to computer labs, and more. 

Document on how to construct the basic five-paragraph essay (courtesy of Laura Rafaelli at DeAnza College) -- Note that this will pop up as a Word document 

Another document on how to write a strong essay, and an outline of how to do so (courtesy of The Writing Center at McDaniel College)

How to write a strong thesis statement (courtesy of University of Carolina, Chapel Hill)

San Francisco Public LIbrary "Articles and Databases" page -- This, as well as lots of other SFPL web pages, will assist you in your academic research for papers and other information on films and American history. You may need an SFPL library card to access some of these sites. You can get one for free at any branch of the SFPL. 

Suggested websites for MLA reference citation style and research resources:

Purdue OWL: MLA Formatting and Style Guide -- For formatting research resources in papers

MLA citations PDF from CCSF Library website (PDF) -- for formatting research resources in papers

Examples of MLA in-text citations (PDF) (how your citations will appear in the paper text)

Web Research and Evaluation
(PDF) (What's are good web researching techniques? What makes a good web resource for research?)

Finding periodical articles using online databases (PDF) (Magazines, scholarly journals, etc.)

CCSF Film Subject Guide -- research sources

CCSF all-subject, multi-database article searches

Alphabetical listing of CCSF article databases

Trina Lopez,
Aug 14, 2014, 12:45 AM