Cinema Studies


When? TBC
Duration? 5 Tuesday evenings
Where? CSI, 192 Spadina Avenue, 3rd Floor, Toronto M5T 2C2
Dates: Tuesday May 5th, 12th, 19th, June 2nd and June 9th

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Cinema Studies: The Crime Film | Art and Industry | Politics and Global Media | Horror Film | Sex

Film is a powerful art form with its own history, conventions, and techniques. Understanding film, its properties, methods, aesthetics, and its impact on global cultures is the basis of Cinema Studies. 

What Will Be Covered?

Introduction to Film Study Introduction to film analysis; concepts of film style and narrative. Topics include: documentary, avant-garde, genres, authorship, ideology, and representation. 

Week 1: The Crime Film

This course covers the representation of crime and criminal justice in visual media, with an emphasis on popular feature films across historical decades and national contexts of production. As a site of social, moral, and political conflict, the “crime film” has been both categorically elastic and fundamentally enduring on a global scale. 

Week 2: Art and Industry

Examines the practices, theories, and debates surrounding the emergence of cinema through to the development of studio system filmmaking in the first half of the 20th Century. Topics include: film’s relation to the other arts, formalist and realist traditions, technological innovations, audiences and reception, and cultural industries. 

Week 3: Politics and Global Media

Examines film theory and practice from the 1950s onward, and the impact of media change on earlier film cultures and aesthetics. Topics include: New Wave cinemas, the politicization of theory, spectatorship, counter-cinemas, transnational film and “Global Hollywood”, and media theory from the analog to the digital. 

Week 4: Horror Film

Horror film as a genre, focusing on three types of international horror: the un-dead, body horror, and the supernatural. The genre’s popular appeal, affective power, unique means of producing pleasure, and current global resurgence will be emphasized. Topics include: the aesthetics of gore and violence, technologies of fear, J-Horror, new French extremity, cult fandom and paracinema, and media convergence. 

Week 5: Sex

While examining the history of censorship, medium specificity, sex education, and the proliferation of pornography on the Internet, this course takes sex – and its contextual frameworks – as its through-line of study. A variety of moving-image and written texts will interrogate specific processes of visual-sexual-representation, to include examining historical and aesthetic moments. Organizing topics include: identity construction, the body, sexuality, activism, pleasure, race, labour, misogyny, violence, fantasy and desire. 

About the Instructor

George D’Amato is a feature film, television and commercial filmmaker. Informed by global travel, his unique visual style has garnered television clients such as The National Broadcast Company (NBC), National Geographic, The History Channel, and Discovery.

“BLUR”, released in 2016, is D’Amato’s feature indie film debut as director, producer and co-writer. BLUR screened at the Raindance Film Festival. Also, in pre-production, “Swipe Right” is a feature film that explores the world of online dating via Tinder, the downloadable dating app.

A notable commercial director and producer as well, he has had a roster of Fortune 500 clients: Apple Computers, General Motors, AT&T, The Ford Motor Company, IBM, Volvo, Hyundai, Budweiser Brewing Company, Molson Brewing Company, Nestles, Drug-Free America, and ESPN. George is currently directing “ART or WAR”, the documentary features social commentary artist Viktor Medic. Additional directing awards include the Gold Cleo, the One Show, Gold Bessie, Bronze Bessie, and Craft Award for Directing, Directors Guild of America, Golden Marble, and two commercials in the Museum of Modern Art permanent collection.

Education: NYU Film School – MFA The Actors Studio – N.Y. Second City Improv Stand-Up Comedy

Specialties: A stunning visual artist.

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Cinema Studies: The Crime Film | Art and Industry | Politics and Global Media | Horror Film | Sex



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