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Film

Visual literacy is an essential skill for the 21st century and studying film can be an eye-opening way to look at the world around you differently, helping prepare you for citizenship, life-long learning and a variety of careers.

Program Description

At College of DuPage, film students choose to study film analysis, film production or both through a series of cross-listed course offerings between the English and Motion Picture/Television departments. Our faculty challenge students to become active, engaged spectators of film for a variety of academic and professional purposes including criticism, theory and filmmaking while also enhancing appreciation for cinema as an aesthetic art medium.

Program Philosophy

The world is awash in images. As a 21st century citizen, learning how to read images critically is an essential skill. Students who study film will engage with the complex meanings contained within images that make up narrative, documentary and experimental films. Learning to read these images will help students personally, professionally and academically.

Program Outcomes

By studying Film at College of DuPage, students will:  

  • Examine the role of images in our everyday lives.
  • Analyze how images are constructed to carry meaning.
  • Read images for complex rhetorical purposes.

  • Describe American and international film movements that both reflect and shape social relationships.
  • Place cinematic movements in the context of technological change around the world.
  • Explain cinema's role in disseminating ideas and beliefs worldwide.

  • Use film study to examine varied aspects of human experience.
  • Interpret and respond to arguments made about cinema by critics and thinkers of diverse backgrounds.
  • Create written, visual and aural arguments that participate in the discussion about cinema.

  • Examine a diverse collection of films that represent a variety of cinematic experiences.
  • Interpret various films for their commentary on the human condition.
  • Reflect on the ability of cinema both to document and shape society.

Program Information

Deborah Adelman

  • PhD: New York University
  • MA: New School for Social Research
  • BA: University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Dr. Adelman teaches film studies, fiction writing and composition. Her publications include short stories, essays and reviews. Her current research is in the environmental humanities -- ecocinema, sustainability, environmental justice and community resilience. Dr. Adelman also has a background in linguistics, language acquisition and Spanish, and has lived and travelled in Latin America and Eastern Europe. Dr. Adelman is an advocate for interdisciplinary learning and has team-taught with a colleague in Environmental Biology for more than two decades. She is co-founder and co-director of the COD Community Farm/Food Security Initiative and also co-director of the campus Sustainability Film and Discussion Series. Classes taught include: Fiction Writing ( 2251) Introduction to Creative Writing (2250) Film as Literature (1154) Introduction to Film Art (1135) and the seminar "Seed Soil and the Soul" which combines Film as Literature with Environmental Biology (Bio 1110) with a focus on world food and agriculture practices.

Marco Benassi

  • MFA Columbia College Chicago
  • MA The Ohio State University
  • BS Bradley University

Marco Benassi, Professor at College of DuPage for 30 years, has led more than 150 speech and film-related field experiences including expeditions to Africa, China, Cuba, the UK and numerous wilderness adventures in the Rockies, American Southwest, Alaska and Hawaii. He's published more than 50 arts, entertainment and feature stories for the Chicago Tribune and the Daily Herald. He's also written and produced three professional plays featuring documentaries in Chicago and wrote and directed a film in Italy. In addition to speech communication courses, Marco regularly teaches experiential versions of Film as Art and Film as Literature and has taught special topics film courses including the Films of Martin Scorsese.

Brian Brems

  • MA: English/Film as Literature, Northern Illinois University
  • BA: English, Northern Illinois University

Professor Brems publishes regularly in academic collections and journals, and is coeditor of Refocus: The Films of Paul Schrader (University of Edinburgh Press, 2020). In addition, he publishes regularly in online film magazines and websites, including Bright Wall/Dark Room, Vague Visages, and Film Inquiry. He has also contributed to Film School Rejects, Little White Lies, and Senses of Cinema. He teaches film courses in the English department including Intro to Film Art (1135), Film History (1145), Film as Literature (1154), Film Directors and Authorship (2234), Film Genres (2235), World Cinema (2236), Documentary Cinema (2237), and Longform Television (2238).

Sandy Fries

  • M.A. Columbia University and NBC Television Fellow at Columbia University
  • B.A. Clark University, Phi Beta Kappa, Honors

Professor Fries won the Writers Guild of America award for writing "one of the 101 best TV series in the history of television, Star Trek: The Next Generation. Fries was a writer and Story Editor for many Star Trek projects for Paramount Studios. He also wrote for NBC's Quantum Leap, the animated Spiderman for Marvel Studios and many other TV shows. Professor Fries received an Emmy nomination for his writing, is a member of the Writers Guild of America and votes for the Emmy Awards. Sandy wrote a book about screenwriting and careers called Secrets Your Textbook Will Not Tell You: About Movies, TV and Life. Prof. Fries has been a full-time teacher at College of DuPage for 16 years. He also continues freelance writing. Sandy regularly teaches Intro to Film ENGLI and MPTV 1135, and Reporting and Writing for Multimedia MCOMM 1105 and Intro to Mass Communication MCOMM 1100.

Michelle E. Moore

  • Ph.D. and M.A. State University of New York (SUNY) at Binghamton
  • B.A.: Dickinson College

Dr. Michelle E. Moore is the coeditor of the collection Refocus: The Films of Paul Schrader (Edinburgh University Press, 2020) and the author of Chicago and the Making of American Modernism: Cather, Hemingway, Faulkner, and Fitzgerald in Conflict (Bloomsbury Academic 2019). She has published chapters on the director Todd Solondz and articles on William Faulkner's "lost" vampire screenplay Dreadful Hollow in Literature/Film Quarterly and The Faulkner Journal. She gives papers regularly at national and international conferences on Modernism and Film. Her current research interests include the intersections of modern literature, film and architecture as well as online writing instruction and course design. She regularly teaches Introduction to Film and Film as Literature.

