Contemporary Film Theory

Subject 107-421 (2008)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2008.Search for this in the current handbookSearch for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.500
Level: Undergraduate
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2008:

Semester 1, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 2-hour seminar and 2-hour screening per week
Total Time Commitment: Not available
Prerequisites: Admission to the postgraduate certificate or diploma or fourth year honours in cinema studies or Gender Studies
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Assoc Prof Angela Ndalianis
Subject Overview:

This subject will examine the development of contemporary film theory of the post-1968 period. Students will be expected to critically evaluate the significance and applicability of some of the following theoretical approaches: formalism and structuralism; apparatus theory; feminist film theory and spectatorship; Lacanian and Althusserian paradigms; postmodernism; queer, and postcolonial theory. In particular, the emphasis will be on redressing the balance in a tradition of film theories that have favoured vision over sound. Through the writings of Altman, Clion, Lastra and others, consideration will be given to the significance that film sound has in the context of film 'spectatorship', materiality, technology and interpretation. Students will attend seminars that involve a variety of approaches: close analysis, close readings, research, thesis writing, paper presentation. Finally, students will be required to present a paper based on a close reading of a specific film text with reference to its use of film language. Students will also conduct research into this film in relation to its production history, distribution and reception and relate their findings as to the place of the film within the history of film theory.

Assessment: A 2000 word tutorial paper 40% (due during the semester), and a 3000-word essay or web site 60% (due during examination period).Assessment submitted late without an approved formal extension will be penalised at 2% per day. Students who fail to submit up to 2-weeks after the final due date without a formal extension and/or special consideration will receive a fail grade for the piece of assessment.
Prescribed Texts: None
Recommended Texts:

Information Not Available

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • possess advanced skills of critical thinking and analysis;

  • develop their research and writing skills;

  • be able to account for the relationship between the film industry and film form;

  • possess an ability to communicate knowledge intelligibly, economically and effectively;

  • have an understanding of social, ethical and cultural context.


Formerly available as 107-096. Students who have completed 107-096 are not eligible to enrol in this subject.

Related Course(s): Bachelor of Arts (Honours)(Media and Communications)
Master of Arts (Global Journalism)
Master of Arts (Global Media Communication)
Master of Cinema Management
Master of Global Media Communication
Postgraduate Certificate in Arts (Australian Studies)
Postgraduate Certificate in Arts (Cinema Studies)
Postgraduate Certificate in Arts (Gender Studies)
Postgraduate Diploma in Arts (Australian Studies)
Postgraduate Diploma in Arts (Cinema Studies)
Postgraduate Diploma in Arts (Gender Studies)
Postgraduate Diploma in Arts (Media and Communication)

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