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2011/12 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

COMM1830 Introduction to Cinema

20 creditsClass Size: 106

Module manager: Dr Leo Enticknap

Taught: Semester 2 View Timetable

Year running 2011/12

Module replaces

COMM1530 Classic Cinema

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

This module equips students with a historical overview of the principal developments in US and European cinema, from 1895 to the present day. Through a series of ten one-hour lectures and linked screenings, students are introduced to the form, culture, economics and ideology of the moving image.Topics covered include early cinema, the emergence of the 'Classical' system, European art cinema traditions, documentary and realism, cinema and propaganda, national cinemas and the convergence of cinema with other media forms in the second half of the twentieth century.Assessment is by a 2,000 word essay and an exam taken at the end of the module.


On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:

- demonstrate knowledge of the principal developments in US and European cinema history;
- dorm empirical links and comparisons between different film cultures and periods in history;
- apply empirical knowledge to the analysis of individual films, filmmakers, genres, movements and national cinemas;
- evaluate the relative significance of individual films, filmmakers, genres, movements and national cinemas to cinema history as a whole;
- identify information and argument relevant to assessment tasks set from prescribed reading material;
- make informed contributions to seminar group discussions.

Skills outcomes
A solid background knowledge of the main historical debates and issues which have shaped Western (defined as US and European) cinema in the twentieth century.

The ability to
- carry out textual analysis of films (e.g. critically evaluate form, style, narrative, ideological issues etc.).
- extract pertinent information and arguments from relevant secondary sources, as prescribed in reading lists etc.
- identify relevant reading and viewing which is not prescribed in reading lists, etc.
- write a coherent discursive essay in response to a COMM1830 version 2 20/02/2008 prescribed question, paying attention to factors including the use of evidence, quality of argument and overall essay structure.
- perform under pressure in exam conditions.


- Pre- and Early Cinema; evolution of the basic technologies; early film form; modes of exhibition.
- The emergence of an industry and the development of style and narrative, 1905-15.
- Hollywood and the growth of 'Classical' cinema, 1915-1930.
- Cultural protectionism and European art cinema movements in the 1920s and '30s.
- Realism and Documentary.
- Cinema and Propaganda in Britain and Germany during World War II.
- The Collapse of the Studio System and Post-Classical Hollywood.
- European New Waves.
- New Hollywood and the 'Movie Brats' of the 1970s.
- Modern Cinema and the Convergence of Media.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Film Screenings103.0030.00
Private study hours150.00
Total Contact hours50.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Students are expected to read and view material related to the module outside taught sessions,
consisting both of prescribed books and films, and other relevant material discovered through their own research.

An extensive collection of books, journals and DVDs is available in the Edward Boyle Library to support this private study, and we are continually adding to it.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

- Contribution to seminar group discussions
- Formative assessment - Film Analysis, 750 words
- Contribution to Forum discussions.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay2,000 words50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)50.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)2 hr 00 mins50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)50.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 23/10/2012


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