Film Appreciation

Course Details

Course Number
MCOM 2213
Section Number
MCOM 2213
Fall 2015
Fain Hall
Classroom Number
Days & Times


(Sec. 171) 6:00-8:50PM / Meeting Place: FA C111

Christopher P. D'Amico M.S. (view Profile)

Course Attachments


Course Objectives

Course Description


In this course we will view, discuss and write about a wide variety of films; we will also read about characteristics of the film medium and see how they apply to films studied in the course. Emphasis will be on film aesthetics, film genres, and history of the cinema and viewer responses to film. 

Course Expectations

Required Text:           


None.  Handouts will be utilized in our course.  It is your responsibility to keep track of those handouts.


Suggested Supplement:


Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th edition). Washington, DC: APA


Attendance: Successful completion of the course requires regular class attendance at lectures and active participation in class discussions and group projects

·      More than two (2) absences (excused or unexcused) will result in ten (10) points deducted from your final grade. After four (4) absences you will fail the course. Habitual late arrivals to class will be considered an absence at the professor’s discretion.


·      Individuals on sports teams, please see me with a copy of your schedule (games and practices) so we can make accommodations for those missing classes.  This however must be initiated and followed through by the athlete not the instructor’s responsibility.


·      I expect common courtesy and civility:  Do not speak when someone else is talking (that includes your instructor!).  I appreciate a sense of humor, but you should know when to get serious.  Offensive comments directed towards the instructor or other students are not appropriate.  Inappropriate behavior will bring down your final grade at the discretion of the instructor.  If for any reason you need to leave the classroom while in session, please be considerate to the rest of the class and do it in a quite non-disruptive manner!


·      You must print your name on the sign in sheet that will be in the front of the classroom as you come in.  Once I begin class, I draw a line and those that come late to class will sign in below that line, at the end of class before leaving.  This sign in process is your responsibility.  If you don’t sign it you will not be counted as present for the day.  I keep all the sheets by dates in a binder kept in my office.  If for some reason you would like to check on the number of absences/late arrivals, please stop by my office and you may look at where you stand.  


·      No late work will be accepted.  All work that due is to be handed in during class time.  NO EXCEPTIONS!


                                                                 i.     In addition, when an exam is given, it must be completed during the class it is given. No makeup exams or pre/post arrangements are made.  Only documented and verified excused absences, (as supplied by the Office of the Provost) will be given an opportunity for any make up.    


·      It is your responsibility to find out what you missed in the event of absence from class.  I recommend befriending another classmate and exchange contact information so you can find out what you missed and not fall behind schedule. 


·      If you have a group project scheduled for that day it is your responsibility to for you to reach your fellow group members to plan accordingly.  You group will still present as scheduled. Groups will be formed randomly out of a hat by the professor in class to ensure fairness to all. 


·      Please notify the instructor of any religious obligations that might conflict with our class schedule at the beginning of the semester.


Requirements for all written work:

ALL work submitted in this course should be prepared according to the following guidelines:

·      Papers must be typed, double-spaced in 12-point font in Times New Roman, with 1-inch margins.

·      Pages must be numbered in the top, right-hand corner of each page.

·      Papers must be stapled together (not paper-clipped). No loose pages please.

·      Papers should have a cover page with a title, your name, course identifier, and date.

·      Do not use folders, binders, or plastic covers for your papers; attach only a cover sheet as indicated above and use one staple to secure all pages together.

·      Papers must include accurate and complete citations of sources and a complete reference list.

·      You should follow the guidelines of the APA style manual.


                                                                 i.     Revision Policy: I believe all work is in a constant process of revision.  Therefore, I invite and encourage you to rework your assignments.  A revision, however, means more than just changing some grammar errors and typos.  It requires you to rethink, recognize and rewrite your work.  As a rule of thumb, I never drop your grade based upon a revision.  The lowest grade you will receive is the original grade. There is only a one (1) week window of opportunity for you to revise and resubmit. (Example- If I hand back a paper on Tuesday, then the revision is due next Tuesday.) Please be sure to include the original graded paper with the revision without it a revision will not be accepted!


Writing Center:  Begin drafting papers as early as possible and take advantage of the MSU Writing Center, located off the 2nd floor atrium of Prothro-Yeager! Tutoring is available Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; you can also find a tutor at the satellite location in Moffett Library Honors Lounge, Sunday and Thursday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Writing tutors will not edit your papers for you, but they will provide support and feedback at every stage of the writing process, from brainstorming to drafting, revising to proofreading.








Plagiarism:  Clear cases of academic dishonesty will result in an F for the course.  Plagiarism is (1) the use of source material of other persons (either published, including the Internet) without following the accepted techniques of giving credit or (2) the submission for credit of work not the individual’s to whom credit is given.  If a student in the class is caught plagiarizing, appropriate disciplinary action will be taken.  The Student Creed developed and adopted by the MSU Student Government reinforces the discouragement of plagiarism and other unethical behaviors.  The first statement of the Creed reads, “As an MSU student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else to do so.”  Plagiarism is lying cheating and stealing. 


Privacy: Federal law prohibits the instructor from releasing information about students to parties outside of the university without the signed consent of the student.  Thus, in almost all cases the instructor will not discuss a student’s academic progress or other matters with his/her parents. 


Special Accommodations: If a student has a disability that qualifies under the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) and requires accommodations, he/she should contact Disability Support Services (DSS) for information on appropriate polices and procedures.  Disabilities covered by ADA may include learning, psychiatric, physical disabilities, or chronic health disorders.  Students can contact DSS if they are not certain whether a medical condition/disability qualifies.  Disability Support Services, Clark Student Center, Room 168, (940) 397-4140.













