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Unit information: Classics of European Cinema in 2016/17

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Unit name Classics of European Cinema
Unit code MODL10010
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Ms. Taylor
Open unit status Open
Pre-requisites

None

Co-requisites

None

School/department School of Modern Languages
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description

This unit introduces students to some "classics" of European cinema. It explores these films in the context of their national film industries and histories and analyses the distinct and common features of a variety of films made in Europe in the twentieth century. The following general issues are addressed: what makes a film a "classic"; what themes of methods unite or distinguish these films; and how does film language in Europe differ from nation to nation. Films to be studied may include: Lang: Metropolis (1925); Eisenstein: The Battleship Potemkin (1925); Renoir: La Règle du Jeu (1939); Buñuel: Viridiana (1961); Rossellini: Rome Open City (1945).

Aims:

Through the study of a minimum of eight cinematic texts, this unit aims to introduce students to European cinema in its national context and to teach them how to approach film in an informed critical manner. Lectures on individual films will be complemented by generic lectures on theoretical and cultural aspects of film production and criticism. Students will gain an understanding of European cinema in its historical dimension, learn to appreciate aspects of how films are made, and develop their ability to analyse and interpret visual texts.

This unit is taught over 12 weeks of two contact hours per week, which will include Lectures and Seminars.

Intended learning outcomes

This unit aims to

  1. Introduce students to Classics of European cinema in its national context and to teach them how to approach film in an informed critical manner.
  2. Students will gain an understanding of Classic European cinema in its historical dimension.
  3. learn to appreciate aspects of how films are made.
  4. Develop their ability to analyse and interpret visual texts.

Teaching details

This unit is taught over 10 weeks of two contact hours per week, which will include Lectures and Seminars.

Assessment Details

essay 75%, presentation 25%

Reading and References

There is no set text as such for this unit, however students may find the following books useful for a technical introduction to film making and film criticism.

  • D.Bordwell and K.Thompson: Film art: an introduction (McGraw Hill,1993)
  • J.Monaco: How to read a film: the art, technology, language, history and theory of film and media (OUP,1981)
  • J. Orr & O. Taxidou, Post – War Cinema and Modernity A film Reader (EUP 2000)

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