Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Film Appreciation

LEVEL 03 - Years 2, 3, 4 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Media and Communications

DESCRIPTION This study-unit will use close critical analysis of specific filmic texts to create an awareness of the aesthetic qualities of film and to introduce students to some of the key concepts and terminology associated with diverse methods and approaches to the study of the art of film.

Various interpretative schools will be analysed and utilised in the analysis of specific films, namely:

- Theories of Film Authorship (used in the analysis of Hitchcock's Vertigo and The Birds);
- Changes in Film Genre (used in the analysis of Arthur Penn's Bonnie and Clyde and Terence Malick's Badlands);
- Psychoanalytical Film Theory (used in the analysis of artin Scorsese's Shutter Island and Jennifer Kent's Babadook);
- Feminist Film Theory (used in the analysis of Jane Campion's The Piano and Sally Potter's Orlando);
- Film Adaptation (for an analysis of adaptations of Bram Stoker's Dracula);
- World Cinema (used in the analysis of Mira Nair's Monsoon Wedding and Nicolaj Arcel's Royal Affair).

Two additional lectures will also be dedicated to an overview of filmic technique and an analysis of Orson Welle's Citizen Kane.

Study-unit Aims:

This study-unit aims to:

- Further enhance students' skills in the appreciation and criticism of filmic texts;
- Equip students with the critical vocabulary of the major theoretical schools of thoughts including authorship, changes in film genre, psychoanalytical film theory, feminist film theory, film adaptation and world cinema;
- Give students the opportunity to study a variety of filmic texts through a close analysis of each of these works, relevant to the various schools of thoughts.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Know the various interpretative schools in the study of film (as specified above: schools of authorship, genre theory, psychoanalytical analysis, feminist film, adaptation and world cinema);
- Be fluent in the critical vocabulary of these various schools of thoughts;
- Critically assess films and the role of film in contemporary society;
- Conduct a close analysis of films from diverse regions.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Conduct a close analysis of filmic texts using any one of the theoretical schools of thoughts;
- Demonstrate competence in writing critically about film;
- Understand, evaluate and interpret a film.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Compulsory Texts:

- Braudy, L & Marshall, C. (eds). (2009). Film Theory and Criticism. Routledge: London.

Compulsory Filmography:

- Orson Welles' Citizen Kane.
- Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo.
- Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds.
- Arthur Penn's Bonnie and Clyude.
- Terence Malick's Badlands.
- Martin Scorsese's Shutter Island.
- Jennifer Kent's Babadook.
- Jane Campion's The Piano.
- Sally Potter's Orlando.
- F.W. Murnau's Nosferatu.
- Francis Ford Coppola's Bram Stoker's Dracula.
- Mira Nair's Monsoon Wedding.
- Nicolaj Arcel's The Royal Affair.

Supplementary Readings:

- Arnheim, R. (1957). Film as Art. (12th ed.). California: University of California Press.
- Bazin, A. (2005). What is Cinema Volumes 1&2. (H&Gray Trans & Ed). California: University of California Press, (originally published in 1967).
- Biskind, P. (1998). Easy Riders, Raging Bulls. London: Bloomsbury Press.
- Christie, I. (2003). Scorcese on Scorcese. NY: Faberand Faber.
- Caughie, J. ((ed.). (1981). Theories of Authorship: A reader. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul/BFI.
- Corrigan, T. (2014). A Short Guide to Writing about Film. London: Longman.
- Corrigan, T. & White, P. (2012). The Film Experience: An Introduction. Basingstoke: Palgrave.
- Perkinm, V.F. (1993). Film as Film: Understanding and Judging Movies. New York: Penguin Books (originally published in 1972).
- Thomson-Jones, K. (2008). Aesthetics and Film. London: Continuum International Publishing Group.


ADDITIONAL NOTES Pre-requisite: Good command of the English language.


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment SEM2 Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Rebecca Anastasi

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It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.