This is a critical writing course which focuses on how popular film narratives (independent and mainstream) function in American culture. Students study visual and narrative composition of film, the politics of film aesthetics and production, and the competing rhetorics of American film directors and genres. The discussion of each film is contextualized through attention to visual and narrative construction of gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, sexuality, and social class. Course materials include readings and videostreamed films. Additionally, students select a film of their own choosing for intense study. Not appropriate for first year students.