Advanced Film Theory

This third-year course will add to the theoretical, historical and cultural aspects of film investigated in Years 1 and 2, while focusing more closely on the challenging aesthetic and critical debates surrounding the concept of modernity. It will look at films made in the silent era, in post-war Europe and in Britain and the US. Writings on film will be considered in conjunction with viewings of particular films, close analysis of specific filmic techniques and methods, and historical and theoretical approaches to film. The course will also pay attention to the debates of classical and contemporary film theory, feminist approaches and other critical traditions (semiotics, structuralism, formalism, cognitivism). Building on the approach to film taken in Global Cinema: Hollywood and Beyond, this course focuses on film theory as students are introduced to key debates in classical and contemporary film theory, with topics exploring the relations between film and art, cinema and politics, cinema and psychoanalysis, and, above all, the question of how films produce meaning(s).