As digital media replace the photo-chemical basis of the filmic text and the cinematic experience, we should take the opportunity to return to the originary moment of the movies and rethink the issue of “aesthetics.” This course will thus consider “film-form-degree-zero,” re-examining theories of early cinema and the basics of filmic construction, including the shot, framing, the moving camera and editing.  We will then consider more sophisticated films from the standpoint of the creation of on-screen and off-screen space and complex narrative strategies.  Finally, we will take a moment in the stream of mid-century cinema, at the height of Hollywood’s so-called “Classical” era, and see how what has come to be taken as a standardized film language was, in fact, roiling with experimentation.