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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Film, History and Theory
Module Code CM286
School School of Communications
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Debbie Ging
Semester 2: Debbie Ging
Autumn: Debbie Ging
Module TeachersDebbie Ging
John Moran
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Repeat examination

This module documents and analyses the major developments in the evolution of cinema in a socio-historical context. It explores the key theoretical tools used to understand film and demonstrates how to apply these in order to critically analyse a broad range of films.

Learning Outcomes

1. Identify and describe the major technological and artistic milestones in the history and pre-history of cinema
2. Explain and socially contextualise the core cinematic traditions that emerged out of America, Europe and the Soviet Union
3. Master the key theoretical frameworks used to analyse cinema such as genre, narrative, semiotics, feminist analysis, auteur theory and audience studies
4. Synthesise and apply the theoretical material in order to critically analyse a film or a body of filmic work
5. Advance original arguments regarding cinema s role in society using the relevant literature and original examples

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture22Lectute / Screening
Seminars22Discussion / Screening
Independent Study81Reading / Viewing
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

The pre-history of cinema.
Early experiments in cinema, technological versus cultural determinsim.

Basic codes and techniques of cinema.
Realism versus artifice, The Lumières and George Mélies.

Griffith and the rise of Hollywood.
The Birth of a Nation and editing.

Montage and modernism.
Eisenstein and Soviet cinema.

German Expressionism.
Kracauer's From Caligari to Hitler, the 'optical unconscious'.

Auteur Theory.
Cahiers du Cinéma and the 'politique des auteurs'.

Genre and society.
The western, the gangster film, film noir, horror, musical, melodrama.

The woman's film.
The male gaze, gender and the voice.

Sound and the voice.
Narration, the voice and the psychological functioning of sound in cinema.

'Alternative', experimental and counter-cinema.
Challenging Hollywood, queer cinema, art film / film art.

New cinemas in a globalised, digital age.
Bollywood and Nollywood, film in the digital age, realism and special effects.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment0% Examination Weight100%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • Graeme Turner: 2002, The Film Cultures Reader, Routledge,,
  • Wheeler Winston Dixon and Gwendolyn Audrey Foster: 2002, Experimental Cinema: the Film Reader, Routledge,
  • Brian Michael Goss: 2009, Global Auteurs: Politics in the Films of Almodovar, Von Trier and Winterbottom, Peter Lang Publishing,
  • Jill Nelmes: 2007, An Introduction to Film Studies, Routledge,
  • David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson: 2003, Film Art: An Introduction, McGraw-Hill,
  • Yvonne Tasker: 2004, Action and Adventure Cinema, Routledge,
  • Pam Cook: 2007, The Cinema Book, British Film Institute,
  • Yvonne Tasker: 1998, Working Girls: Gender and Sexuality in Popular Cinema, Routledge,
  • David Cook: 2004, A History of Narrative Film, Norton & Co,
  • Martin Barker and Thomas Austin: 2000, From Ants to Titanic: Reinventing Film Analysis, Pluto Press,
  • Vito Russo: 1987, The Celluloid Closet, Harper and Row,
  • David Gerstner and Janet Staiger: 2002, Authorship and Film, Routledge,
Other Resources

55860, Online Journal, 0, Jump Cut - Review of Comtemporary Media, http://www.ejumpcut.org, 55861, Online Journal, 0, Sense of Cinema, http://www.sensesofcinema.com, 55862, Online Journal, 0, Cineaste journal, http://www.cineaste.com, 55863, Online Journal, 0, British Film Institute, http://www.bfi.org.uk/sightandsound/,
Programme or List of Programmes
AFUAge Friendly University Programme
BAJLBachelor of Arts (BAJL)
BAJMBachelor of Arts (BAJM)
CSBA in Communication Studies
MMABSc in Multimedia

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