Contemporary Film Theory

Subject SCRN40002 (2011)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2011.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 4 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2011:

Semester 1, Parkville - 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

On campus

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 4.5
Total Time Commitment: 120
Prerequisites: Admission to the postgraduate certificate or diploma or fourth year honours in screen studies, gender studies, Master of Cinema Management, Master of Arts and Cultural Management (Moving Image).
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 Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.

The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Prof Barbara Creed


Barbara Creed

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. 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.


Students who complete this subject will be able to:

  • have a comprehensive understanding of key film theoretical models of the post-60s;
  • apply various theories to an analysis of the cinema; and
  • critically evaluate the significance of film theory for film interpretation.
Assessment: A 2000 word tutorial paper 40% (due during the semester), and a 3000-word essay or web site 60% (due during examination period). Students are required to attend a minimum of 75% of classes in order to qualify to have their written work assessed. All required written work must be submitted in order to pass the subject.
Prescribed Texts:

A subject reader will be available.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

Students who successfully complete this subject will:

  • possess advanced skills of critical thinking and analysis;
  • develop 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; and
  • have an understanding of social, ethical and cultural context.
Related Course(s): Master of Arts and Cultural Management
Postgraduate Diploma in Arts and Cultural Management
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Gender Studies
Gender Studies
Gender Studies
Moving Image
Screen Studies
Screen Studies
Screen Studies
Screen and Cultural Studies

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