movie and critique


Moving beyond the introduction of sound we covered last week, we transition into a new era when the popular genres of the musical and the western dominated America’s silver screen. Significant film movements were occurring overseas which directly confronted the style of filmmaking developed by D.W. Griffith decades earlier. It is here where we see the growing influence of the studio system while at its height to when it receives a devastating blow that nearly crumbles the established film power structure. During this period, we also see Hollywood’s attempt to entice people to return to the theaters during a time of declining ticket sales through the use of stylized cinematography and special effects.


  • Week 4 Learning Resources
  • American film industry and important films released during the 1940s and 1950s
  • Italian Neorealism
  • French New Wave
  • Western genre style and filmmakers
  • Musical genre style films and filmmakers
  • Basics of special effects and their use in cinema
  • Fundamentals of cinematography


By end of this week, you should able to

  • recognize key moments in cinema history during the period
  • identify the key features of the western and musical film genres
  • understand the importance of Italian Neorealism in film history
  • identify the essential elements of Italian Neorealism
  • list significant Italian Neorealist filmmakers and films
  • understand the importance of French New Wave in film history
  • identify the essential elements of French New Wave
  • list significant French New Wave filmmakers and films
  • define and distinguish between the elements of sound: score, soundtrack, and Foley
  • list the various types of framing (shots) and camera movements in cinema