This module will provide students with a basic knowledge of the most important periods of French cinema (including experimental cinema, the nouvelle vague, Beur cinema, the 1980s 'cinéma du look') and introduce key film concepts such as the ‘politique des auteurs’. Students will gain experience in critical reading and viewing, in close analysis of films, texts and issues, and in developing arguments in French. They will also be introduced to the skills of presentation and the sustaining of cogent argument. The module will examine a number of films from the 1920s to the present which illustrate the scope and development of French cinema. While most of the films are now regarded as canonical, a major aim of the module is to place the works in context so as to emphasise their radical and often transgressive power.
This module appears in the following module collections.
Total Contact Hours: 20
Method of assessment
Essay (1,500 words) – 40%
Presentation (15 minutes) – 20%
Examination (2 hours) – 40%
Indicative Film List
Films (in French with English subtitles):
Entracte. (1924) Film. Directed by René Clair. [DVD] France: Société Nouvelle des Acacias.
La Règle du Jeu. (1939) Film. Directed by Jean Renoir. [DVD] France: Les Grands Films Français.
Orphée. (1950) Film. Directed by Jean Cocteau. [DVD] France: René Château.
La Traversée de Paris. (1956) Film. Directed by Claude Autant-Lara. [DVD] France: Gaumont.
Vivre sa vie. (1962) Film. Directed by Jean-Luc Godard. [DVD] France: Panthéon.
La Jetée. (1962) Film. Directed by Chris Marker. [DVD] France: Argos Films.
Les Parapluies de Cherbourg. (1964) Film. Directed by Jacques Demy. [DVD] France: Arte Video.
37º2 le matin. (1986) Film. Directed by Jean-Jacques Beneix. [DVD] France: Gaumont.
La Haine. (1995) Film. Directed by Mathieu Kassovitz. [DVD] France: Mars Distribution.
See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
Demonstrate knowledge of a range of films depicting various periods in French cinema from the 1920s to the present day;
Demonstrate understanding of the cultural and historical backgrounds of the films studied and thereby be able to assess the links between this background and the films;
Demonstrate a more general knowledge of the history of cinema;
Demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between cinematographic form and content;
Demonstrate their knowledge of technical terms relating to cinema;
Evaluate and describe filmic narratives and the ways in which they are made;
Demonstrate their appreciation of the differences/similarities between the filmic and the literary.
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Credit level 4. Certificate level module usually taken in the first stage of an undergraduate degree.
- ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
- The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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