Università degli Studi di Urbino Carlo Bo / Portale Web di Ateneo


FILM AND AUDIOVISUAL GENRES
FORME E GENERI DEL CINEMA E DELL'AUDIOVISIVO

A.Y. Credits
2022/2023 10
Lecturer Email Office hours for students
Dominic Francis Graham Holdaway Wednesday 16.00-17.00 and Thursday 14.00-15.00, though please email in advance to confirm.
Teaching in foreign languages
Course with optional materials in a foreign language English
This course is entirely taught in Italian. Study materials can be provided in the foreign language and the final exam can be taken in the foreign language.

Assigned to the Degree Course

Information, media and advertisement (L-20)
Curriculum: PERCORSO COMUNE
Date Time Classroom / Location
Date Time Classroom / Location

Learning Objectives

This course offers an introduction to the study of cinema and audiovisual media. Beginning with the assumption that cinema is an art form but also the product of global media industries, lectures will frame the medium within both of these contexts. The aim is to provide students with the tools for film analysis, and help them orient themselves in the history of cinema.

The course aims to offer a foundation of historical and aesthetic knowledge, identifying and expanding on a series of important moments in the development of film language, from its birth to its maturing as an art form. Its focus will therefore be on specific styles and their cultural, historical and geographic backgrounds, including avant-gardes, realism, art cinema and genres. The course moves broadly chronologically and will examine films, movements and directors from cultures across the continents. Through some instances of textual analysis of the films selected for the curriculum, students will learn to understand critically the role played by films in specific production contexts.

Program

The course will be divided into four macro themes, each of which corresponds to four historical phases. In each one, the course considers the international styles and production contexts of that time, and studies up close the case study of a film that illustrates these. Specifically, we will address the following questions:

1. The development of film language (1910s-20s)

  • The birth of cinema and technological advances
  • The experiments of the European avant-garde movements
  • The invention of narrative style

2. Cinematic cultures and industries (1930s-50s)

  • Hollywood’s dream factory
  • The control of totalitarian regimes
  • Defining aesthetics of realism
  • Mixing of genres in India

3. Art cinema and the theory of the auteur (1950s-70s)

  • The director as auteur: the example of Yasojirō Ozu
  • New generations of filmmakers and the artistic rebellions of the new waves
  • The impact of new cinemas on the industry

4. The decline of modern cinema and contemporary forms (1980s-20s)

  • The slippery notion of the independent filmmaker
  • The blockbuster and the film-event
  • Digital streaming, redefining the rules.

Bridging Courses

N/a

Learning Achievements (Dublin Descriptors)

1. Knowledge and understanding: students will obtain a foundation of critical historical and theoretical knowledge regarding the role played by cinema in society, and its politics.

1.1. Students will gain this understanding through lesson participation and through discussion of the course's themes, as well as through film analysis guided by the lecturer.

2. Applying knowledge and understanding: the knowledge obtained during this course will be applied to film analysis, enabling students to identify and recognize the main historical trends and the effects of directors' stylistic choices. 

2.1. Students will gain this ability in classes, in the guided analysis of films, and through discussions in small groups.

3. Making judgements: students will learn to express informed, autonomous judgments on the politics of audiovisual culture, and on the socio-historical processes that have influenced the production of some of the most important films of world cinema.

3.1. Students will gain the ability to make critical judgments through participation in discussions in class and debates with the lecturer and with their colleagues, as well as through personal study surrounding the lessons. 

4. Communication: students will learn to express themselves in Italian (and/or English) on the course's themes, moreover applying the appropriate specialist vocabulary of film studies.

4.1. They will develop this ability through class discussions and exchanges with colleagues, as well as the lecturer, in addition to small, informal presentations in class.

5. Lifelong learning skills: students will learn to engage and interact with the history of cinema and to analyse cinematographic texts, connecting these elements in autonomous reflections on the politics of this medium.

5.1. These abilities will be enabled through the use of various learning tools, allowing students, at the end of the course, to navigate autonomously in the history of cinema. In addition, discussion and debate with classmates and the lecturer will play a key role, as well as class exercises and personal study.

Teaching Material

The teaching material prepared by the lecturer in addition to recommended textbooks (such as for instance slides, lecture notes, exercises, bibliography) and communications from the lecturer specific to the course can be found inside the Moodle platform › blended.uniurb.it

Supporting Activities

As well as lectures and discussions (in class or online), films and clips will be screened during lessons

The materials used in class will be made available for students online, on the University's blended learning platform.


Teaching, Attendance, Course Books and Assessment

Teaching

Lectures on history, theory and concepts of audiovisual media studies, projections, seminars and group discussions on the course's content and the films/clips.

Attendance

Students must attend at least 75% of classes.

Course books

1. The content of the lessons (slides will be made available on moodle after the lessons);

2. David Bordwell e Kristin Thompson, Storia del cinema: un'introduzione (edizione italiana a cura di Elena Mosconi e David Bruni), Milano: McGraw-Hill Education, 2018 (limitatamente ai capitoli 1-12; 14.1 e 14.10; 15.1-15.3; 16; 18.1, 18.4 & 18.5; 19-20);

Students can use older editions of the book as well as its translations in other languages. In that case – including if you the below English version – please contact me specifying the version to confirm which chapters to prepare for the exam as there are some variations.

