Aspects of Film Studies (Jan-May 2014)

Class in the Mediacom Studio on Tuesdays from 9.00 to 12.00 (subject to change)
Class will now start at 11.30 on Tuesdays

Module Outline

21st January
Overview of Film Studies

28th January
We carry on with the introduction

We watched the film Voyage sur la Lune by Georges Méliès:

4th February
Early cinema

Some movies or extracts you may watch:
L’Assassinat du Duc de Guise

The Last Days of Pompeii

Rescued by Rover

The Jazz Singer

The Kid

The Gold Rush

11th February
Class on An Overview of Hollywood

Some extracts to watch:
A funny scene from Singing in the Rain (1952) which portrays the introduction of sound in a movie


18th February
Viewing of documentary ‘The Cutting Edge’ about the history of editing. It is very important that everyone be present to see this documentary.
Lecture on Film Production and Anatomy of Film

Related online resources:
Handout about the grammar of film and TV (from Daniel Chandler)
Wikipedia article about editing
Some notes from Yale University about editing

25th February

Related online resources:
Auteur Theory and Authorship
Wikipedia article about Auteur theory
French Wikipedia article about la Politique des auteurs

Note: Those who have not yet seen the documentary ‘The Cutting Edge’ or who wish to view it again can do so at the Mediacom Studio any time when the facility is not being used for class. It is important that every student views this documentary.

4th March
We look at the notes on Auteurism

We discussed the forthcoming assignment. Here are the key points:

  • Teams of 2 to 3 students to be formed
  • Each team chooses an interesting film (preferably by an ‘auteur’)
  • To create a trailer (max duration: 2 minutes)
  • To provide a portfolio which will include the following:
  1. A recap of the film, the filmography of the film maker, an analysis of the movie and any intertextual reference, etc. (to include copies of articles consulted in the annex)
  2. Explanations about the creation of the trailer (selection of shots, editing style, effects sought) including a storyboard

11th March
We discuss Semiotics of Film and Psychoanalytical Approach to Film
Class will start at 12.30 exceptionally due to National Day celebrations. All are invited in the Auditorium at noon today.

Related online resources
Semiotics for Beginners
Semiology and Film Theory
Drive-Through Film Theory

Psychoanalysis and Film
Psychoanalysis and Film Theory Part 1
Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema (1975) – Laura Mulvey

18th March
Please read the lecture notes on Semiotics and Psychoanalysis. All teams are expected to start working on their trailer.
New lecture notes: Exhibition of Films

25th March
Please ensure you read all lecture notes and online resources.
We will discuss the notes on Exhibition of Films then have a look at Cinema as Industry

Useful resources
The documentary film Lost in La Mancha, which portrays the failed attempt of director Terry Gilliam to make a movie about Don Qixote. “Watching “Lost In La Mancha” is not only fascinating, but it’s also very educational, giving the viewer a first-hand look at what goes on behind the scenes of mounting a movie, including all of the business aspects involved such as financing & other professional agreements that have to be made before a single frame is shot.”

1st April
We discuss the lecture notes on Cinema as Industry. Then, I will need to see your work in progress for the movie trailer.
Here are a few templates and examples of storyboard for the trailer:

We also discuss the final project (short film).
For that assignment, here are some links to tips about scriptwriting and filmmaking (though I do not require a formal / rigid script):

To all students, please note that the normal submission is next week for the trailer and portfolio. In the latter, please ensure that you cover the following inter alia:

  • Justification for choice of movie, synopsis, filmography, awards if any, critics’ reviews
  • Your original analysis of the film (using some of the conceptual grids presented in class such as film anatomy, psychoanalysis, semiotics, auteurism)
  • Explanation about your trailer (production techniques including storyboard, editing style, meaning,objective, etc.)

8th April
Submission deadline for movie trailer and portfolio.
As we missed class last week, we look at the notes for Cinema as Industry, then watch a few short films by Mauritian filmmakers.

For those who wish to take part in the short film competition which I mentioned, please check the following:

15th April
No class. But all teams are expected to work on their short film. Please send me your synopsis by email.

22nd April
All teams are expected to bring their ideas and scripts for discussion. Shooting to start for the short feature film.

Here are the final movie trailers.

29th April
All teams should bring their work in progress (script, dialogue, storyboard or plan). You will be expected to work on these in class and I need to see all teams!

Deadline for submission is Thursday 22nd May (postponed to 29th). But I need to see your work in progress by Friday 16th.

Update (16th May) Since I cannot come to the Mediacom Studio for a few days due to my illness, please leave your work in progress with Ketan so that he can compress and send me. I will then view at home and send you my comments. Please do not hesitate to send me updates, questions and requests for advice by email as regularly as possible.

Here are the final short films for the last assignment:
Ryder Cup by Oomeyr Heerah, Deborah Jubeau, Ali Soliman and Sandrina Arnassalon

Bater Bis by Yannis Davy, Anjy Ramburrun, Nadia Hilaire, Caitkie Vaghjee and Kashish Jaddoo

Bitch Slap by Sneha Peryag

The Ring by Coralie Sampson, Janice Armel and Karina Bhoobun

Final marks for Aspects of Film Studies


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