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University of Warwick Department of Film and Television Studies
FI101: Discovering Cinema
Module Leader: Dr. Julie Lobalzo Wright Contact:
Room A0.15 Millburn House Office hours: 15.00-16.00 Tuesdays; 15.00-16.00 Wednesdays
Seminar Leader: Leanne Weston Contact: TBA
Timetable 9.00-12.00 Monday Screening 1 A0.28 12.00-13.00 Tuesday Lecture A0.28 13.00-15.00 Tuesday Screening 2 A0.28 13.00-14.00 Wednesday Seminar 1 A1.14/A1.28 14.00-15.00 Wednesday Seminar 2 *** Seminars- both the number of seminars running and the allocation of students to seminars- will be determined in week 1*** Films The Graduate (Mike Nichols, 1967) Goldfinger (Guy Hamilton, 1964) Monsoon Wedding (Mira Nair, 2001) Singin in the Rain (Stanley Donen, 1952) Spirited Away (Hayao Miyazaki, 2001) Men in Black (Barry Sonnenfeld, 1997) The Skin I Live In (Pedro Almodvar, 2011) The Piano (Jane Campion, 1993) Lost in Translation (Sofia Coppola, 2003) Module Description
This module is intended to introduce students to the techniques and skills of textual analysis and to develop their understanding and appreciation of cinema both past and present. It aims to introduce cinema through a range of critical lenses and frameworks, familiarising students with key formal strategies and critical concepts that are necessary for analysing films. This second term of the module will cover key theoretical concerns in film studies, focusing on film as an industry, genre, stardom, and authorship. The techniques gained in the first term will be applicable to this second term as we continue to closely examine the film text, but also think about how industry expectations through definable genres or star images impact on the production and exhibition of films. Furthermore, by studying non-Hollywood industries, we will gain a better understanding of how the film industry operates throughout the world. This term will introduce you to the concepts of industry, genre, stardom, and authorship, spending two weeks or more on each concept in order to investigate how these defining concepts have been studied in academia, but, also, utilised within the film industry. Students will explore these ideas through a wide and engaging array of films from different countries and different periods in the history of cinema. By focusing on a range of narrative films, this module will ultimately equip students with the necessary analytical skills to discover cinemas richness, its complexity and its expressiveness. This course will be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars and weekly screenings. Attendance at lectures, seminars and screenings is compulsory. Aims and Objectives This module aims to introduce and familiarise students with the principles
of film form, narrative and style as well as the basic methodologies of film criticism.
It intends to equip students with a critical vocabulary for analysing films and will give the significant practice in discussing and writing about cinema.
It will allow students to develop a scholarly understanding of some of the dominant concepts, methods and debates in film studies.
It gives students the opportunity to study historical and contemporary cinemas from Europe, Asia and the Americas and enables them to explore a variety of critical and theoretical approaches to studying this exciting medium.
The module will introduce questions regarding the political and social importance of cinema and the role of stardom, genre, and authorship as a way of reading films.
Students are expected to attend every week, on time, and having completed the required reading for the week. Required reading is just that- you are required to have it read before you seminar. The readings are to help assist your understanding of the weeks film and/or topic, but they may not be directly discussed in seminars. This does not mean that you can skip readings. One of the most fundamental aspects of your Film Studies degree is reading about film and when you do not complete the required reading, it will be recognised in seminars. Students who have not attended the lecture and/or not completed the reading are always less knowledgeable about the topics for that week and this impacts on not only the individual student, but the rest of the seminar group. Your preparation is vital to the type of contribution you will make within the seminar and you are expected to fully participate in all group activities and group discussions. Lectures are also an important part of your study as the place where ideas are presented and explained and questions are suggested to guide your viewing and reading for the week. Your punctual attendance is expected, as is your attention. Please be mindful of your fellow students and do not distract from your or their learning with loud talking or electronic devices that may cause sound or image disturbances. Mobile phones should be put away and not used during lectures, screenings, and seminars. Furthermore, laptops and tablets should be used sparingly or not at all during screenings as the light disrupts the viewing experiences. If you do use an electronic device to take notes, please sit towards the back of the room so as not to disrupt the other students. You should be taking detailed notes in lectures and screenings with these notes helping to organise your thoughts on the weeks topic. Notes will be useful in seminars and, later, in your assessments. Office Hours I will have set office hours from 15.00-16.00 on Tuesdays and 15.00-16.00 on Wednesdays. You are welcome to drop in to see me, but it is best to contact me beforehand to make an appointment. Your pastoral care is an important aspect of your university education and I am available to speak to you about anything pertaining to your degree, but especially, any questions or issues you may have in this module. Although I am not able to comment on drafts of assigned work, I am always happy to discuss your plans for essays and any marked coursework. I will always be available to talk briefly after sessions, but you will get more out of meeting with me, face to face, at an assigned time so please do not hesitate to make an appointment. Email You are also welcome to email me with any questions or issues that may arise. I am generally prompt in responding to emails, but please be aware that I will be checking and sending emails in university hours, which means I may not be as quick to respond late at night/early in the morning and/or over the weekend.
Reading and Viewing Each week has a list of required reading for the weeks topic and film. In addition, each week has listed suggested reading, which is there for expanding your study. You may find that certain topics or films are of interest to you and you want to study them in further detail or there may be weeks where certain concepts are challenging and reading beyond just the required reading will assist your understanding of the topic or film. Some readings may be more difficult than others. Always remember to look up terms if you are unsure of their meaning. Seminars will be a place to go over more complicated readings and concepts. This is by no means an exhaustive list, and you should begin as soon as possible to start exploring the library databases and holdings of books and journals in order to follow up your own lines of interest. It is not possible for lectures and seminars to explore every interesting aspect of a films context and critical history, and it is up to you to become accustomed to doing this for yourself. You are not expected to read everything, but the extent of your reading and viewing will be evident in your assessed and examined work, and your marks will certainly reflect this. The texts suggested here are not necessarily endorsed; it is up to you to read critically and to make your own judgements about the scholarship you encounter. The reading and screening lists is at: http://readinglists.warwick.ac.uk/lists/DF67C519-6426-3E84-B311-E4217703C02D.html All of the reading that you are required to do will be on this reading list. You may also be familiar with the electronic databases. Readings will also be available here, however, I suggest you use the reading list as it is comprehensive and only lists what we will be doing this term, whereas the database may include extracts from past years. https://clas.warwick.ac.uk/Extracts/Index/FI101 Please also be patient with the upload of digital extracts and links to these works on the reading list. Many items have been requested to be digitised this term and readings may be available only a week before lectures/seminars. There is also a list of suggested viewing under each week. I cannot stress how important it is to READ! READ! READ! and WATCH! WATCH! WATCH! when taking this module! There will be films that relate to the topic of the week or may be referred to in the lecture. All films will be available from the library and some will also be available to view through BOB (through BUFVC,
recently aired programs from free-to-air channels). It is not a requirement to watch these films, but the more films you can watch, the better your skills of analysis will become. The university library is an excellent resource and we make sure to order books and DVDs that compliment your studies. Please use the library (its even open 24 hours!!!!)
Module Website I will make powerpoints and handouts from each week available at the module website- https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/arts/film/current/ugoutlines/fi101 These documents are password protected in the Weekly Materials file (you will need to enter your student username and password to access these ma