Global Cinema Cultures
Area of Study
Taught In English
Prior study of film
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.
Recommended U.S. Semester Credits4
Recommended U.S. Quarter Units0
Hours & Credits
This module is designed to introduce students to the study of ?global cinema? through a
series of case studies of national and transnational cinemas from European, postcolonial,
'Third World' and/or developing countries.
The module will provide the historical, cultural and industrial contexts that will
allow students to view, discuss and interpret films and cinemas from different cultures.
Close attention will be paid to major historical time periods (e.g. 1945-1968) and there
will be opportunities to explore national and transnational cinemas within significant
The course will present ?global cinema? as a dynamic, vibrant and fascinating alternative
to mainstream Hollywood.
Autumn Semester topics:
? Key ideas
? Close analysis
Choice of 1 from 3
? Elective A: New Wave Cinema
? Elective B: Spanish Cinema
? Elective C: Post-1945 German Cinema
A: New Wave Cinema: The French New Wave revolutionised not only French cinema itself
but also markedly influenced the growth of independent cinema in the United States and
inspired a series of filmic ?waves? across the world.
The syllabus will focus on the work of the principal French New Wave directors in the context
of French history and will develop an analysis of the New Wave?s innovative and vibrant
approach to filmmaking. A selection of key films by Claude Chabrol, Jean-Luc Godard,
François Truffaut, Jacques Rivette, Eric Rohmer, Agnès Varda and Alain Resnais will be
studied in depth. The legacy of the New Wave, and films that have been influenced by its
style, will also be explored. Breaking the rules, writing about film as art, and using the
cinema screen as a political manifesto are themes that will be investigated.
B: Spanish Cinema: Buñuel?s surrealism and satire; Saura: allegories of war and
dictatorship; performing and interrogating national identity; Art cinema trauma,
memory; regional conflict and identity; Almodovar, auteur; black humour and satire.
Focusing on key films produced in Germany from 1946 to today, it will cultivate a critical
insight into the way in which German cinema shaped and reflected German national
identity both in East and West Germany before unification and in unified Germany from
the 1990s to today.
C: Post-1945 German Cinema: a look at films produced by DEFA (the East German
national film studios before unification) and the roles to which men and women were
ascribed under socialism, will be followed by the study of West German films focusing on
the key auteurs of the New German Cinema, such as R. W. Fassbinder, Werner Herzog and
The elective will conclude with an exploration of German cinema after unification from the
1990s until today, focusing on cinematic themes in a global context, such as terrorism and
memories of the Third Reich.
Spring Semester topics:
Choice of 1 from 3
? Elective D: Contemporary Cinema and Global Protest
? Elective E: Contemporary French and francophone cinema
? Elective F: Latin American Cinema
D: Contemporary Cinema and Global Protest: in an era of enormous political and social
change, what does it mean to describe a film as being 'political'? This is the central
question that this block intends to explore. Ranging across both documentary and fiction
films, from mainstream to experimental works, the question of what might constitute a
political cinema in the 21st century is situated in a broader historical and cinematic focus.
Considering films not just in terms of their content but through an exploration of their
aesthetics, we will try to explore what role political cinema might have in a world where
the news agenda moves at ever-increasing pace.
E: Contemporary French and francophone cinema: this elective provides an opportunity
to analyse some of the most exciting and innovative films that have been released in
France and French-speaking nations over the past twenty-five years. It will focus on films
that have received critical acclaim, such as A Prophet (Jacques Audiard, 2009) and The
Artist (Michel Hazanavicius, 2011); immense commercial successes of the magnitude of
Amelie (Jean-Pierre Jeunet, 2001) and Untouchable (Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano,
2011), which have raised questions about racism and national identity; and films that
have achieved cult status for their political engagement, such as La Haine (Mathieu
Kassovitz, 1995). We shall also look outside the Hexagone to investigate some of the most
inspiring films to emerge from francophone nations, including the work of the Dardenne
brothers in Belgium; and the development of the cinema industry in North Africa, taking
into account the ramifications of relations with France in a postcolonial world.
F: Latin American cinema: an introduction to the most salient and critically noted
directors, cinematic movements, trends and their characteristics of Latin America, a vast
region linked by its Iberian historical and cultural heritage, but also marked by the
experience of colonialism, social and political injustice and repression, extremes of wealth
and poverty. The films will be studied in their historical, social and political contexts,
together with relevant theoretical and cultural aspects, recurring genres and themes,
their distinctiveness and originality, their differences from and as responses to the
Indicative curriculum: Third Cinema; guerrilla film making and revolution; Realism;
Violence; political allegory, trauma and memory; contemporary genres; art cinema.
Teaching: Lectures, seminars and film screenings
STUDY OPTION 1:
4. Class presentation in individuals or pairs (30%)
5. One 1000 word presentation write up (20%)
6. 2000 word piece of written work (50%)
STUDY OPTION 2 OR STUDY OPTION 3: 2,000 word essay.
Study Option 1 = Whole Year
Study Option 2 = Autumn
Study Option 3 = Spring/summer
Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.
Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.
Some courses may require additional fees.
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.
Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.
Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.