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Cinema Studies: HOME

How To Use This Guide


Not enough time in the day to learn all there is to know about analyzing films?  Nonsense!  This easy-to-navigate guide is conveniently laid out so you can gain valuable information at your own pace.  Each tab at the top directs you to different areas of interest, so you can gain insights into various resources available in American Cinema one day, and movie onto exploring World Cinema on day two!  Feel like taking on the whole globe in one day?  Hey, if you've got the time, go for it!

Why Study Film?

Film teaches us more about ourselves and the world around us. An artful director is one who can accurately capture the truths of life, whether brutal or beautiful, and elicit certain emotions from the viewer.  This is done by means of effective images, scores, scripts, and acting.  These aspects of a film can all be analyzed, just as characters, plot points and symbolism in literature.  Once we become active viewers, as opposed to mere "watchers" of cinema, we can learn to truly appreciate the complexities of the art.

Google Scholar

Google Scholar: a good starting off point for exploring popular research topics on films and other subject matter.

About this Guide


Film has the power to enlighten viewers in any discipline, if we approach the art form not solely as a means of entertainment, but rather as a visual reflection of our own history, humanity, and cultural existence.   A well made film has the ability to educate its audience in ways that a book cannot, as the viewing can be described as an emotional journey, utilizing multiple sensory organs in order to usurp the entirety of its dimension.  It is an educator of the purest kind, and yet, many do not know how to see the true value in this medium.  Society has become accustomed to merely “watching” movies, as opposed to experiencing them.  Training yourself to study a film can be one of the greatest skills a student of life can learn.  By turning viewers into scholars of this art form, we stand to learn more about where we have been, and where we are going.  This guide serves as a first step in this process, by providing some useful resources to help film scholars of all levels.  Links, advice, and media clips all serve to help instill a better appreciation for not only Stony Brook University Library’s offerings in the area of Cinema Studies, but also other resources that can easily be accessed on the web.                                          

Four films you've probably never seen...but should

Children of Paradise 

Les Enfants du Paradis (Children of Paradise), Directed by Marcel Carné. Starring Arletty and Jean-Louis Barrault.  






Ordet (The Word), Directed by Carl Dreyer. Starring Henrik Malberg, Emil Hass Christensen and Preben Lerdorff Rye. Click HERE to view a clip.




7 Chances


Seven Chances, Directed by Buster Keaton. Starring Buster Keaton and Ruth Dwyer.  Click HERE to view a cllip.






Sunrise: a Song of Two Humans, Directed by F.W. Murnau. Starring George O'Brien and Janet Gaynor. Click HERE to view a clip.

Library Liaison

Kate Kasten-Mutkus's picture
Kate Kasten-Mutkus
North Reading Room, NS2-C
Frank Melville Jr. Memorial Library
Stony Brook University

Need Help?

Looking for more information on your favorite film?  Try visiting imdb or wikipedia for some quick facts, plot summaries, key player information, and fun trivia!