English version: Film History: an Introduction, 5th edition, New York: McGraw-Hill Education, 2022. 

N.b. there are translations of the volume in other languages that students can use. If you are using the English (or other) version of the textbook, please write to me ASAP, specifying which edition you are using, for confirmation of the chapters to study.

In case of doubts, please ensure you are using the right volume by contacting the lecturer.

3. Elena Aime, Storia del cinema indiano, Torino: Lindau, 2005 (only chapter 3, “Il tramonto degli studio nell’India indipendente”);

4.     Marco Cucco & Giacomo Manzoli “Global, World e National Cinema nell’epoca dei servizi on-demand”, mediAzioni 28 (2020): A121-A135. Available open access here.

5.     Students must also watch the following films:

  • Sherlock Jr (Buster Keaton, 1924)
  • The Cabinet of Dr Caligari / Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari (Robert Wiene, 1920)
  • Battleship Potëmkin / Bronenosets Potyomkin (Sergej Ėjzenštejn, 1925)
  • The Rules of the Game / La règle du jeu (Jean Renoir, 1939)
  • Casablanca (Michael Curtiz, 1942)
  • Bicycle Thieves / Ladri di biciclette (Vittorio De Sica, 1948)
  • Shree 420 (Raj Kapoor, 1955)
  • Tokyo Story / Tōkyō monogatari (Yasujiro Ozu, 1953)
  • Cléo from 5 to 7 / Cléo de 5 à 7 (Agnès Varda, 1962)
  • The Graduate (Mike Nichols, 1967)
  • Jaws (Stephen Spielberg, 1975)
  • Do the Right Thing (Spike Lee, 1989)
  • Roma (Alfonso Cuarón, 2018)

The following films are recommended viewing:

  • The Mask of Zorro (Fred Niblo, 1920)
  • The Iron Horse (John Ford, 1924)
  • The Gold Rush (Charlie Chaplin, 1925)
  • Nosferatu / Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens (Friedrich Wilhelm, 1922)
  • Strike! / Стачка (Sergej M. Ėjzenštejn, 1925)
  • Un chien andalou (Salvador Dalì e Luis Buñuel, 1929) e L’Age d’or (Luis Buñuel, 1930)
  • The Seashell and the Clergyman / La Coquille et le Clergyman (Germaine Dulac, 1928)
  • The Passion of Joan of Arc / La passion de Jeanne d'Arc (C. T. Dreyer, 1928)
  • The General (Buster Keaton, Clyde Bruckman, 1926)
  • Modern Times (Charlie Chaplin, 1936)
  • Stagecoach (John Ford, 1939)
  • They Were Expendable (John Ford, 1945)
  • Rome, Open City / Roma città aperta (Roberto Rossellini, 1945)
  • Umberto D. (Vittorio De Sica, 1952)
  • Pather Pachali (Satyajit Ray, 1955)
  • Awaara (Raj Kapoor, 1951)
  • Late Spring / Banshun (Yasujirō Ozu, 1949)
  • Rashōmon (Akira Kurosawa, 1950)
  • Floating Weeds / Ukikusa (Yasujirō Ozu, 1959)
  • An Autumn Afternoon / Sanma no aji (Yasujirō Ozu, 1962)
  • Breathless / À bout de souffle (Jean-Luc Godard, 1960)
  • Jules et Jim (François Truffaut, 1962)
  • Bonnie and Clyde (Arthur Penn, 1967)
  • Easy Rider (Dennis Hopper, 1969)
  • Star Wars (George Lucas, 1977)
  • Stranger than Paradise (Jim Jarmusch, 1984)
  • Sex, Lies, and Videotape (Steven Soderbergh, 1989)
  • La ballata di Buster Scruggs / The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (Joel e Ethan Coen, 2018)
  • Bird Box (Susanne Bier, 2018)
Assessment

Assessment for the course will be a written exam. It will have two sections: one consisting in multiple-choice questions, testing the candidate's broad understanding of film history; the other with open questions, through which students can expand on their knowledge of certain themes of the course in greater detail. 

The exam aims to assess both learning of the course content on behalf of the students and also their ability to express themselves, make argument and apply what they have learned. Through it, students must demonstrate their knowledge of the course by studying the text books and analysis of the films.

Grading: 

Excellent grades will be given in presence of: a good critical perspective and in depth knowledge; the ability to link the main subjects addressed during the course; the expert use of appropriate language and terminology.

Good grades will be given in presence of: good mnemonic knowledge of the course content; a relatively good critical perspective and the ability to connect its themes; the use of an appropriate language.

Sufficient grades will be given in presence of: minimal knowledge of the course's themes and the presence of some gaps in understanding; the use of an inappropriate language.

Low grades will be given in presence of: difficulty in understanding the course's topics; notable gaps in knowledge; the use of a clearly inappropriate language.

