Film Studies

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About Film Studies

ViewingFilm is art.
Film is culture.
Film is communication.

Learn the theory and practice of film. Discover the cinema of diverse cultures. Examine the political significance of the moving image. Master cinematography, sound, mise-en-scene, and editing.


Study film at Muhlenberg College

The film studies program at Muhlenberg offers a rigorous, interdisciplinary experience that helps students understand both the technical and expressive components of the cinematic medium, and gain practical experience in film production within the framework of a liberal arts education. Students will be exposed to many different forms and genres of film, including classic Hollywood cinema, but also documentary, independent, and experimental film along with the rich traditions of world cinema.

The production component of the curriculum gives every student the opportunity for hands-on experience in filmmaking, and allows motivated students to pursue additional work in screenwriting, acting and directing, and advanced film and video production.

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Film is important to Muhlenberg’s liberal arts mission. Film is so ubiquitous that we take it for granted, but we do so at our peril. What transpires on screens often seems transparent to the viewer, as if what is viewed is the product of direct communication instead of the result of complex series of mediated operations. Further, film techniques are opaque to most viewers, as if they have been forged in an utterly different language or no language at all. Both of these conditions – passive viewing and filmic illiteracy – are widespread and pernicious in contemporary life.

Part of our liberal arts mission is to help our students live well and wisely by fostering critical thinking and intellectual agility. We believe that the rigorous study of film provides one important avenue for cultivating these liberal, liberating qualities in an age increasingly dominated by visual media.