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2022/23 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

ARTF2044 Cinema and Culture

20 creditsClass Size: 25

Module manager: Dr Claudia Sternberg

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

Pre-requisite qualifications

20 or more credits of level 1 ARTF coded modules or in related areas (e.g. Media and Communication).

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

The module’s themes and concepts are approached by looking comparatively at specific films and their remake(s). This approach enables us to note cultural, social and technological shifts over time, to discuss the possibilities and challenges of transnational remakes and to consider wider questions of inter-, para- and metatextuality in 20th-century cinema and our postcinematic age. Students engage with relevant discourses and make detailed analyses of screenings, readings and terminologies. The module also dedicates time to develop students’ writing and presentation skills. Techniques and strategies of how to construct a focused argument, find appropriate literature and read a film closely will be explicitly addressed and practiced in this module.


This module examines the complex relationship between filmic texts, cinema and culture. We discuss a selection of concepts integral to questions surrounding the cultural and social functioning of cinema, including the complex of industrial and technological processes, semiotics, authorship, narrative, genre, stardom, the spectator, the body and the gaze. The module provides students with a grounding in the study and research of narrative film and enables them to construct their own analyses of film texts at a macro- and micro-level.

Learning outcomes
By the end of the module, students are able to
- research individual films and analyse them closely, using the language of film analysis,
- use – and also find – appropriate theoretical and historical secondary literature to inform and direct their independent reading of individual films,
- recognise, analyse and describe the cultural and historical dimensions of the relationship between ‘urtext’ and ‘remake’,
- present an advanced comparative film analysis, both orally and in writing, explicitly drawing on critical concepts from film and cultural studies as well as displaying close viewing skills,
- make links between this and other modules in terms of subject matter and critical approaches.

Skills outcomes
- Written fluency in constructing a focused comparative film analysis;
- ability to present close viewing skills in oral and written form (including the use of film stills and captions);
- ability to employ search strategies for film studies research and draw on specific repositories and databases.


In the first five weeks of the module, we look closely at the conceptualisation and theorisation of films and their remakes. We work through a case study to address questions of gender and genre, classical and postclassical narration, transnational adaptation and inter- and paratextual relations.
In the second half of the module, our focus shifts to close readings of film texts and we pay attention to narration, characterisation, montage, mise-en-scène and sound. We also consider issues relating to authorship and spectatorship. We view a number of films which serve as the basis for student presentations on a set of complementary works.
Integrated reflection on writing, research and oral skills prepares students for their essay work and group presentations.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours180.00
Total Contact hours20.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Private study time (including film viewing, reading, essay writing and preparation of presentation): 180 hours

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Although assessed, the in-term submission of the essay draft is seen as a formative step towards the essay final (see also the assessment rationale below). The allocated 30% ensure that students engage fully with the drafting process and make a serious effort to compile a viable bibliography.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1500 words + bibliography (first version)30.00
Essay2500-3000 word essay + reverse outline (second version)70.00
Presentationgroup presentation (20 mins + 10 mins discussion)0.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

In their essay work, students submit the same case study twice – as an assessed first version (film choice, argument/focus, secondary sources) and then a longer, extended and improved second version (the former content developed further in response to feedback, additional close viewing sections, screenshots with captions, appropriate title + separate reverse outline). The presentation task is devised to give students an opportunity to work in teams and practice their oral presentation skills. It will be marked on a pass/fail basis and must be attempted. Presentation resit: Students who do not contribute to group preparations, do not show up on the presentation date or miss the latter due to circumstances (illness, social anxiety etc.) will be required to prepare a PowerPoint selection of five to six film stills/information slides and respective notes. They will present these to the module leader outside of the classroom setting.

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 29/04/2022 15:22:37


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