Introduction to Cinema Studies

Subject 107-132 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 1 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2009:

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 film screening, a 1 hour lecture and a 1-hour tutorial per week
Total Time Commitment: Not available
Prerequisites: None
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:


Dr Wendy Haslem


Wendy Haslem

Subject Overview:

This subject provides students with a comprehensive introduction to the study of film language and theory. It is organised around these two separate but related areas. The film language component covers two interrelated topics that are essential for an understanding of the cinema: film aesthetics and film history. The subject begins with the early silent cinema and progresses through to an analysis of related contemporary new media forms. Key topics of narrative, editing, sound, mise-en-scene, cinematography and the studio system are studied in this historical context. The history of film language is studied in relation to films drawn from the following movements: the Hollywood studio system, Russian formalism, surrealism, German expressionism, Italian neo-realism, French New Wave, New Hollywood and contemporary art house cinema. The film theory component of the subject presents a study of the key theories, genre theory, auteurism, the classic text, gender, psychoanalysis, postcolonial, entertainment and new media theory that have informed film aesthetics and the history of the cinema.

Objectives: Students who successfully complete this subject will be able to understand the fundamental aspects of film form, including key techniques of film style and narration;
be able to understand key concepts in the history of cinema and the significance of national, stylistic and aesthetics movements to that history;
be able to understand the importance of film and cultural theory to the study of the cinema.

A quiz of 1000 words 20% (due during semester), a visual test of 1000 words 30% (due at the end of semester), an essay of 2000 words 40% (due at the end of semester) and a class paper and participation 10%. Students are advised to consult the following web address for details of assessment penalities which apply to this subject

Prescribed Texts:

A subject reader will be available.

  • Film Art: An Introduction (D Bordwell and K Thompson), McGraw-Hill, 1993
Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • be skilled in critical thinking and analysis;

  • possess effective written communication skills;

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

Related Course(s): Bachelor of Arts (Media & Communications) and Bachelor of Laws
Bachelor of Arts(Media and Communications)
Bachelor of Creative Arts
Diploma in Creative Arts
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Cinema & Cultural Studies
Cinema Studies Major
Cinema and Cultural Studies
Cinema and Cultural Studies

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