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

Postgraduate Course: Film Theory (CLLC11150)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
Summary[This course is not available as an elective and we cannot accept any auditors. The course is only open to postgraduate students registered on the MSc Film Studies]

Film Theory is designed to make students familiar with major European and American film theories and various approaches to film analysis. The theoretical discussion will be combined with exercises in film analysis.
Course description From the very beginning of cinema, various writers have thought about film's place in contemporary society. Cinema has been understood as an aesthetic object, an industry, a political intervention or reflection, as something beneficial or as something that has the potential to corrupt and influence audiences. Film Theory explores the history of the way in which thinkers have sought to understand cinema.

The course engages with a broad selection of films, principally from Europe and North America, that are relevant to the theoretical issues at hand.

Film Theory provides a history of the way in which people have written and thought about film as well as allowing students to develop their own critical engagement with cinema.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements This course is only available to students on the MSc in Film Studies. No outside subject enrolments or auditors are permitted.
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  85
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 10, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 10, Feedback/Feedforward 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) Essay 1: 1000 words (30%)
Essay 2: 3000 words (70%)

Formative assessment: Presentation
Feedback Students will receive feedback on their first essay which will then feedforward to their second essay. Both essays will receive written comments.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate a familiarity with the major theories of film and their development.
  2. apply these theories to the investigation of individual films and cinema generally.
  3. critically engage with issues in film theory and analysis.
Reading List
* Bordwell, D. (1989) Making Meaning: Inference and Rhetoric in the Interpretation of Cinema. Harvard University Press: Harvard.

* Bordwell, David and Kristin Thompson (1991-2010) Film Art: An Introduction. Multiple editions. McGraw-Hill.

* 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.

* Gledhill, Christine and Linda Williams (eds.) (2000) Reinventing Film Studies. Arnold: London.

* Hayward, S. (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.

* 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 * Advanced skills of critical analysis
* Presentation skills
* Time management
* Cultural and historical awareness
Additional Class Delivery Information 1 lecture and 1 out of 3 tutorials
KeywordsFilm,Cinema,Film Theory
Course organiserDr Ana Salzberg
Course secretaryMiss Hope Hamilton
Tel: (0131 6)50 4167
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