The moving image is a pervasive presence in current culture but film and video history is threatened by the instability of its material existence. Digitization does not solve the problem of the medium's impermanence and the transition from celluloid to digital production and distribution only adds further layers to the medium's ephemerality. This course will explore issues of film preservation by viewing a wide range of films that have been preserved or restored, especially independent films from narrative, documentary and avant-garde cinemas. We will analyze films from historical and theoretical perspectives while considering the issues facing film archivists and conservators in preserving them. From a detailed study and critical research of films, students will write descriptive and analytical essays. They will also keep a weekly response journal to assigned screenings and readings. Students must have completed a cinema studies course and a course in film or video production.