Course Outline

(subject to change with notice from the instructor)



24th                          Class:            What is this course about?  Expectations?                         

The Art of Watching Films


                                    Assignment:              Brainstorm favorite and least favorites           



31st                          Class:            Thematic Elements                       

                                                Compare and Contrast Paper Assigned

Review, Lecture, Discussion & Screening

Screening: On the Waterfront (1954)


Assignment:             Pick your 2 films to Compare and Contrast           



(Sept. 4th last day to add/drop)


7th                                        No Class--- Labor Day



                                    Assignment: Work on Compare and Contrast Paper           



14th                                       Class:            Fictional and Dramatic Elements           

                                                Review, Lecture, Discussion & Screening

                                                Screening: Citizen Kane (1941)


                                    Assignment: Work on Compare and Contrast Paper           


21st                                       Class:             Compare and Contrast Paper Due           

Visual Design

                                                Review, Lecture, Discussion & Screening

                                                Screening: A Clockwork Orange (1971)



28th                                             Class:            Cinematography and Special Visual Effects

            Review, Lecture, Discussion & Screening

            Screening: 2001 A Space Odyssey (1968)


                                    Assignment:              Start to study for Midterm              





5th                                      Class:            Editing

                                                Review, Lecture, Discussion & Screening

                                                Screening: The Godfather (1972)


Assignment: Study for Midterm           


12th                                        Class:             Midterm Exam


                                                Review, Lecture, Discussion & Screening

                                                Screening: Gone With the Wind (1939)



19th                                        Class:            Genre Films                       

                                                Review, Lecture, Discussion & Screening

                                                Screening: Rashomon (1950)           



26th                                        Class:             Sound Effects and Dialogue                       

                                                Review, Lecture, Discussion & Screening

                                                Screening: Taxi Driver (1976)


Assignment:            Work on Genre Paper           



(Oct. 26th last day to W from a class)




2nd                                        Class:            The Musical Score                       

                                                Review, Lecture, Discussion & Screening

                                                Screening: North by Northwest (1959)


                                    Assignment:             Work on Genre Paper            



9th                                        Class:            Genre Paper Due            


Review, Lecture, Discussion & Screening

Screening: A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)


16th                                        Class:            The Director’s Style           

Review, Lecture, Discussion & Screening

Screening: Rear Window (1954)


23rd                                        Class:            Analysis of the Whole Film

Review, Lecture, Discussion & Screening

Screening: 8 ½ (1963)




30th              Class: Adaptations                       

Review, Lecture, Discussion & Screening

Screening: Doubt (2008)


Assignment: Study for Final Exam


Final Exam:                           Monday Dec. 7th @ 8:00-10:00PM


Final Exam Note: You will take your final exam in class on the day and time specific to your section enrollment.


MPj04386800000[1]Evaluation Criteria           


Professional Conduct (includes: Attendance, Active Class Verbal Participation, In-class projects, etc.)                                                            20 pts.


Compare and Contrast Paper (3-5pgs.)                                                20 pts.


Midterm                                                                                                20 pts.


                                    Genre Paper (3-5pgs.)                                                                                    20 pts.


Final Exam                                                                                                20 pts.

Total Possible                                                                                                 100 pts


       Grades will be determined on as follows:  A, B, C, D, and F.




There will be two exams, a midterm and a final.  Both exams will include “objective” questions.  All course material (i.e. lectures, class exercises, and readings) will be covered in these exams.





There will be two papers handed in for this course.  You will receive an assignment sheet, outlining the assignment for each of the papers. 



My Paper:

Keep these thoughts in mind when constructing & writing your papers!


  • As your instructor, I am engaged with the task of evaluating your papers on several levels of criteria.  I just would like to point out some areas where it will be a necessary for you to focus on when you begin to write your paper:


  • Does your paper have a thesis statement?         
    • Does it have focus, direction, clarity and originality?


  • Does it have a topic sentence?
    • Does it have clarity, emphasis and relative value to thesis


  • Is your Paper Organized?
    • Logical ideas, development of ideas, and supporting your thesis.


  • Where are your ideas coming from?
    • Choices of information from sources quotes v. paraphrases
    • Introducing, integrating and accuracy of acknowledging material (APA)


  • Reference Page (Bibliography)
    • Where did you pull your information?
    • Is it cited in APA Guideline formats?


  • As the Reader am I persuade by your arguments?
    • Are ideas thoroughly identified and analyzed?


  • Did you use your own thoughts, experiences and understanding of communication concepts?


  • Did you incorporate the various forms of communication: gender/race/class/non-verbal/verbal?


  • Make sure you give your paper a title!

Final Exam

12/07/2015 8:00-10:00PM

Submission Format Policy

Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.

Plagiarism Policy

Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception.

Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters.

We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student.

We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed.

Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, (940) 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement

The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor

All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Writing Proficiency Requirement

All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed the 6 hours of Communication Core and and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.

Campus Carry

Senate Bill 11 passed by the 84th Texas Legislature allows licensed handgun holders to carry concealed handguns on campus, effective August 1, 2016. Areas excluded from concealed carry are appropriately marked, in accordance with state law. For more information regarding campus carry, please refer to the University’s webpage at

If you have questions or concerns, please contact MSU Chief of Police Patrick Coggins at