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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : Common Courses (School of Lit, Lang and Cult)

Undergraduate Course: Film Criticism and Analysis (CLLC10002)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryFilm Criticism and Analysis will introduce students to the interpretation of film through a consideration of the ways in which film style influences the meaning of any individual film. The course will also consider the history and development of film criticism and will present various theoretical and philosophical approaches to the study of film.

This course is open to year 4 Honours students in the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures who are interested in film (except DELC joint degree students). No prior film study is necessary but if you love cinema and are keen on engaging seriously with its study, then Film Criticism and Analysis will give you the opportunity to learn to think and write about film in more depth.

The course will survey a broad range of film genres including contemporary popular film as well as art house cinema. At least 50% of films screened will be in English while any non-English language films will be subtitled. Delivery will be in English.
Course description The course offers an introduction to the practice and theory of film criticism and analysis.

Indicative Sessions and Example Films (subject to change)

Film Form and Meaning: Mise-en-scène and Cinematography, Sound and Editing
- Morvern Callar (Lynne Ramsay, UK, 2002)
- Berberian Sound Studio (Peter Strickland, 2012)

- The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (Andrew Dominik, USA, 2007)
- The Cabin the Woods (Drew Goddard, 2012)

Narrative and Narration
- Swimming Pool (François Ozon, France/UK, 2003)

Evaluation and Interpretation
- Spring Breakers (Harmony Korine, USA, 2012)
- Antichrist (Lars von Trier, Denmark, 2009)

- The Angels¿ Share (Ken Loach, 2012)

Psychoanalysis and Psychology
- A Dangerous Method (David Cronenberg, UK, 2011)

Film Aesthetics
- The Great Beauty (La Grande Bellezza, Paolo Sorrentino, Italy, 2013)

Feminism and Film
- The Headless Woman (La mujer sin cabeza, Lucrecia Martel, Argentina, 2008)

Cinema and Politics
- District 9 (Neill Blomkamp. South Africa, 2009)

Cognitivist film theory
- Wuthering Heights (Andrea Arnold, UK, 2011)

- The Skin I Live In (Pedro Almodóvar, Spain, 2011)
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Students MUST NOT also be taking
Other requirements Entry to honours in a degree owned by the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures.

Division of European Languages & Cultures: this course is not open to students on joint degrees, only single honours.
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2014/15, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  30
Course Start Semester 1
Course Start Date 15/09/2014
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 11, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 11, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 22, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 152 )
Additional Information (Learning and Teaching) Practical = 2 hour film screening (weekly)
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 60 %, Coursework 40 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 2500 word essay (40%)
2 hour examination (60%)
Feedback Not entered
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S1 (December)2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. - To understand the development of film criticism and analysis
  2. - To be conversant with the major approaches to film criticism and theory
  3. - To analyse individual films using particular theoretical approaches
  4. - To understand film as an aesthetic art form
  5. - To write critically about film in an academic tone
Reading List
Bordwell, David (1989) Making Meaning: Inference and Rhetoric in the Interpretation of Cinema. Harvard: Harvard University Press.

Branigan, Edward (1992) Narrative Comprehension and Film. London: Routledge.

Braudy, Leo and Marshall Cohen (eds.) (2004) Film Theory and Criticism: Introductory Readings. 6th edt. Oxford University Press: Oxford.

Elsaesser, Thomas and Warren Buckland (2002) Studying Contemporary American Film: A Guide to Movie Analysis. Hodder Arnold: London.

Etherington-Wright Christine and Ruth Doughty (2011) Understanding Film Theory. Houndmills: Palgrave McMillan.

Gibbs, John (2002) Mise-en-Scène: Film Style and Interpretation. London and New York: Wallflower.

Hayward, Susan (2000) Cinema Studies: The Key Concepts. Routledge: London & New York.

Miller, Toby and Robert Stam (eds.) (1999) A Companion to Film Theory. Blackwell: Malden, Mass. and Oxford.

Nichols, Bill (ed.) (1976) Movies and Methods: An Anthology, Volume I. University of California Press: Berkeley, Los Angeles and London.

Orpen, Valerie (2003) Film Editing: The Art of the Expressive. London and New York: Wallflower.

Nichols, Bill (ed.) (1985) Movies and Methods: An Anthology, Volume II. University of California Press: Berkeley, Los Angeles and London.

Rushton, Richard and Gary Bettinson (2010) What is Film Theory? An Introduction to Contemporary Debates. New York: McGraw Hill and Open University Press.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Critical thinking, Time organisation, Cultural awareness, Aesthetic sensibility
KeywordsFilm Theory; Film-Philosophy; Criticism; Analysis; Cinema; Interpretation; Style; Aesthetics
Course organiserDr David Sorfa
Course secretaryMiss Fiona Jack
Tel: (0131 6)50 3635
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