This is an extensive survey of cinema which foregrounds its historical and international diversity. The module is designed to engage with three key areas: cinema as an aesthetic or artistic medium; cinema history and its social contexts, ranging from the late-nineteenth to the twentieth-first centuries; and film and media theory, looking at cinematic media (from celluloid to digital) both as cultural productions and as texts received, and consumed, by audiences.
The module will cover a range of cinema history, from nineteenth-century photographic technology and early cinema projection, to the rise of synch sound, and finally to more recent trends in genre and production innovation. In the first term, central concepts of cinematic form will be explored, such as editing, montage, mise-en-scene, sound, lighting, and camera movement. The second term will delve more deeply into theoretical issues, including concepts of genre, auteur, technology, and postmodernity.
The module features an extensive lecture programme over the year, delivered by Film Studies staff. Every student should attend the weekly lecture/screening, and seminar. A background in writing for the humanities and/or media studies is recommended. Lecturers on LT121 are leading international writers and researchers in film and media studies. One of the key texts on the module, Film Analysis: A Norton Reader (expanded edition 2013), is used worldwide as a film teaching and research resource; it contains useful essays written by lecturers who contribute to the module. These lecturers have themselves published widely in areas such as early cinema, American film, World Cinema, and independent cinema; and it is these areas, among others, that LT121 students will explore in their own research essays. Content note: This module may contain screenings and class clips that contain adult content (including but not limited to violence and sexual violence, themes of suicide or self-harm, and representations of war). If you are concerned that you might be adversely affected by such materials, please contact your module tutor or Personal Tutor. You may also find it useful to consult advisory websites such as the British Board of Film Classification (www.bbfc.co.uk) and Common Sense Media (www.commonsensemedia.org).