The Film Experience

Still shot of Fred Ott sneezing.

Fred Ott in mid-sneeze. This still comes from the 1894 motion picture Kinetoscopic Record of a Sneeze: the first copyrighted film in history and the primitive origin from which all of modern film began. (Image courtesy of Wikipedia.)


MIT Course Number


As Taught In

Fall 2012



Cite This Course

Course Features

Course Description

This course concentrates on close analysis and criticism of a wide range of films, including works from the early silent period, documentary and avant-garde films, European art cinema, and contemporary Hollywood fare. Through comparative reading of films from different eras and countries, students develop the skills to turn their in-depth analyses into interpretations and explore theoretical issues related to spectatorship. Syllabus varies from term to term, but usually includes such directors as Coppola, Eisentein, Fellini, Godard, Griffith, Hawks, Hitchcock, Kubrick, Kurosawa, Tarantino, Welles, Wiseman, and Zhang.

David Thorburn. 21L.011 The Film Experience, Fall 2012. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare), (Accessed). License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA

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