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The objective of this course is to enable students to understand the language of
cinema and to help them recognize significant film movements and theories as well as filmmakers who have shaped the course of world cinema, along with a reading of key cinematic texts.

Expected Learning Outcome:

Students would be trained to understand the language of cinema, film narrative
and the history of cinema, and would be equipped to approach and appreciate cinema in an academic way. They would also become familiar with a brief history of cinema and key theoretical aspects such as formalism, structuralism/poststructuralism, modernism/postmodernism, semiotics, iconography and reception studies.

 

Lecture
No.

Topic

1

Course Overview

2

Cinema & Semiotics

3

Cinema & Semiotics

  • Seven (1995)

4

Plot in Cinema

5

Plot in Cinema (contd…)
Conflict as a plot element

6

Character as a plot element

7

Editing in Cinema

  • Montage
  • Jump-cut

8

  Realism in Cinema

9

Colour : Theory & Practice

10

Intertextuality

  • Casablanca (1942)

11

Intertextuality (contd….)

12

Intertextuality (contd…)

  • The Matrix (1999)

13

 Cinema & Modernism

  • The Lumiere Brothers
  • George Melies
  • Carl Dreyer
  • Charlie Chaplin
  • Buster Keaton

14

 Cinema and Modernism (contd…)

  • F.W. Murnau
  • Fritz Lang
  • Jean Cocteau
  • Max Ophuls

15

The French Masters

  • Jean Renoir

16

The French Masters  (contd…)

  • Robert Bresson

17

The French Masters (contd…)

  • What is a canon?

 

18

Canonical Text

  • Citizen Kane (1940)

19

 

20

Canonical Text
·      The Godfather (1972/1974)

 

Canonical Text
·      The Godfather (contd….)

21

The Academy Awards
·      Case study: My Left Foot (1989) and Daniel Day-Lewis
·      Method Acting

22

Classic Hollywood
·      The Hay’s Code
·      The Studio Years
·      Major filmmakers

23

Classic Hollywood

  • Major filmmakers  (George Stevens, William Wyler, Billy Wilder, Elia Kazan, George Cukor )
  • Melodrama

24

Classic Hollywood (contd…)

  • Major filmmakers
  • Melodrama: Cinema of Douglas Sirk

25

  • German Expressionism
  • Film noir

-Case study: Otto Preminger’s Laura (1944)

  • Neo-noir

-Case study: Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver (1976)

26

Stars as Icons

  • Case study: The Stardom of James Dean
  • Fandoms

27

Cinema and the Counterculture Movement

  • The Beat Generation
  • Woodstock Nation
  • Easy Rider (1968)

28

Italian cinema

  • Italian Neo-Realism
  • Italian Masters

29

Japanese Cinema

  • Major Filmmakers
  • Major Trends

30

Auteur Theory in the USA

  • Andrew Sarris

Alfred Hitchcock

31

Auteur Theory in the USA (contd…)
Alfred Hitchcock as an Auteur
Case study: Rope  (1948)

 

 

32

New Hollywood

  • Major filmmakers
  • Major texts

33

New Hollywood (contd…)

  • Major filmmakers
  • Major texts

-The French Connection (1971)
-Case study : opening sequence of Mean Streets(1973)

34

 

35

New Hollywood (contd…)

  • Major filmmakers
  • Major texts

New Hollywood (contd…)

  • The End of the New Hollywood
  • George Lucas and Steven Spielberg

New Hollywood Auteur: Woody Allen
Case study: Manhattan (1979 )

36

 

 

 

37

Cinema and Genres

  • Dudley Andrews
  • Rick Altman

-Gangster as a Genre

 

Cinema and Genres (contd…)

  • Genre Blending  and Genre Bending
  • Quentin Tarantino’s films

38

 

 

39

Postmodernism and Cinema

  • Key Theorists

-Linda Hutcheon
      -Ihab Hasan
      -Fredric Jameson

Postmodernism & Cinema (contd…)

  • Case study: Face /off (1997)
  • The self-conscious cinema
  • Natural Born Killers
  • Wag the Dog

40

The Western

  • The Westerns of Sam Peckinpah
  • The Myth of the American West

-No Country for Old Men (2007)
-There Will be Blood (2007)

 

 

Students are expected to be aware of some of the important international cinematic trends, movements and genres as well as filmmakers.


  1. Andrew, Dudley The Major Film Theories: An Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1976.
  2. Altman, Rick. Film/Genre. London: BFI, 1999.
  3. Bazin, Andre. What is Cinema? Foreword by Francois Truffaut. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005.
  4. Boggs, Joseph M. & Petrie, Dennis W. The Art of Watching Films. 7th ed. NY: McGraw-Hill, 2008.
  5. Braudy, Leo & Cohen, Marshall (eds). Film Theory and Criticism.5th ed.NY & Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999.
  6. Cook, David A. A History of Narrative Film. 4th ed. NY & London: WW Norton & Company, 2004.
  7. Cook, Pam. The Cinema Book. 3rd ed. London: BFI, 2007.
  8. Deleuze, Giles. Cinema 1 &2. Hugh Tomlinson & Barbara Habberjam (trans). London & NY: Continuum, 1986.
  9. Etherington-Wright, Christine & Doughty, Ruth. Understanding Film Theory. London: Palgrave, 2011.


  1. Genette, Gerard. Narrative Discourse: An Essay in Method. Jane E. Lewin (trans). NY: Cornell University Press, 1980.
  2. Gair, Christopher. The American Counterculture. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2007.
  3. Truffaut, Francois. The Films in My Life. Leonard Mayhew (Trans). NY: De Capo, 1994.


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