This course provides an introduction to film through the lens of French national cinema. We study the historical formation of the moving image in France (and beyond); from its humble beginnings as a novel attraction, to its rise as a major medium in its own right, appreciated for both its commercial and artistic appeal. We examine the work of a number of influential auteurs and key periods in the development of French national cinema: including the work of early masters Jean Vigo and Jean Renoir, members of the French New Wave Jean-Luc Godard and Agnès Varda, as well as contemporary filmmakers Mathieu Kassovitz and Olivier Assayas. In addition to undertaking a historical overview of French cinema, this course familiarizes students with a variety of approaches to the analysis of film style and form: mise-en-scène, cinematography, editing, sound, performance, etc. While no prior knowledge of French cinema or film analysis is required, a willingness to engage deeply and critically with film is fundamental.