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  • Writer's pictureKamarie Chapman

Week One (History of Cinema... Well, FILM actually)

And here we go! Welcome to week one of your virtual Introduction to Cinema Class! Now that you've read the intro and have a chance to kind of understand why I created this online space, I'm hoping you enjoy learning about cinema and the film industry from a perspective different than many of the traditional texts. Please reach out to me and send me your thoughts as you go along!

This week there is a lot to cover in the history of film to get us up to speed.  And while this class generally looks forward at the creation and art of cinema, it's also important to understand where it came from.  So for this first week there is quite a bit of reading and viewing.  Normally it's about half this much, but I want us all to have a really good baseline to start from.

Weekly Veiwing/Reading:

1. Five Minute Brief Overview Film History:

2. History of Editing and Continuity: (Links to an external site.)

4. History of African American Cinema:

6. The Complex History of Asian Americans in movies, from the silent era to "Crazy Rich Asians".


I created all these lectures for this class as a response to the COVID19 pandemic. They are not professionally produced and I do not have the list of all the sources referenced for each one. I'm afraid that kind of production requires a bit more permanence- which is not something I believe in teaching. Film and history and our view of it changes. We should be able to embrace those changes and learn about them in the moment.

These lectures are raw. I may drop an f-bomb or say something not G rated... I get passionate about what I teach and sometimes get carried away.

Anyhow, that's my disclaimer. Please enjoy this week one (and every other week's) lecture.

Films of the Week:

The Curse of Quon Gwon was discovered in 2014 in the basement of a San Francisco home.  Marion  Wong was one of America's first film directors (yes, a femme) and created dozens of beautiful silent films.  There are very few preserved and this one is the most complete.  Filmed in 1917 and staring the director in the leading role, this film is a gem of awesomness!  (37 minutes)

The Shape of Water by Guillmero del Toro is 2018's big Oscar winner that surprised everyone.  This film won for: Best Motion Picture, Best Direction, Best Design, and Best Original Score.  It's stunningly beautiful and pulls from tradition of Mexican Cinema story-telling, German Expressionist Design, dream-like landscapes of the Surrealists, and fantastic representation of a world in which the outsiders take care of each other and the real monster is societal norms.

Content Warning: There is some naked femme body with allusion to masturbation, there is also some gore.  No worse than anything Quinton Tarantino would have, but I will warn you throughout the film FINGERS ARE GROSS!!!

Films to Watch:


The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

Edward Scissorhands

A Trip to the Moon

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