Art Cinema and the Love Story

Subject SCRN30001 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 29-Feb-2016 to 29-May-2016
Assessment Period End 24-Jun-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 11-Mar-2016
Census Date 31-Mar-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 06-May-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 1.5-hour lecture, a 1-hour tutorial and a 2.5-hour screening per week
Total Time Commitment:

Total expected time commitment is 170 hours across the semester, including class time.





Recommended Background Knowledge:

Usually 12.5 points of first year Cinema/Screen & Cultural Studies (CICU10001 or CICU10002) and 25 points of second year Cinema/Screen & Cultural Studies subjects.

Non Allowed Subjects:

SCRN30001 Avant-Garde to Art House; 106-318 Avant-Garde to Art House

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:


Dr Mark Nicholls


Subject Overview:

This subject is a study of many manifestations of the love story represented in Australian, Italian, French, British and North American art cinema traditions. Through detailed close-analysis of a range of films, the subject explores topics such as romantic love, Surrealism and mad love, the marital gothic, adultery, gay and lesbian love, inter-racial romance, perversion, loss and melancholia. Concentrating on art cinema treatments of romantic comedy, melodrama, the backstage musical, horror and gothic romance, the subject highlights the various formal strategies employed to create the love story in art cinema. The subject looks at the way in which film theory has explained the idea of love and desire in the cinema by drawing on Freudian psychoanalysis, mythology and gender studies. In addition to the close reading of the love story through prescribed films, the subject also explores the way film intersects with theatre, television, literature, art and popular music on the subject.

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of the subject students should have:

  • apply critical and analytical skills and methods of Screen Studies to understand the love story within the context of changing social and historical contexts;
  • an advanced knowledge of various approaches to close analysis and audio-visual literacy;
  • a detailed understanding of the ways in which the love story is represented in art cinema, television, art and popular culture generally;
  • the ability to read, interpret, research and write about the key cinematic techniques of narration, style and genre used in telling the love story, which also uses rigorous methods of inquiry and appropriate methodologies that are applied with intellectual honesty and a respect for ethical values;
  • an appreciation of key issues surrounding art cinema including authorship, national cinema, trade and international co-production, relationships to other arts forms, and in the context of social and political history;
  • an understanding of the significance of the disciplinary methods particular to Screen Studies but also recognize the value of interdisciplinary approaches to an analysis of the love story, including key works of film and gender theory and Freudian psychoanalysis.

A 500 word class presentation 10% (done during the semester), a 1000 word paper 40% (due during semester), a 2500 word essay 50% (due in the examination period).

This subject has a minimum hurdle requirement of 80% attendance and regular participation in tutorials. Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per day. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts:

A subject reader will be available.

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:

As a result of attendance at scheduled classes, participation in planned activities and timely completion of assignments, students should acquire skills in the following areas:

  • a capacity for critical thinking through the use of readings and discussion to develop an understanding of the considerations that underpin cinema studies;
  • high-level written and oral communication skills through contribution to class discussions and the completion of assignments;
  • skills in research through the preparation of class papers and assignments, including the use of online as well as print-based materials;
  • skills in time management and planning through managing workloads for recommended reading, tutorial presentations and assessment requirements;
  • a capacity for theoretical analysis through engagement with a range of texts that offer different perspectives on publishing as a component of the wider field of cultural practices.

This subject is available to Bachelor of Arts (Continuing) students at either level 2 or 3 in order to complete a major in either Cinema or Cultural Studies.

Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Graduate Certificate in Arts - Screen and Cultural Studies
Graduate Diploma in Arts - Screen and Cultural Studies
Screen and Cultural Studies

Download PDF version.