Introduction to Cinema
Preliminary Notes Packet


Even though cinematic films (feature films produced for mass entertainment) compete with other forms of moving images, they continue to dominate popular culture; consequently, they remain among the most powerful mediums of ideological socialization. From this perspective you can also state that cinema constitutes an important avenue of not simply informal education (in contrast to formal education such as schooling and college), but lifelong informal education. Tragically, for the most part, in this country, films have been avenues for reinforcement of ideologies of oppression and discrimination (e.g. racism, sexism, ethnicism, classism, etc.) throughout this century, up to the present.

Cinema, therefore, is not simply entertainment; it performs a complex role that its inventors probably never anticipated. Yet, the complexity of this role, leaving aside its ubiquitous and obvious role as entertainment, is quite often subtle.  As a small step toward trying to understand this role, I have prepared this packet for you. 

This is a packet of readings; that is it comprises more than one reading. You must download the parts you have been assigned as per your readings/test schedule. As usual, read them in their entirety, comprehend them, digest them and be prepared to be tested on them.

Part 1: Notes on Film Credits

Part 2: Notes on Hollywood Films and Popular Culture

Part 3: Notes on Ideologies and Popular Culture

Part 4: Notes on Cinema and Popular Culture

Part 5: Notes on African American Women in Cinema

Part 6: Notes on Cinema: History and Technique

Part 7: A Brief Glossary of Key Cinematic Terms

Part 8: Additional Cinematic Terms