American Cinema (Cinema 18)

American Cinema (Cinema 18) Online Course

Instructor: Trina 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 2019.
  • General course overview: Cinema 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?


Instructor Information:

Picture of Instructor Trina Lopez
  • Name: Trina Lopez (be sure you're on the webpage for your instructor for this class. The course has multiple instructors)
  • E-mail: trina.lopez@mail.ccsf.edu (Only use this e-mail for messages prior to the beginning of the course)
  • Office hours / appointments: By arrangement in person or through video conferencing


BASIC Course Information:

  • Course Record Number (CRN): 72408-933
  • Course dates: Tuesday, September 3rd, 12:01a.m. - Friday, December 20th 11:59p.m. (final project submission deadline)
  • CINE 18 City College Course Catalog Description: CINE 18. American Cinema (3 units) P/NP (Pass/No Pass) Available -- 3 units
    • 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)
  • 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 11:59p.m. This includes, but is not limited to, watching the American Cinema select 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 are STRONGLY encouraged to check the course website every Monday to learn what tasks they will need to complete during the week.
  • Course syllabus or go up to right corner of this page to the drop-down menu to access the Syllabus page
  • Required textbook: American Cinema / American Culture, 5th Edition. Author: John Belton. Please use this edition of the book. Instructor assumes no responsibility for missed content if you choose to use another edition of the book.
    • A copy of the course textbook will be on reserve for this course at in the CCSF Ocean Campus Library. Please go to the Circulation Desk and ask for the Cinema 18 textbook for Trina Lopez's class. The book will be Library Use Only for four hours per checkout.
  • Required viewings: You will be required to watch 1 - 2.5 hours of streaming video content per week. Links will be provided to most, if not all, streaming video content.
  • Expect between 9-10 hours of work for the course each week. This includes reading assignments, course film and film clip viewings, and Discussion Forum posts, quizzes, and other learning activities on the Canvas course website. You will be required to write a critical paper about an American film of your choice for your final.
  • The course is entirely online, and there will be no in-person class meetings.
  • There are no prerequisites for this course.
  • You don't need to be a Cinema major to take this course. Please consult your academic advisor to find out how it fulfills requirements for your degree program, if necessary.
  • Assignments are released each week on Mondays as 12:01a.m. and must be completed by 11:59p.m. on the following Sunday.


Computer / technical information:

  • You will need to have consistent access to a computer (laptop or desktop). It will need to be able to stream films for course viewing. Google Chrome is the recommended browser for using Canvas, our course online delivery system.
  • You will need to use RAM ID to log in to Canvas and access course material. Don't have a RAM ID account? Register for your RAM ID account as soon as possible. Once on the RAM ID page, click on the "New user? Forgot password?" box to get started.
  • Once enrolled and when the semester begins, students will gain access to the Canvas online course website for CINE 18. This is where students will check for their assignments, post to Discussion Forums, complete quizzes, submit papers, and interact with the instructor and fellow students.
  • If you are enrolled in the class and the semester has begun but you are having trouble logging in to RAM ID or Canvas, please contact the CCSF computer helpdesk.
  • Cinema 18 has an automatic waitlist in the Web4 system. Please register for the course on Web4 to get on this waitlist. If you want to add the course after the first day of the semester, please e-mail Trina directly. No one will be permitted to add the course after Wednesday, September 12th.


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


Other helpful information: