TCF 112 Motion Picture History and Criticism

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TCF 112 introduces students to the study of film — providing overviews of the major critical methods used to analyze film as well as surveying the history of international cinema.

Catalog course description

Development of the cinema, with emphasis on relation of technical advances to film content and style.

Course objectives

The student will learn about the history of film and be able to identify some of the major conceptual models (e.g., formalism, genre theory, auteurism, and so on) that have been applied to that history.

Target student audience

Designed for both TCF majors and non-majors. A core humanities class.

Companion website

Instructor contact information

Jeremy Butler
Office: 486B Phifer
Office hours: MW 2-3, & by appt. 348-6350
jbutler {at} ua {dot} edu

Course assignments

  1. There will be three objective (multiple choice, true/false) readings tests over the course of the semester. These closed-book tests will consist of questions drawn from the readings and the films, but not the lectures. They will be worth 15 points each.
  2. Additionally, mid-term (25 points) and final (30 points) exams will be given. These exams will consist of open-note, open-book essay questions drawn from the lectures and referring to the films.

Course outline or calendar

course outline goes here.


  1. The course readings: Gerald Mast, Bruce F. Kawin, A Short History of the Movies Abridged Ninth Edition (New York: Longman, 2007)--available at local bookstores.
  2. The course lectures
  3. The course films

Course number and section, and number of credit hours

TCF112-001, 3 credit hours.

Meeting times



Other requirements

College of Communication & Information Sciences majors must earn a "C" or better in all required and elective courses in their major. A "C" or better is required in all external courses required by the major whether they serve as a prerequisite to a major course or are simply required by the major. This means a "C" of any kind.

Typically offered during which semesters

fall, spring and summer

Next offered

summer 2008


Click here for a syllabus that's formatted for printing.