Summer Film School Picks Up Where Learning Beyond the Classics Leaves Off During Notre Dame Break
The Browning Cinema at the University of Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center is offering a new four-week film studies program beginning Wednesday, July 10, 2019. Summer Film School uses one classic film each week to explore an aspect of film production. Each class begins with a lecture at 6 p.m. followed by the film screening at 7 p.m., and with a thirty-minute discussion immediately following. Summer Film School is open to the public.
The four films and class topics are:
- July 10: Citizen Kane (1941), cinematography
- July 17: Rushmore (1998), mise en scène
- July 24: All That Jazz (1979), editing
- July 31: Playtime (1967), sound design
Cinema Program Director Ricky Herbst will be leading the classes and discussions that pinpoint what makes film an art form influenced by yet unique from photography, theatre, painting, and live music. Specifically, those elements will be how a film is shot (cinematography), how the elements within the frame are composed (mise en scène), how individual shots are cut next to one another (editing), and how natural and added dialogue, effects, and music impact the scene (sound design).
“Film has formal techniques honed since its inception that are purposefully meant to be invisible or go unnoticed,” Herbst said. He notes the difference between surveillance camera footage and Fargo with the former being dry watercolors in the box and the latter a painting. “We’ll be identifying and focusing on how the medium becomes a finished product in order to enrich the film going experience across the board, whether you are watching fancy prizewinning films or fluffy popcorn movies.”
Herbst is particularly excited by the fact people come to their first classes on film style knowing so much. “What’s great is that those who watch movies without focusing on form are natural native speakers of film’s internal language, but it’s latent or dormant. By defining the techniques, we have seen throughout our lifetimes, suddenly a whole new way of watching television, movies, and online videos pops in the audience.”
Summer Film School is an adaptation of the previous Summer Classics programming held at the Browning Cinema and works in concert with the popular Learning Beyond the Classics community classes. “Media literacy is becoming exponentially more vital,” Herbst said. “The Browning Cinema is thrilled to offer classes to and for everyone where that skill is both directly and indirectly taught.”
The course fee is $12 and includes all four Wednesday sessions July 10–July 31. Filmgoers are welcome to attend one or all of the screenings without enrolling in the course at the single ticket prices of $7 regular, $5 for seniors, and $4 for students.