Module and Programme Catalogue

Search site

Find information on

2019/20 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

COMM1830 Introduction to Cinema

20 creditsClass Size: 67

Module manager: Dr Tracy Mollet

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2019/20

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module equips students with a case-study based 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, the cinematic gaze, social cinema, film festivals and film technologies. Each of the studies will be taught by an expert in the case-study area. Assessment is by a 2,500 word essay (60%) and a close-analysis of one film clip (from a selection of 4 provided by the tutor) (40%).


This module aims to provide students with an informed understanding of the principal developments in the history of US and European cinema from the emergence of film in the late 19th century to the present day. Via the study of specific case-studies, the module will enable students to analyse and evaluate the significance of individual films, filmmakers, genres, movements and national cinemas to the history of cinema as a whole, forming empirical links between different film cultures and historical periods and applying film theory to the analysis of film. The module will also equip students with the tools of textual analysis, exploring film form, style, narrative, technology and genre.

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

- Describe the development of US and European cinema giving examples of significant films, filmmakers, genres, and movements.
- Analyse film drawing on an understanding of form, style, technique, and genre
- Apply film theory in the critical analysis of film
- Locate and evaluate film scholarship
- Critically discuss film in the context of an academic essay

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.).
- The ability to extract pertinent information and arguments from relevant secondary sources, as prescribed in reading lists etc.
- The ability to identify relevant reading and viewing which is not prescribed in reading lists, etc.
- The ability to write a coherent discursive essay in response to a prescribed question, paying attention to factors including the use of evidence, quality of argument and overall essay structure.


The module will cover film terminology, early cinema, classical Hollywood cinema, The Golden Age of cinema, The Cinematic Gaze, European New Wave, Film Festivals, Social Cinema, The Blockbuster and Digital technologies and cinema

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

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, DVDs and BDs is available in the Edward Boyle Library to support this private study, and we are continually adding to it. Where copyright issues permit, films and related viewing are also made available on LUTube.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Contribution to seminar group discussions

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1 x - 2,500 words60.00
AssignmentClose analysis of a film sequence – 1500 words (from a choice of 4 provided by the module leader). clips provided in week 3.40.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

If you are reuired to resit the essay you will need to choose a new question form the module handbook. If you are reuired to resit the assignment you must submit a new version following the instructions in the resit letter.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 08/07/2019


Browse Other Catalogues

Errors, omissions, failed links etc should be notified to the Catalogue Team.PROD

© Copyright Leeds 2019