Jacinta Yanders

  • PhD: The Ohio State University
  • MA: Indiana State University
  • BA: Ball State University

Dr. Jacinta Yanders (aka Dr. J) has a vast array of research interests, including but not limited to, Media Studies, Young Adult Literature, and Composition Studies. Her most recent research projects focus on analyzing the production and reception of television remakes as well as ongoing gestures toward diversity and inclusion within various facets of contemporary film and television. Dr. J regularly attends and presents her work at the Society for Cinema and Media Studies Annual Conference, and she serves on the steering committee of the conference's Critical Media Pedagogy special interest group. Additionally, she also is a member of the planning committee for the Fan Studies Network North America Conference.

ENGLI 1135: Introduction to Film Art
Introduces the basic elements of film as an art form, including cinematography, mise-en-scene, movement, editing, and sound. Social and media contexts of film will also be considered. Through screening, discussion, and critical evaluation of selected films, students develop an ability to interpret cinema through close examination of the relationship between its form and content. Credit cannot be earned for both ENGLI 1135 and MPTV 1135. Pre-Enrollment Criteria: Reading Placement Category 1. (3 lecture hours)
  • 16 week session, Jan. 22 to May 13, 2020
    • Monday, 1 to 3:50 p.m. | TBA
    • Tuesday, 4:20 p.m. | Professor Benassi
    • Wednesday, 2 to 4:50 p.m. | TBA
    • Thursday, 1 to 3:50 p.m. | Professor Yanders
  • 12 week session, Feb. 17 to May 15, 2020
  • Online | Professor Brems

ENGLI 1145: Film History
Explores the history of film through articulating the evolution of cinema from its inception to the modern era, with emphasis placed on social, historical, and economic contexts that shape changes in film. Through examining a variety of American and international films representing many eras, genres, and filmmakers, students will gain insight into the historical narratives that have shaped film as a mass medium. Credit cannot be earned for both ENGLI 1145 and MPTV 1145. Pre-Enrollment Criteria: Reading Placement Category 1. (3 lecture hours)

  • 16 week session, Jan. 21 to May 12, 2020 
    • Tuesday, 1 p.m. to 3:50 p.m. | TBA
    • Wednesday, 1 p.m. to 3:50 p.m. | Professor Brems

ENGLI 1154: Film As Literature
Explores the process of film adaptation from a variety of sources. Includes examination of films adapted directly and indirectly from prior media, as well as an overview of theoretical approaches to studying film adaptation. Through close study of selected films, students will develop a nuanced, open approach to considering the process of adaptation on screen. Credit cannot be earned for both ENGLI 1154 and MPTV 1154. Pre-Enrollment Criteria: Reading Placement Category 1. (3 lecture hours)

  • 16 week session, Jan. 21 to May 14, 2020 
    • Monday, 6:30 to 9:20 p.m. | Professor Brems
    • Tuesday, 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. | TBA
    • Thursday, 2 to 4:50 p.m. | Professor Adelman
    • Online | Professor Moore
  • 12 week session, Feb. 17 to May 15, 2020  (02/17/2020-05/15/2020)
  • Online | Professor Adelman
  • 2nd 8 week session
    • Online | Professor Brems

ENGLI 2235: Film Genres
Focuses on the study of film through examination of cinematic genre. Studies of one or more genres, genre theory, critical dialogue about the concept of genre and its limitations will all be covered. Genre-focused content will be chosen by the instructor. Credit cannot be earned for both ENGLI 2235 and MPTV 2235. Pre-Enrollment Criteria: Reading Placement Category 1. (3 lecture hours)

  • 16 week session, Jan. 27 to May 11, 2020 
    • Monday, 1 to 3:50 p.m. | Professor Brems

ENGLI 2236: World Cinema
Explores international cinema, primarily emphasizing films made in countries other than the United States. Studies of the cinema of one or more nations, concepts of national cinematic identity, critical dialogue, history, and important filmmakers of diverse backgrounds will all be covered. International cinema content will be chosen by the instructor. Credit cannot be earned for both ENGLI 2236 and MPTV 2236. Pre-Enrollment Criteria: Reading Placement Category 1. (3 lecture hours)

  • Custom Session, Jan. 22 to April 15, 2020 
    • Wednesday, 6 to 9:40 p.m. | Professor Adelman

The communication and problem-solving skills learned through the study of Film are foundational to diverse career fields including:

  • Filmmaking
  • Media Production
  • Advertising
  • Politics
  • Teaching
  • Public Relations
  • Marketing
  • Writing

English courses at College of DuPage are beneficial in aiding our understanding of texts as well as connecting the historical context of different time periods to our society today. Even in the courses I'm currently taking at ISU, I still utilize the analytical skills I acquired at COD.

Brianna LiddellCOD Alumnus and Illinois State University student Majoring in English Education

Contact Information

Jill Salas
Chair of Developmental English

Tim Henningsen
Chair of Composition

Jason Snart
Chair of Literature, Creative Writing and Film