Additional Information for Non-Attending Students

Teaching

Blended learning, studying the compulsory texts and films of the course.

Course books

Non attending students must prepare:

  • David Bordwell e Kristin Thompson, Storia del cinema: un'introduzione (edizione italiana a cura di Elena Mosconi, David Bruni), Milano: McGraw-Hill Education, 2018. Versione inglese: Film History: an Introduction, 4th edition, New York: McGraw-Hill Education, 2018). Other translations of the volume are also valid. N.b.: non-attending students must prepare the entire volume for the exam.
  • Elena Aime, Storia del cinema indiano, Torino: Lindau, 2005 (only chapter 3, “Il tramonto degli studio nell’India indipendente").
  • Marco Cucco & Giacomo Manzoli “Global, World e National Cinema nell’epoca dei servizi on-demand”, mediAzioni 28 (2020): A121-A135. Disponibile in open access here. N.b.: alternative articles in English are available as exam texts, in place of (2) and (3); please contact the lecturer for further information.
  • Students must also watch the following films:
    • Sherlock Jr (Buster Keaton, 1924)
    • The Cabinet of Dr Caligari / Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari (Robert Wiene, 1920)
    • Battleship Potëmkin / Bronenosets Potyomkin (Sergej Ėjzenštejn, 1925)
    • The Rules of the Game / La règle du jeu (Jean Renoir, 1939)
    • Casablanca (Michael Curtiz, 1942)
    • Bicycle Thieves / Ladri di biciclette (Vittorio De Sica, 1948)
    • Shree 420 (Raj Kapoor, 1955)
    • Tokyo Story / Tōkyō monogatari (Yasujiro Ozu, 1953)
    • Cléo from 5 to 7 / Cléo de 5 à 7 (Agnès Varda, 1962)
    • The Graduate (Mike Nichols, 1967)
    • Jaws (Stephen Spielberg, 1975)
    • Do the Right Thing (Spike Lee, 1989)
    • Roma (Alfonso Cuarón, 2018)

    The following films are recommended viewing:

    • The Mask of Zorro (Fred Niblo, 1920)
    • The Iron Horse (John Ford, 1924)
    • The Gold Rush (Charlie Chaplin, 1925)
    • Nosferatu / Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens (Friedrich Wilhelm, 1922)
    • Strike! / Стачка (Sergej M. Ėjzenštejn, 1925)
    • Un chien andalou (Salvador Dalì e Luis Buñuel, 1929) e L’Age d’or (Luis Buñuel, 1930)
    • The Seashell and the Clergyman / La Coquille et le Clergyman (Germaine Dulac, 1928)
    • The Passion of Joan of Arc / La passion de Jeanne d'Arc (C. T. Dreyer, 1928)
    • The General (Buster Keaton, Clyde Bruckman, 1926)
    • Modern Times (Charlie Chaplin, 1936)
    • Stagecoach (John Ford, 1939)
    • They Were Expendable (John Ford, 1945)
    • Rome, Open City / Roma città aperta (Roberto Rossellini, 1945)
    • Umberto D. (Vittorio De Sica, 1952)
    • Pather Pachali (Satyajit Ray, 1955)
    • Awaara (Raj Kapoor, 1951)
    • Late Spring / Banshun (Yasujirō Ozu, 1949)
    • Rashōmon (Akira Kurosawa, 1950)
    • Floating Weeds / Ukikusa (Yasujirō Ozu, 1959)
    • An Autumn Afternoon / Sanma no aji (Yasujirō Ozu, 1962)
    • Breathless / À bout de souffle (Jean-Luc Godard, 1960)
    • Jules et Jim (François Truffaut, 1962)
    • Bonnie and Clyde (Arthur Penn, 1967)
    • Easy Rider (Dennis Hopper, 1969)
    • Star Wars (George Lucas, 1977)
    • Stranger than Paradise (Jim Jarmusch, 1984)
    • Sex, Lies, and Videotape (Steven Soderbergh, 1989)
    • La ballata di Buster Scruggs / The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (Joel e Ethan Coen, 2018)
    • Bird Box (Susanne Bier, 2018)
    Assessment

    Assessment for the course will be a written exam. It will have two sections: one consisting in multiple-choice questions, testing the candidate's broad understanding of film history; the other with open questions, through which students can expand on their knowledge of certain themes of the course in greater detail.

    The exam aims to assess both learning of the course content on behalf of the students and also their ability to express themselves, make argument and apply what they have learned. Through it, students must demonstrate their knowledge of the course by studying the text books and analysis of the films.

    Grading: 

    Excellent grades will be given in presence of: a good critical perspective and in depth knowledge; the ability to link the main subjects addressed during the course; the expert use of appropriate language and terminology.

    Good grades will be given in presence of: good mnemonic knowledge of the course content; a relatively good critical perspective and the ability to connect its themes; the use of an appropriate language.

    Sufficient grades will be given in presence of: minimal knowledge of the course's themes and the presence of some gaps in understanding; the use of an inappropriate language.

    Low grades will be given in presence of: difficulty in understanding the course's topics; notable gaps in knowledge; the use of a clearly inappropriate language.

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