Film Authorship

University of Reading

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Film Authorship

  • Host University

    University of Reading

  • Location

    Reading, England

  • Area of Study

    Film Studies

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • 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

  • ECTS Credits

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

    Module Provider: Film, Theatre and TV
    Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
    Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
    Non-modular pre-requisites:
    Modules excluded:
    Module version for: 2016/7

    Summary module description:
    This module will develop students? understanding of authorship in cinema through consideration of the main debates around the issue, and through the study of bodies of work directed by one or more filmmakers. It will also place debates around authorship in the context of competing paradigms and practices, such as feminist approaches that emphasise shared authorship, consideration of ideological, industrial and technological contexts, self-reflexive and self-performing authorial practices. Case studies will vary and may include: individual filmmakers who formulated original concepts of cinematic authorship in their films and writings, such as François Truffaut and Nagisa Oshima; directors working in (and beyond) the studio system, such as Douglas Sirk and Fritz Lang; directors working across national and transnational contexts (such as Jean Renoir, Luis Buñuel, Michelangelo Antonioni, Yasujiro Ozu); self-questioning works by filmmakers such as Clio Barnard, Alexander Kluge, Eduardo Coutinho and Joshua Oppenheimer. The module will develop students? knowledge and understanding of key debates which have shaped the study of film and enable students to extend their awareness of film style and skills of close analysis through engaging with specific filmmaking decisions.

    The module aims to foster students? understanding of the debates around authorship in cinema, and of related critical and theoretical approaches; to extend knowledge and understanding of cinema?s narrative traditions, including the contexts of industrial practice; to provide historical insights into cinema?s creative practices; to enhance skills of critical analysis, informed by appropriate analytical frameworks.

    Assessable learning outcomes:
    By the end of the module it is expected that students will be able to:
    ?demonstrate a critical understanding of foundational debates in the study of cinema, including authorship;
    ?discriminate between historically varied practices in cinema;
    ?demonstrate a detailed understanding of the development of the work of particular film director(s) and skills in analysing the meaning and aesthetic strategy in relation to the work of particular film director(s);
    ?demonstrate critical skills in applying theories of authorship in cinema;
    ?demonstrate through sequence analysis the significance of different areas of detailed decision making in developing a film's effects and meanings;
    ?develop extended critical arguments in which local detail is related to wider structures of individual movies and to groups of films;
    ?employ critical understandings of industrial and ideological frameworks in which films were made;
    ?make informed use of interpretative frameworks introduced or extended in the module;
    ?relate analysis of films and groups of films to aspects of their contexts, showing a critical awareness of some of the problems and possibilities of relating text to context.
    Additional outcomes:
    The module plays a significant role in the development of other skills and competencies which are central to the course: oral communication and argument in group situations; appropriate deployment of research using printed and electronic resources; critical analysis and coherent argument; undertaking self-directed, independent work; presentation of written work using IT; identifying and addressing problems in the analysis of film.

    Outline content:
    See Summary Module Description above.

    Global context:
    This module explores work and practices in one or more national cinema.

    Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
    The normal teaching pattern will be one lecture and one 1 & 1/2 hour seminar per week, plus 2 film screenings.

    Contact hours:
    Lectures- 9
    Seminars- 13
    Supervised time in studio/workshop- 36
    Guided independent study- 142
    Total hours by term- 200
    Total hours for module- 200

    Summative Assessment methods:
    Written assignment including essay- 100%

    Other information on summative assessment:
    Formative assessment methods:

    Length of examination:

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall.

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Resubmission of failed coursework.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

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.

ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits are converted to semester credits/quarter units differently among U.S. universities. Students should confirm the conversion scale used at their home university when determining credit transfer.

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.


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