Film Authorship - FILM5940

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Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2024 to 2025.


This module will offer students the rare opportunity to examine in detail the work of a single director or a group of directors. It will thus enable students to acquire a more complex understanding of the issues at stake in the production, distribution, and reception of a specific body of film work. The module will also develop students' knowledge and understanding of the questions, theories and controversies, which have informed critical issues and theoretical debates on film authorship. It will thus appeal to students who wish to extend their skills in analysing film form, meaning, and practice in both a conceptual and a historical context. Furthermore, as the module will enable detailed consideration of what 'film directing’ is, as an artistic and cultural practice, in given contexts, it will be a very useful course to combine with the practical study of filmmaking.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 60
Private study hours: 240
Total study hours: 300

Method of assessment

Essay 1 (2000 words) (40%)
Essay 2 (3000 words) (60%)

Indicative reading

• John Caughie (ed), Theories of Authorship (London: BFI, 1981)
• Barry Keith Grant (ed), Auteurs and Authorship: A Film Reader (Blackwell, 2008)
• Torben Grodal, Bente Larson and Iben Thorving Laursen (eds), Visual Authorship: Creativity and Intentionality in Media (Museum Tusculanun Press, 2005)
• Janet Staiger and David A. Gerstner (eds.), Authorship and Film (Routledge, 2003)
• Virginia Wright Wexman, Film and Authorship (Rutgers University Press, 2003).

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

- Demonstrate a knowledge and critical understanding of the questions, theories and controversies that have informed critical and theoretical debates on film authorship.
- Demonstrate a detailed understanding of the development of the work of particular film director(s) and skills in analysing the meaning and aesthetic strategy in relation to the work of particular film director(s) as well as to the issues of film authorship.
- Demonstrate an ability to undertake detailed consideration of what film directing is, as an artistic and cultural practice, in given historical and industry contexts.--- -- Demonstrate awareness of the significant methods of enquiry and be able to evaluate their relevance to understanding the authorship debates within the cinema.


  1. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  2. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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