[By Thomas Delapa, Lead Faculty Member]
“Zeitgeists” aren’t always great; flagpole sitting in the twenties, disco in the seventies. But CPS students now have the opportunity to catch the wave of film studies, an academic discipline that is rising across U.S. universities, according to educators such as Elizabeth Daley, dean of the University of Southern California’s prestigious School of Cinematic Arts.
In a recent New York Times article on U.S. film schools, Daley had “…been surprised to see critical studies emerge as a hot major among students, some of whom are inclined to see film school less as a ticket to jobs than as a path to understanding of media and the arts.’ It’s something that’s close to the zeitgeist of our times,’ Ms. Daley said of the sudden vogue for that more contemplative side.”
“Contemplative,” of course, is a quality close to the heart (and mission) of Regis, which now has its own Film Studies B.A. Liberal Arts specialization within CPS.
In conjunction with the existing Film & Video BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts) program, I’ll be teaching new courses such as Concepts in Film Studies, Film History I & II, and the capstone Film Theory, all of which are designed for students interested in careers in film, media, teaching, and journalism, but the skills learned can be of great value no matter which career path Regis graduates choose.
In these classes, for instance, we’ll consider films as cultural artifacts, studying how they can reflect deeper social values. Sure, Casablanca is one of Hollywood’s greatest love stories, but it also can be interpreted as a potent World War II allegory about America’s (Rick’s) decision to get off the isolationist fence and fight the good fight against Germany. Watch it again, Sam, and you may agree.
Whatever one’s preferred vocation, students will learn to think, converse, and write critically about one of the world’s most popular art and entertainment forms, learning dynamic new means of visual literacy that can be applied to careers within and beyond the field of film. Whether looking at iconic stars, classic genres, greatest films, or legendary directors, we’ve designed the Film Studies specialization to offer rigorous, values-centered courses that encourage students to appreciate and analyze the wide world of film, from vintage Hollywood to today’s indie feature, and from silent to sound.
If you have any questions feel free to contact me, Thomas Delapaat tdelapa-at-regis.edu, our CPS student advisor Teresa Tripp-VanRees at ttrippva-at-regis.edu, or Film/Video administrative assistant Barbara O’Donovan at bfursten-at-regis.edu.
Thomas Delapa has taught undergraduate film studies courses at the University of Colorado at Boulder and Denver, the University of Denver, Regis University, Metropolitan State College, Chapman University (Denver), and the Colorado Film School. As an award-winning film critic, Delapa has written on film, theater, and television for such publications as the Chicago Tribune, Boulder Weekly (CO), and Westword (Denver), and for NPR in Chicago and Denver. His two Master’s degrees are from New York University (Cinema Studies) and the University of Chicago (Social Sciences). His B.A. is in political science from the University of Colorado.