Motion Picture Appreciation
CRN: 30519
16 Weeks - Distance Education course 

On-Campus Requirements

Name  Theresa Villeneuve
Phone  (626) 852-8016
Location  CI 303

COURSE DESCRIPTION (from the catalog)
An introductory course in which the student will learn how to analyze films on technical, aesthetic, and thematic levels. Historically significant films will be used as source material.

This is an interesting class! It's not an easy class, despite what people might think when you tell them you're taking Motion Picture Appreciation. This class makes you think about things that you probably hadn't thought about. Sometimes it can make your head hurt. I wouldn't lie to you about that. On the other hand, you're going to be watching a film every week, so that's pretty cool homework.

Your grading will rest on a midterm, a final, a paper or project, and your discussion board work.

The book I require is called Film Art by Bordwell and Thompson. There are several editions floating around out there. I usually don’t care which edition you get, but don’t get one earlier than the 8th. Why? Well, they re-ordered the chapters between the 7th edition and the 8th edition. So when I tell you on the syllabus to read Chapter 5, if you have an old (7th or earlier) edition, you’ll be reading the wrong thing. However, I do say on the syllabus “Read Chapter 5, Cinematography,” so if you have an older edition and you can look in the table of contents and figure out that Cinematography is really chapter 6 in your book, you’ll probably be OK. I know that seems simple; like who couldn’t figure that out? But trust me – I’ve been teaching this class online for 15 years now, and I’m telling you, someone will buy the old edition, not pay attention to the topic for the week, read chapter 5 and then email me complaining that they read chapter 5 but it was about Sound and now they are all confused. So I forewarn you: if you are easily confused and can’t figure out the topics for the week, get a new book and things should be crystal clear for you. I hope. There are other advantages to a current book. If you use an older edition, you won't be able to sell it back at the end of the semester

What's the difference between the 8th and the 9th? Primarily three things:

1) your ability to sell it back at the end of the semester

2) a bit of updated material relating to digital production in chapter 1

3) blog references are in newer editions as well as updated examples.

Not earth-shaking if you ask me. So either one.

Some of you were in Junior High when the movies in the 6th and 7th editions came out, and you might have missed them due to your parental units not letting you see such films. Probably you'll recognize more films in the 9th or 10th edition. So do what you want and what your wallet tells you to do.

Art 199 will utilize Blackboard as our online learning system. See below for more information about logging on to Blackboard (your student account will be available the first day of class). You should plan on logging in during the first 3 days of the first week of class if you are enrolled. If you don’t log in during the first 3 days of the semester, you may be dropped because I’ll assume that you aren’t very eager to participate. If you experience trouble logging in, email me at and let me know.

You're going to read, listen to lectures on the website, watch movies and answer questions on the discussion board. Basically, the majority of your grade rests on the midterm, the final and a project, which is either a paper or a film you make yourself. Please make sure you've got a good study schedule set for yourself before you begin class, because semester after semester, people take this class and flake.

You can either come to campus and watch the movies for free in the library, or you can rent them yourself (I highly recommend Netflix, but that’s just because one of the extra credit films is hard to find in the video store and I know Netflix has it But do whatever is best for you). Here's a list of films that we commonly watch in this class:

  • Goldfinger
  • Psycho
  • Fargo
  • Usual Suspects
  • Citizen Kane (DUH!)
  • Wizard of Oz
  • Being John Malkovich
  • The Player
  • And many fabulous others!

Your first move, (if you're enrolled) is to log in to blackboard DURING THE FIRST THREE DAYS OF CLASSES. That's not the week before. That’s not the weekend after the first week, it’s the FIRST THREE DAYS OF CLASSES! If you don’t log in during the first 3 days, I might drop you and give your spot to the jillions of people who email me begging to add. I am not kidding. I am a kidder, but seriously: email me during the first 3 days. As soon as possible, get yourself on the blackboard site. I hope that everyone can make it on there during the first week, because your work starts right away.

First, email me and let me know you're having troubles so that I don't drop you. Then make sure you email the web office and let them know you're having trouble. If you're adding late, you have to email them right away because they need to get you put into the system so that you can get going.

If you would like to be a part of this class but you were dissed by registration, email me and I'll see what I can do. I'm not inclined to over-enroll the class because if I take too many people I tend to get buried in grading, but you never know when a whole bunch of folks flake and the class opens up a bit.

Feel free to email the instructor at

You will need to use your official Citrus College issued email account. Your email is established when you are registered for classes. You must have access to your email account prior to starting the class.  

Blackboard and WingSpan Information
(Notice:  All Blackboard courses will be available on the first day of classes)
Blackboard --> 
WingSpan -->  

  • Your WingSpan ID becomes your Blackboard Username
  • Your WingSpan PIN (Personal Identification Number) becomes your Blackboard password
  • To change your PIN/password requires, change it in WingSpan
  • Data will be transferred from WingSpan to Blackboard on a regular basis

Once you get to the Blackboard welcome page, click on the Motion Picture Appreciation course link on the right, and you will go to the course site. Familiarize yourself with the course site and if you have any questions please email your instructor with your concerns. Get your textbook and get started with your initial assignments. A major key to your success in this course will be keeping up with both the reading and the other assignments.   


If you have a disability documented by a physician or other appropriate professional and wish to discuss academic accommodations, please contact the DSP&S office at (626) 914-8675. Please discuss your accommodations with your instructor by email. Be sure to allow at least one week for appropriate accommodations to be arranged.