Module and Programme Catalogue

Search site

Find information on

This module is not currently running in the selected year. The information shown below is for the academic year that the module was last running in, prior to the year selected.

2014/15 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

ARTF3032 Cities and Film

20 creditsClass Size: 18

Module manager: Dr Marcel Swiboda
Email: M.A.Swiboda@leeds.ac.uk

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2014/15

Pre-requisite qualifications

At least 20 credits from any ARTF coded module or appropriate equivalent in a relevant discipline. In the latter case, students are advised to get in touch with the module leader to discuss eligibility prior to enrolment

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

PRE-REQUISITES: At least 20 credits from any ARTF coded module or appropriate equivalent in a relevant discipline. In the latter case, students are advised to get in touch with the module leader to discuss eligibility prior to enrolmentThis module commences with two key essays on the construction of metropolitan Modernity in the era of 'high Capitalism': - Georg Simmel's 'The Metropolis and Mental Life' (1903) and Walter Benjamin's 'On Some Motifs in Baudelaire' (1931). These will be explored through two films of the silent era: Walter Ruttmann's Berlin: Symphony of a City (1926) and Dziga Vertov's The Man With the Movie Camera (1928). We will then explore themes introduced in these essays and films (time, movement, shock, memory, experience, technology, alienation, objectification) through the crisis of World War II to the development of Modernist film-making in Europe after 1945. This part of the module focuses on Italian neo-Realism and the French New Wave and their representations of the post-War city. Finally the module analyses cinematic 'cartographies' of the city (city as tree, city as semi-lattice or 'rhizome') ending with an examination of the 'virtual' city of 'post-Fordist' technocapitalist culture. We will also consider the role played by sound and music in urban experience and its filmic embodiments.

Objectives

By the end of this module, students should be able to demonstrate an understanding of:
- the complex interactions between urban environments and urban subjectivity;
- how film functions within the spatio-temporality of the urban and how film is itself an embodiment of this spatio-temporality;
- film and its embodiment of the urban using a variety of critical approaches derived from sociology, philosophy, critical theory and anthropology;
- ethical and political aspects of urban experience; and how film's embodiment of the urban is constituted historically.

Skills outcomes
- Verbal and written fluency in constructing a logical and coherent argument
- Use of audio visual aids
- Participation in group discussions
- Co-ordination and dissemination of a range of historical, contextual visual information
- Using bibliographies and databases.


Syllabus

This module introduces students to a number of the key concepts, themes and tropes that can be used to figure the relationship between film (or more generally audio-visual culture) and the urban, and the complex interplay between urban space-time(s) and the production of subjectivity. This relationship will be examined from the age of 'high Capitalism' (late 19th and early 20th Century) to post-World War Two 'late Capitalism', exploring the changing dynamics of the city and of urban subjectivity in western societies.

The primary focus in the first five weeks will be European cinema until 1945, introducing some of the main film-making styles of the period (Constructivism, Expressionism, Neo-Realism), with key readings derived from the work of the Frankfurt School critic Walter Benjamin and the sociologist Georg Simmel.

The main themes will be drawn from the work of these writers, and will include the following:
1) The problem of experience in the modern city
2) The time of the city
3) Rationalisation
4) Shock
5) Memory
6) Technology.

The final five weeks of the module will explore European and North American cinema from 1945 onwards, through which the impact of the Second World War on the modern city will initially be explored, before considering more recent developments in the cinematic accounts of the city, for example, 1960s urban renewal, Situationism, and postmodernism.

Key stylistic developments of this period will be introduced (American avant-garde, French New Wave). Race and gender in the cinematic city will also be explored.

Key text-based sources are derived from the work of Michel de Certeau, Marc Auge, and Henri Lefebvre, and the main themes are:
1) The disjunction between time and space
2) The Society of the Spectacle
3) The ethics and politics of everyday life
4) The city as palimpsest
5) The crisis of history
6) Rhythmanalysis.

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
Lecture101.0010.00
Seminar101.0010.00
Private study hours150.00
Total Contact hours50.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

- attendance at lectures, seminars and film screenings
- participation in class discussion.

Methods of assessment

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


Coursework
Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay2,000 words40.00
Essay3,000 words60.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

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: 15/04/2015

Disclaimer

Browse Other Catalogues

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

© Copyright Leeds 2019