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SPCM 350 - Evaluating Contemporary Film

  • 3 credits
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As seasoned spectators, most of us are familiar with the fundamental look, structure, sound, and feel of contemporary movies. Filmmakers rely on our familiarity with film form to craft movies that we are able to interpret and, hopefully, appreciate. However, most spectators tend to overlook - let alone question or analyze - how the phenomenal language, techniques, and conventions of film form actually function to make us laugh, cry, frightened, curious, aroused, shocked or even disgusted.

Also, rarely do we contemplate the historical background, political and economical influences, and cultural assumptions that help shape the films we watch. Therefore, through introduction, explanation, examples, and discussions of these elements, this course attempts to encourage a more informed, critical spectatorship of contemporary film.

The hope is that the knowledge and insight you gain through taking this course will result in a stronger awareness and deeper understanding of, as well as greater appreciation for, the movies you watch as well as cinema in general.


CO 150 (College Composition (GT-CO2)) or SPCM 100 (Communication and Popular Culture (GT-AH1)) or SPCM 130 (Relational and Organizational Communication (GT-SS3)) or SPCM 200 (Public Speaking) or SPCM 201 (History and Theory of Rhetoric (GT-AH3)) or SPCM 207 (Public Argumentation); and sophomore standing.

Textbooks and Materials

Section 801


  • Film Studies: An Introduction, 9th Ed.
    Sikov, Ed
    ISBN: 978-0231142939

Textbooks and materials can be purchased at the CSU Bookstore unless otherwise indicated.


Mark Saunders

Mark earned his Bachelor of Science at Southern Illinois University in speech communication. He spent the next five years as a human resources manager for a real estate investment trust. Subsequently, he enrolled at Colorado State University and received his Master of Arts in communication studies. He currently teaches Public Speaking and Public Argumentation. In conjunction with teaching Public Argumentation, he works with the Center for Public Deliberation at Colorado State University. Also, he enjoys researching the portrayal of masculinity in popular culture.