Introduction to the History of Cinema

University of Cape Town

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Introduction to the History of Cinema

  • Host University

    University of Cape Town

  • Location

    Cape Town, South Africa

  • Area of Study

    Film Studies, Media Studies, Radio - Television - Film

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    FAM1000S and FAM1001F, or at the discretion of the Head of Department.

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Host University Units

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    This course offers a broad survey of the history of Western cinema and its social, cultural and political contexts from the silent era through to contemporary film. We shall examine the development of Hollywood production and the innovations of European filmmaking (e.g. German Expressionism, Italian Neo-realism, the French New Wave and the more recent provocations of Dogme 95). Students will engage with works by some of the major creative figures in the history of Western film and with a wide variety of theoretical perspectives that illuminate the films. (Please note that ?non-western? cinemas are the focus of third-year film studies.)

    DP requirements: All written work must be submitted by the stipulated dates. Students who miss more than two tutorials will lose their DPs.

    Assessment: Two essays 20% each; tutorial exercises 20%, a two-hour examination 40%.

Course Disclaimer

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.


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