Faculty of Arts

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2012 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
OfferedCaulfield First semester 2012 (Day)
Clayton First semester 2012 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Belinda Smaill


Previously coded FTV3710


With an emphasis on non-fiction film and television, this unit will explore theories and examples of realism. These examples will range from documentary cinema, reality on television, television documentaries, deconstructive 'essay' films, documentary-fiction mix experiments, ethnographic films and films made collectively by minority groups. The theoretical and practical issues discussed in relation to film and television will provide a framework for the examination of a number of important phases in the historical development of realist codes.


On the successful completion of this unit students will

  1. Be able to demonstrate an understanding of key theoretical approaches to realism and documentary realism in particular;
  2. Given examples of realism, be able to categorise the formal and narrative codes in these examples according to the historical context of their production;
  3. Be able to compare and analyse different examples of film and television realism with regard to key theoretical approaches;
  4. Be able to critically analyse written and filmic texts in a clear and confident manner in both written and oral presentation.


Written assignments (3500 words): 60%
Class participation: 10%
Examination (1-hour): 30%

Chief examiner(s)

Belinda Smaill

Contact hours

One 2-hour seminar per week
One 2-hour screening per week

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study

Film and television studies


Two units at first-year and two units at second-year level in Film and Television or approved discipline


FTV2710, FTV3710