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

Postgraduate Course: The Cinema of Alfred Hitchcock (PG) (CLLC11202)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryAlfred Hitchcock is one of the most significant filmmakers in the history of cinema. This course will offer an overview of his body of work while also engaging with the academic response to his films. Students will study a substantial selection of Hitchcock's films from throughout his career and we will consider the various ways in which his films have been interpreted over the years. The course will provide an introduction to film theory and will also examine the effect of technological changes on Hitchcock's film style and aesthetics. In addition, the course will chart various political and ideological shifts as they are refracted through Hitchcock's cinema.
Course description Alfred Hitchcock is a foundational figure in both the history of cinema and in the development of film theory. Hitchcock directed nearly 60 feature films from The Pleasure Garden in 1925 to Family Plot in 1976 and worked with some of the twentieth century's most iconic actors, including Ingrid Bergman, Peter Lorre, Gregory Peck, Cary Grant, James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Janet Leigh, Anthony Perkins, Tippi Hedren, Julie Andrews and many others. Hitchcock's films give us a microcosm of the aesthetic and political development of cinema throughout the twentieth century.

Hitchcock's films have come under intense scrutiny throughout the history of film criticism, theory and film-philosophy and we will discuss various important critical engagements with Hitchcock's work. Writing on Alfred Hitchcock echoes every major development in the field of Film Studies and so the course will act as an introduction to these trends in thinking about film.¿

The course will chart changes in film style and aesthetics by considering the way in which Hitchcock experiments with new technologies as they become available to him. We will consider the political and ideological contexts of Hitchcock's films and particularly look at his troubled relationship with women in both fictional and real worlds. Throughout, the course will critically interrogate the importance given to Alfred Hitchcock's cinema.

Students will learn how to perform film analyses and how to write about audio-visual artifacts.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Students on LLC MSc programmes get first priority to this course. If you are not on an LLC course, please let your administrator or the course administrator know you are interested in the course. Unauthorised enrolments will be removed.
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2022/23, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  20
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 10, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 10, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 174 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 1 x 1000 word essay: 30%¿
1 x 3000 word essay: 70%
Feedback Students will be given formative feedback on essay plans as well as detailed comments on the summative essay that will suggest ways of improving their results.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Appraise the importance and legacy of the Alfred Hitchcock canon
  2. Analyse and evaluate the films and secondary materials
  3. Conduct advanced research in film studies
  4. Write with fluency, clarity and insight
Reading List
Freedman, Jonathan. (ed.) (2015). The Cambridge Companion to Alfred Hitchcock. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Miller, D.A. (2016). The Hidden Hitchcock. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Modleski, Tania. (1989) The Women Who Knew Too Much: Hitchcock and Feminist Theory. London and New York: Routledge.
Truffaut, François. (1983) Hitchcock. Revised edition. New York: Simon and Schuster.
Wood, Robin. (2008) Hitchcock's Films Revisited. 2nd ed. New York: Columbia University Press.

Ackroyd, Peter. (2016) Alfred Hitchcock. London: Verso.
Allen, Richard & S. Ishii Gonzales (eds.) (1999). Alfred Hitchcock: Centenary Essays.
Miller, D. A. (1990). Anal Rope. Representations, 32, 114¿133.
Zizek, Slavoj. (ed.) (2010) Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Lacan But
Leitch, Thomas and Leland Poague. (eds.) (2011) A Companion to Alfred Hitchcock. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.
Pomerance, Murray. (2013) Alfred Hitchcock's America. London: Polity.
Spoto, Donald. (1988). The Dark Side of Genius: The Life of Alfred Hitchcock. London: Plexus.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Critical analysis and evaluation
Communication in both spoken and written form
Autonomous research skills
Aesthetic sensibility
KeywordsAlfred Hitchcock,cinema,film theory,film-philosophy
Course organiserDr David Sorfa
Tel: (0131 6)50 3637
Course secretaryMs Monique Brough
Tel: (0131 6)50 3618
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