Course Details

Title Understanding a Visual Languages in Media
Field of Study Media
Professor hanyang (
Type Academic course
Delivery Method Offline (100% offline course):
Credits 3
Contact hours 45
Course code ISS1004
Course number

In this class, we will examine different visual languages using significant films and other media representative of important historic and contemporary ideas and movements. Screenings and readings guide discussions and analysis geared toward providing familiarity with a broad range of visual language and styles and connecting them to larger questions of culture production and artistic expression.

Week 1
Day 1 Welcome to the Course (Orientation & Introduction)
The Course Syllabus and Major Assignments
Day 2 Visual Language Overview
Media Analysis Guide
Media Narrative and Storytelling
Day 3 Visual Language: Composition & Lens
Shots, Angles, Camera Movement
Day 4 Visual Language in the Classic Hollywood Film
Screening and Discussion
Casablanca (1942)
Director: Michael Curtiz (USA)

Week 2
Day 1 Visual Language: Visualization & Ways of Looking
Shot Lists and Storyboards / Vectors
Scene Analysis and Discussion: Casablanca
Film Noir / Lights and Shadow
Day 2 Visual Language in Contemporary Asian Cinema
Screening and Discussion
Chungking Express (1994)
Directed by Kar Wai Wong (Hong Kong)
Day 3 “Brick Wall” Assignment Presentation and Discussion
Scene Analysis: Chungking Express
Day 4 Visual Language: Major Cinematic Techniques Overview
Visual Language in European Cinema
Screening and Discussion
Nostalgia (1983)
Director: Andrei Tarkovsky (Soviet Union)

Week 3
Day 1 Visual Language: Editing
Visual Rhythm / Cinematic Image
Scene Analysis: Nostalgia
Auteur Theory
Day 2 Visual Language in Nonfiction
Screening and Discussion
Honoring Home (2013)
Visual Language: Documentary
Scene Analysis: Honoring Home
Visual Language Comparison: Fiction vs. Nonfiction
Day 3 Visual Language in Music Video
Screening and Discussion
Music Videos by Chris Cunningham, Spike Jonze, etc.
Day 4 Visual Language in Commercial and Game
Screening and Discussion
Visual Language and Sound
Screening and Discussion

Week 4
Day 1 Creating a Short Story through Still Pictures and Presentation 1
Day 2 Creating a Short Story through Still Pictures and Presentation 2
Day 3 Visual Language Comparison in Different Media
Clip Screenings and Discussion
Developing a Creative Visual Language
The Course Review and Reflection
Day 4 Final Exam


On completion of this course, students will understand basic film terminology and visual language and will be able to critically analyze the meaning of a visual sequence; students will understand film and other media as a whole, based on its basic components and cultural background. In addition, through comparing visual languages in various media, students will be able to examine and explore different production approaches. From this analysis, students will have opportunities to develop their own visual language as effective communicators. Finally, this course will provide students with the ability to break down sequences in films and other media and analyze them in a manner that extends beyond pure entertainment.

1. To develop critical and analytical skills in viewing and evaluating films and other media.
2. To examine and understand how visual works stimulate our emotions, influence our thoughts, and even guide our actions and beliefs.
3. To perceive and understand the visual works and articulate this perception and understanding.
4. To better understand another culture and production methods through the study of international film and media and comparison of different media.
5. To explore and experiment with narrative construction both in visual strategies and shot-to-shot relations.
6. To become well versed in conventional and alternative techniques of storytelling through readings, discussion and screenings of significant films and other media.


I’ll email you the course-pack entitled: Understanding a Visual Language in Film and other Media Study Guide

Materials HISS Syllabus_Visual Language_Chun
Lesson Plan
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Last Updated October 29, 2021
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