Citizen Kane
Orson Welles in "Citizen Kane" (1941)

Art department to screen classic films in summer class

By Tim Brownlee
Assistant Director of Public Affairs

(May 23, 2007)--The UTSA Department of Art and Art History will offer the class, "Film as Art," as a three-credit elective in the second summer session, July 11-Aug. 15, with the screening of approximately 15 classic American and European films.

According to Professor Ron Binks, the goal of the course is to develop an understanding of film history as cinematic art. Open to all upper-division undergraduate students, special requirements to enroll in the class (art major and instructor approval) have been waived.

The film list for the course has not been finalized, but will include films such as "Potemkin," "Grand Illusion," "Citizen Kane," "Casablanca" and "The Third Man," along with examples of Italian New Realism, French New Wave films in black-and-white with subtitles, and more recent works in color by Kieslowski, Wenders and Mihkalkov.

A humor segment will feature Chaplin's "The Great Dictator," Disney's "Fantasia" and selected Looney Tunes cartoons.

"The course will compare the styles and construction of the films, and their content and intent, referencing their historical contexts," said Binks. "I will make use of commentaries available on many of the releases that include interviews with the directors, actors and writers. While the films were made as part of the entertainment industry, they are among the select that, over the years, retain a layered consideration of ideas, like literature, that retain meaning above the topical interests of the times in which they were produced."

Listed as "ART 4953.02S (CRN 32993)," the class will meet 1-5 p.m., Monday-Thursday in the Main Building on the UTSA 1604 Campus.

Conducted without a textbook, the class will include a reading list, handouts, weekly quizzes and a final exam, but no papers. Also, the course counts as an art/culture elective.

For more information, contact Ron Binks, professor of art and art history, at (210) 458-5153.

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