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Unit information: Close-Up on Film in 2020/21

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Unit name Close-Up on Film
Unit code FATV10002
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Professor. Street
Open unit status Not open




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


This unit equips students with skills in understanding and presenting ideas about film, focusing on theoretical approaches to film as a medium. Issues to be explored include: the relation of film to other artistic and expressive forms, the particular ways in which films generate meanings and pleasures, and the distinctiveness of film as a medium. The unit is structured around a close examination of key theoretical writings, as well as a select group of case study films that resonate with these writings. Through student-led presentations informed by influential theoretical and critical perspectives, with question and answer sessions, students will apply and explore different ways of thinking about film.


  1. to learn how to precis key information from secondary sources with a view to presentation and discussion;
  2. to develop skills in using images, clips and other material to communicate ideas and arguments;
  3. to learn how to present with a view to inviting group discussion;
  4. to explore and debate ideas of medium specificity;
  5. to engage with key theoretical approaches to film.

Intended learning outcomes

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

1. demonstrate skills in oral communication and presenting on film through individual and group work;

2. invite and respond to debates relating to film;

3. demonstrate foundational skills in critical and textual analysis;

4. analyse and evaluate issues related to film as a distinct medium;

5. engage critically with selected major thinkers, debates and intellectual paradigms within film studies and put them to productive use;

6. produce work which is informed by, and contextualised within, relevant theoretical issues and debates, including those around film as a medium;

Teaching details

Weekly seminars and lectures.

Assessment Details

100% Individual presentation (max. 15 minutes) of collaborative project

Reading and References

Perkins, V. (1972) Film as Film. New York: Penguin Books.

Bazin, A. (2005) What is Cinema? Berkeley: University of California Press.

Mast, G., Cohen, M. and Braudy, L. (eds.) (1992) Film Theory and Criticism, 4th ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Additional readings will relate to the specific case studies that are chosen.