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FTV4042 - Historical film theory and criticism

12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader(s): Deane Williams


Clayton First semester 2009 (Day)


This unit examines some concepts in the history of film theory by considering a number of theoretical and critical writings in relation to a range of films. Topics for examination include early silent film theory, the notion of the historical avant-garde in the form of French impressionism, the film theories of Kracauer and Bazin, French new wave criticism, the neglected tradition of realist phenomenology in film theory, 1968 and the leftist turn and the question of film language and structuralism.


By the completion of the subject students will be expected to:

  1. identify and summarise a number of critical positions in historical film theory;
  2. critically assess the limitations of these positions so as to begin to establish new domains of inquiry;
  3. identify and defend their own critical positions with the field of film studies;
  4. relate these positions to the examination of films and film related material;
  5. demonstrate an understanding of research methodologies and the requirements of research papers.


Written work: 80% (7500 words)
Participation and paper (1500 words): 20%

Contact hours

4 hours (1 x 2 hour seminar and 1 x 2 hour screening) per week


Two units at 2nd year level in Film and Television Studies, or other approved discipline


FTM4042 / FTM5042

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