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Unit information: Film and Television History, 1960 to the present in 2020/21

Unit name Film and Television History, 1960 to the present
Unit code FATV20004
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Pete Falconer
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Film and Television
Faculty Faculty of Arts


In this unit students are introduced to the history of film and television from 1960 to the present. Topics may include, but are not limited to: art and experimental cinema in the 1960s and 1970s, documentary, the rise of television, ‘third’ cinema, New Hollywood, contemporary Hollywood, Asian and European cinema, the emergence of digital filmmaking technologies.

Unit aims:

  • To introduce students to key ways of approaching, debating and conceptualizing film’s historical changes between 1960 and the present;
  • To develop skills in contextualising key films, movements, national cinemas, and genres;
  • To develop an understanding of how the medium of film changed through technologies, national and industrial contexts, artistic innovations, and popular reception;
  • To develop skills in researching, analyzing, debating and discussing film within historical frameworks;
  • To develop communication skills in writing and oral presentation.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

1. demonstrate knowledge of historical changes in film and television from 1960 to the present in relation to changing genres, aesthetic traditions and forms;

2. locate specific film and television forms and genres within historical contexts;

3. engage critically with the social, cultural and institutional histories that have shaped – and continue to shape – film and television;

4. consider histories of film and television in national, international and global contexts;

5. engage critically with how film and television can be understood within broader concepts and contexts of culture;

6. identify and analyse the ways in which film and television, and their attendant technologies, make possible different kinds of aesthetic effects and forms;

7. evaluate and draw upon a range of sources and historical frameworks appropriate to research;

8. formulate appropriate research questions and employ appropriate methods and resources for exploring them.

Teaching details

Weekly seminar, lecture, and screenings, supported by self-directed tasks where appropriate.

Assessment Details

100% Essay (4000 words)

Reading and References

Maltby, R. and Craven, I. (1995) Hollywood Cinema, Oxford University Press.

Street, S. (2009) British National Cinema, London.

Thompson, K. and Bordwell, D. (2003) Film History: An Introduction, New York.

Chaudhuri, S. (2005) Contemporary World Cinema, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. History of the American Cinema series.