Courses available in French


Tout est dit, et l'on vient trop tard.

—La Bruyère

French 170: French Films – Introduction to Cinema


Journot, Le vocabulaire du cinéma; Pinel, Le montage; Siety, Le plan

Course Description:

L’inverti: A quoi penses-tu, Geneviève?
Geneviève: Je pense à un mot de Chamfort que je considère presque comme un précepte.
L’inverti: Et que dit-il ton Chamfort?
Geneviève: Il dit que l’amour dans la société c’est l’échange de deux fantaisies et le contact de deux épidermes…
— in La Règle du jeu, by Jean Renoir

This course will consider cinema as the art of movement, and violence and sensuality as manifestations of this movement. We will study the basic vocabulary of cinematographic language using films by Renoir, Vigo, Resnais and Godard. The interactions of the different mechanisms of film language will allow us to explore the creation of non-passive cinema. In addition to scheduled course meetings there is a weekly screening on Wednesdays, 4-6.


French 102 or consent of instructor. Film Studies students should consult the instructor about French language preparation and prerequisites.

Additional information: 

Weekly film screening (required): Wednesdays 4-6 in B4 Dwinelle. Satisfies one “Culture” or one “Elective” course requirement in the French Major.  Satisfies L & S breadth requirement in Arts and Literature.  Priority enrollment for declared French majors.

Section times and locations in the Schedule of Classes