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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : European Languages and Cultures - French

Undergraduate Course: The Cinema of Chantal Akerman: Memory, History, Desire (Ordinary) (ELCF09018)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Course typeStandard AvailabilityAvailable to all students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 9 (Year 3 Undergraduate) Credits20
Home subject areaEuropean Languages and Cultures - French Other subject areaNone
Course website None Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionChantal Akerman is one of the most diverse and cutting-edge directors working in France today. Highly influential in the domain of independent cinema, she has authored some forty films to date, the single most important and coherent body of work by a woman director. Extremely diverse in her use of genre - her films range from feminist pamphlet and ethnographic documentary to musical comedy and literary adaptation, she incessantly reworks questions that are at the very heart of post-war cultural debates: the female condition, sexuality and lesbian identity; marginality and alterity; power relations between men and women; displacement, loss and memory; racism, anti-Semitism and the Holocaust. Based on a selection of her most representative films, this course will examine the key themes of her work, assess the defining features of her film aesthetics and situate her oeuvre in the wider context of modern French cinema, especially the Nouvelle Vague and post Nouvelle Vague. Parallels will be drawn between her work and the radical developments in literature, theatre and the visual arts that have shaped French culture over the last forty years. No prior knowledge of film studies is necessary in order to take this course.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: French 2 (ELCF08001)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Ordinary Students and Visiting Students only
Additional Costs None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesIn order to be eligible to take 4th Year Options, Visiting Students should have the equivalent of at least two years of study at University level of the appropriate language(s) and culture(s).
Displayed in Visiting Students Prospectus?Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
Intended learning outcomes specific to this course are:

- the ability to analyse the complex film narratives of a prominent twentieth-century director

- to identify recurrent themes and aesthetic strategies in a diverse body of work and to engage with concepts such as 'women's filmmaking', 'feminist film making' and 'avant-garde' film'

- the ability to situate Akerman's practice in the context of post-war French and American avant-gardes and of crucial developments in French culture from the 1960s to the present day

- an understanding of the characteristics of various film genres - musical, romantic comedy, etc. and their playful subversion by the director

By the end of the course, students will be expected to show the ability:
- to demonstrate advanced knowledge and understanding of the subject;
- to recognise and acknowledge the complexity of the subject;
- to show a good understanding of, and apply competently, complex conceptual frameworks;
- to construct coherent arguments which demonstrate an awareness of the problems posed by the texts and issues which they are studying;
- to demonstrate a high level of expression in both written and oral presentations;
- to demonstrate the mastery of relevant technical terminology and research methods;
- to offer alternative perspectives, identify and accommodate ambiguities and show an awareness of nuance;
- to develop original ideas;
- to demonstrate an awareness of the research agenda relating to the topic.

Assessment Information
One 1500 word essay (40%) and one 90 minute exam (60%)
Special Arrangements
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus Not entered
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list Not entered
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern Not entered
KeywordsFrench cinema
Course organiserProf Marion Schmid
Tel: (0131 6)50 8409
Course secretaryMrs Jacqueline Barnhart
Tel: (0131 6)50 4026
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