|Course code module||1MFVI030|
|Study load (hours)||168|
|Language of instruction:||Dutch|
|Semester exam information:||exam in the 1st semester|
|Contract restriction information:|
No specific prerequisites required.
2. Objectives (expected learning outcomes)
1. The student gains knowledge about the most important developments and movements in the history of film theory, from its origins until today. For each school of thought the student learns about the main theoretical assumptions, methodology and concrete analyses.
2. The student acquires insight into the different movements handled during the course module. The student learns to situate film theories within their cultural-historical context, and understands how theoretical frameworks influence concrete analyses.
3. The student is able to compare concepts, methods and analyses of different schools of film theoretical thought.
4. The student is able to understand and synthesize canonical texts of film theoretical authors, and to situate them within the history of film theory.
3. Course content
This course gives a broad overview of early and classical film theory and film analysis, from the end of the 19the century until today. Students become acquainted with the leading debates, concepts and figures in the history of film theory. For each approach, we discuss theoretical assumptions, methodology and concrete cases.
First, we consider theorists (and film directors) who scrutinized the new medium film since its beginnings: Münsterberg, Canudo, Lindsay. The ideas of Arnheim, Benjamin and Adorno are used to illustrate the debates about film as an art form and/or a movie industry. The polemics between formalism and realism are explained from the perspective of Bazin and Kracauer. We analyze post-war French evolutions like for example the
politique des auteurs
. Semiotics and psychoanalysis are introduced through the work of Christian Metz.
Second, we give an overview of the contemporary film theoretical field. We focus on Anglophone and French approaches: Screen-theory, psychoanalytical and feminist film theory, cognitive film theory. Next to our focus on text, we consider theories about intertextual, societal and structural contexts of film. We make the transition from text to context and audiences via
. We also focus on political economical analyses of film. Structures and power relations in the globalized film industry are often overlooked but of utmost importance for analyzing films. In reference to reception and film audiences, we consider developments in research on historical and contemporary audiences as active actors in film culture.
4. Teaching method
Direct contact: Lectures
Personal work: Assignments - individualSupervised self-study
5. Assessment method
Exam: Oral, with written preparationOpen book
Written assignment: With oral presentation
6. Compulsory reading – study material
Reader with original film theoretical texts (Universitas)
7. Recommended reading - study material
Bosma, P. (Red.) Filmkunde. Een inleiding.
Casetti, F. (1999) Theories of Cinema 1945-1995 (translation from Italian) Austin: University of Texas Press
Stam, R. (2000) Film Theory.
An Introduction. Oxford: Blackwell.
After class, by appointment, or via email