Movie Watching is an activity that starts at a young age. The wonder and social components that come with going to the movies fill us with excitement. Now, as adults, you can experience movies with a deeper understanding of their content. The Plaza is proud to be offering classes for adults about analyzing films with an introduction to film genres. This four week series will show viewers how to look at the core values that lie at the heart of specific film genres. Each class will deal with a different genre, delving into Noir, Western, Thriller, Musical, and many types of cinema. At the beginning of the class we will discuss the fundamentals of the genre of the day and then screen a film. After the film we will come back together to talk about how elements like lighting, cinematography, and mise- en-scène work together to create the filmic environment.


  • Think about how elements of film work together to create distinguished genres.

  • Articulate and discuss films in an analytic way to understand their deeper meaning.

  • Go over the basics of cinematic grammar, reviewing terms that adhere to lighting techniques, cinematography, sound editing, and narrative.

  • Discuss the process of critiquing and celebrating films to be able to discuss what works and doesn’t work for a particular movie.

  • Consider the historical moment surrounding each film and its influence on the genre.

“I have always enjoyed movies. The information learned in the class will help me enjoy them even more. Jennifer is a great instructor and mentor with an obvious in depth knowledge and love for movies.” — Victoria Siegmund, Moriches

“Our in depth discussion was interesting, and revealing. Throughout the course, we explored film genre in detail.  Using readings, discussion and viewing wonderful films, my enjoyment and judgement of  the cinema has been enhanced! Thank you Jennifer for your intellectual involvement and guidance. I am looking forward to another series.” — Susan Margolies, Cold Spring Harbor