Film and Modernity - FI815

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2020 to 2021
(version 2)
Spring 7 30 (15) DR C Sayad checkmark-circle


This course examines the medium of film, considering its specific qualities as an art and industrial-form and the particular ways in which it is influenced by other artistic and cultural forms in its historical moment. The emphasis of the course varies from year to year, responding to current research and scholarship, but it maintains as its focus the aesthetic strategies of film in contrast with other arts, technological developments, film's relationship to historical change, the interdisciplinary reach of Film Studies, and/or the particular strategies used by the cinema to communicate with its audience. The course explores both the historical place of the cinema within the development of twentieth-century culture as well as how this historical definition informs contemporary scholarship.


This module appears in the following module collections.

Contact hours

Total Contact Hours: 50
Private Study Hours: 250
Total Study Hours: 300

Method of assessment

Essay (6,000 words) – 90%
Seminar Performance – 10%

Indicative reading

Rodowick, David N. The Virtual Life of Film. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2007.
Rushton, Richard. The Reality of Film: Theories of Filmic Reality. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2011.
Turvey, Malcolm. Doubting Vision: Film and the revelationist tradition. New York: Oxford UP, 2008.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
- Reflect upon the specificity of film and/or the cinema, and display an awareness of its distinguishing features, in the context of modernity understood as both a cultural and an aesthetic phenomenon;
- Explore the aesthetic strategies of particular films in terms of their relationship with the broader cultural and historical milieu in which they were produced;
- Demonstrate understanding of the details of a particular cultural/historical framework shaped by questions around modernity as a context to interpret film/cinema;
- Evaluate the potential and limitations of that cultural/historical framework in elucidating the particularity of film/cinema;
- Demonstrate their skills in researching and analysing films in the context of other related visual forms and historical debates specific to given case studies;
- Demonstrate understanding of the historical significance of film as a culturally influenced medium.


  1. Credit level 7. Undergraduate or postgraduate masters level module.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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