Aspects of Film Theory (Aug – Dec 2010)

Class on Mondays from 1 to 4 pm in Room 1.2 ET or Mediacom Studio

Module Outline

9th August 2010
Introduction: Why study films? Early beginnings of film.

16th August 2010
We carry on with the introduction. We will be in the Mediacom Studio as from this week.

23rd August 2010
We carry on with the introduction and will also look at:
Overview of history of film up to 1950’s

30th August 2010
Overview of Hollywood cinema with pictures
Overview of Hollywood cinema (without pictures)
Viewing of ‘Le Voyage dans la Lune’ by Georges Méliès

6th September
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
Handout about the grammar of film and TV (from Daniel Chandler):
Related online resources:

13th September
I will not be able to lecture this week due to the upcoming conference. If you are interested to attend or to help out in the organisation, please let me know. Details about the event can be found here

20th September
The ‘auteur’ theory
Related online resources:
If you already have ideas for your short films, please bring them for discussion in class.

27th September
The Semiotic Approach to Film Studies
Reading material: Extracts from ‘Semiotics, The Basics’ by Daniel Chandler

Additional online resources

4th October
Lecture on:Psychoanalytical approach to film studies
Please bring your ‘découpage technique’ for your film. We will also identify one film for the first assignment.

Additional online resources related to lecture notes:
Psychoanalysis and Film by Daniel Kluge
Psychoanalysis and Film Theory Part 1: ‘A New Kind of Mirror’ by Paula Murphy
Psychoanalysis, Film, and Television by Sandy Flitterman-Lewis
Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema (1975) by Laura Mulvey
Laura Mulvey against the grain: a critical assessment of the psychoanalytic feminist approach to film by Terje Steinulfsson Skjerdal

11th October
Lecture on Exhibition of films.
Please bring your ‘découpage technique’ and draft script to class for discussion. Some tips about scriptwriting and filmmaking (though I do not require a formal / rigid script) can be found at:
We will also discuss the first assignment (film analysis)

18th October
Cinema as an industry
All teams to bring their shooting plan for their short feature film. Those who have finalised this may start shooting during the week.

Additional online resources
About Mauritius
An overview of some cinema schools
Articles about local cinema attendance

About the global cinema industry and quotas

25th October
Shooting starts

Online reading:
Meme Warfare in the Movies
Why Hollywood comedies have no bite

1st November
Shooting continues

Online reading:
Cinéma numérique : souplesse, réactivité, efficacité
The Language of film analysis

Please share any resources which you come across regarding the themes related to this module

8th November
Shooting and editing

15th November
Final editing of all films. All films should be finalised by Friday 19th 26th November latest and submitted together with the report.
What to include in your report: Information about how you proceeded to write your script, your storyboard/technical plan, the genre/style chosen, the shooting process, the editing, difficulties encountered as well as an analysis of your final film. The contributions of each team member may be highlighted.

Note about the last assignment: You will be expected to choose either one important contemporary film director on an individual basis and write an original analysis of his/her filmography using any of the analytical approaches which we have discussed in class (auteur, semiotic, psychoanalytic, feminist, sociological, etc.) Each student should let me know which film director they have chosen by the 25th November. Deadline for submission of the analysis is Friday 3rd December. Hereunder is a list of suggestions for the film directors you can choose (you may suggest others):

– Quentin Tarantino
– Tim Burton
– Christopher Nolan
– James Cameron
– Steven Spielberg
– Mike Leigh
– George Lucas
– Sofia Coppola
– Gus Van Sant
– M. Night Shyamalan
– Jean-Pierre Jeunet
– Mira Nair
– Karan Johar

Interesting online resources
Can Shah Rukh Khan Make Berlin Sexy for Indians?

Continuous Assessment marks:
Here are the marks for Continuous Assessment


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