MI4007 - Film History

What will I learn on this module?

The module introduces you to key developments in the history of cinema, from its origin in the 1890s to the present day. It engages with a range of national cinemas and historical periods in order to provide you with an understanding of some of the ways in which films have been manufactured, received and discussed. It covers topics such as the following:

• Early Cinema
• Hollywood cinema: classical narrative cinema, the studio system, technology
• European cinema challenging the mainstream: Surrealism, German Expressionism, Italian Neo-Realism, Soviet Cinema
• Movements in Post-1945 cinema: European Art Cinema, the French New Wave, British New Wave, New German Cinema, Underground US cinema, the British Heritage Film, Dogme 95
• Post-Classical Cinema: New Hollywood Cinema, the Blockbuster, Digital Cinema, Popular East Asian cinema

How will I learn on this module?

Teaching takes place in weekly lectures and weekly seminars, supported by occasional tutorials. Lectures s introduce you to key moments in cinema history or important debates relating to that history, whilst seminars will enable you to explore relevant themes and issues in relation to class material. Finally, tutorials support you with specific issues, not least concerning assessment.

You are required to make positive contributions to the learning experience. You are expected to prepare for sessions by studying books, articles, films and Internet sources, references to which are provided by the module guide and supplementary material posted on the e-Learning Portal. You are also encouraged to develop communication skills by taking an active part in group discussions.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Classes will involve group discussions with the tutor and fellow students, providing a constructive environment for the enhancement of knowledge and understanding of the subject, preparation for the assessment tasks, and the development of communication skills. Class material (such as Powerpoint slides, links to film clips and discussion points) will be accessible via the e-Learning portal, along with supplementary learning material (which may include web links, suggestions for further viewing and reading). A list of key and further reading material will be available on the eLP, and an electronic reading list will link you directly to key sources, allowing you to access them anytime and anywhere. The module will also incorporate assessment preparation sessions, with advice on how to approach the essay/exam components. Furthermore, the module tutor will offer set office hours for academic support

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
• An understanding of key features of the historical development of cinema from the 1890s to the present day

• An awareness of key critical debates associated with film history, and an ability to historically contextualise a range of films

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• The development of bibliographical and information-gathering skills in the preparation of assignments

• The development of communication skills

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

• An appreciation of the global and cultural contexts of film-making

How will I be assessed?

The assessment strategy for this module is to encourage a breadth of knowledge through an essay (3000 words), chosen from a list of questions. The assessment tests bibliographical and information-gathering skills, and the ability to communicate ideas in written form. Electronic feedback will be given (via the eLP), and tutorial feedback is also offered; these aid the development of knowledge and understanding, and communication skills.





Module abstract

The module introduces you to key developments in film history, from the earliest cinema of the 1890s, through to the emergence of Hollywood, currents in art and avant-garde cinema, and contemporary film-making tendencies, such as the blockbuster. You will engage with a range of national cinemas and historical periods to gain an understanding of some of the ways in which films have been manufactured, received and discussed. It involves weekly classes, involving lectures, screened material and group discussion tasks.

Course info

UCAS Code P315

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years Full Time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Arts

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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