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FILM2020 World Cinema

Module Overview

In many DVD stores, we often find a shelf labelled ‘world cinema’ – a label on the lines of ‘world music’. This signals the universality of diversity and mobility, compared to categories such as ‘third cinema’ or ‘non- Western cinema’. This module will discuss the location and valorisation of cultural products in the global market place. Theoretical debates about the categorisation and circulation of films focus on selected case studies drawn from Middle Eastern, North African or Asian cinema. The examples will display a diverse range of film practices which are difficult to subsume under one label. By studying examples of transnational interaction, co-production and cross-cultural appropriation, the module aims to problematize the concept of ‘national cinema’. We shall analyse contemporary examples of ‘postcolonial hybrid films’ which challenge notions of ‘pure cultures’, ‘difference’ and ‘authenticity’ and explore prevalent tropes and genres in the representation of ‘third world’ and ‘diaspora’ populations in main-stream and non-mainstream cinema. The module will also familiarise you with the problems and the possibilities associated with attempts to exhibit and to promote critical discussion of ‘non-Western’ cinemas in ‘the West’.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

• Introduce you to cinema from parts of the world other than Hollywood and Europe and challenge the conceptual models of understanding cinema (such as genre, authorship, audiences, frameworks of production and distribution) within a global context • Examine the production, distribution and reception of films in a global economy and culture • Study examples of transnational interaction, co-production and cross-cultural appropriation, the module aims to problematize the concept of national cinema, and challenge notions of ‘pure cultures’, ‘difference’ and ‘authenticity’. • Examine the reception of ‘non-Western’ cinemas in ‘the West’. • Enable you to think about the complexities of contemporary culture in global terms that is beyond national boundaries.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • The definitions of ‘world’, ‘third’, ‘transnational’ and ‘national’ cinema
  • Case-studies of the reception of ‘non-Western’ cinemas in the ‘West’
  • The ‘global’ reception and distribution of films
  • The significance of major national production contexts such as India and Hong Kong
  • A range of case studies in world cinema
  • The notions of ‘pure cultures’, ‘diaspora’, ‘difference’ and ‘authenticity’.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Select, organise and deploy ideas and information in order to formulate cogent arguments and express them effectively in written and oral forms
  • Work independently, making effective use of library, archival and Internet resources and demonstrating efficient time management
  • Work productively with others and give an effective oral presentation using a variety of visual aids that engages and informs its audience and generates further debate
  • Demonstrate the ability to listen to, contribute to, and lead discussion in group environments of varying sizes
  • Recognise the complexities of contemporary global culture, in terms of media research and in terms of the media and business worlds.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Discuss the development of the terms ‘world cinema’, ‘third cinema’, ‘transnational cinema’, and ‘national cinema’
  • Analyse ways in which cinema has dealt thematically and formally with globalisation and explore the notion of a ‘global imaginary’ in cinema
  • Explore questions about the circulation of culture in a global market, including issues of production, distribution and reception
  • Identify the problems and possibilities of analysing examples of ‘non-Western’ cinema in ‘the West’
  • Evaluate and draw upon a range of academic and filmic sources in order to formulate, structure and justify your own arguments.

Syllabus

While other modules in the Film Studies programme focus primarily on Hollywood and European cinema, this module aims to familiarise you with cinemas from other parts of the world and with questions of production, distribution and reception of films in a global economy. The module will build upon first year courses, challenging you to think about categories you have learnt about such as genre, auteurism, audiences, festival circuits, mechanisms of funding, and frameworks of circulation within a broader horizon. In many dvd stores, we often find a shelf labelled ‘world cinema’ – a label on the lines of ‘world music’. This signals the universality of diversity and mobility, compared to categories such as ‘third cinema’ or ‘non- Western cinema’. This module will discuss the location and valorisation of cultural products in the global market place. Theoretical debates about the categorisation and circulation of films focus on selected case studies drawn from Middle Eastern, North African or Asian cinema. The examples will display a diverse range of film practices which are difficult to subsume under one label. By studying examples of transnational interaction, co-production and cross-cultural appropriation, the module aims to problematize the concept of ‘national cinema’. We shall analyse contemporary examples of ‘postcolonial hybrid films’ which challenge notions of ‘pure cultures’, ‘difference’ and ‘authenticity’ and explore prevalent tropes and genres in the representation of ‘third world’ and ‘diaspora’ populations in main-stream and non-mainstream cinema. The module will also familiarise you with the problems and the possibilities associated with attempts to exhibit and to promote critical discussion of ‘non-Western’ cinemas in ‘the West’.

Special Features

An innovative part of the assessment for this module requires you to undertake a small project exploring the reception of a ‘non-Western’ cinema in the UK. The results of the research will form part of one of the seminars. This project is designed to develop your research skills and to exemplify some of the theoretical debates that we are exploring on the module.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include • Plenary session • Seminars • Screenings • tutorials Learning activities include • Individual / group seminar presentations • Independent study, viewing and research • Workshop session in seminar groups to discuss work-in-progress on research project on reception • Researching and writing-up research project

TypeHours
Teaching36
Independent Study114
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

John Hill and Pamela Church Gibson, eds (2000). World Cinema: Critical Approaches. 

Lucia Nagib, Chris Perriam and Rajinder Dudrah (eds) (2012). Theorizing World Cinema. 

Ella Shohat and Robert Stam (1994). Unthinking Eurocentrism: Multiculturalism and the Media. 

Lucia Nagib (2011). World Cinema and the Ethics of Realism. 

Assessment

Assessment Strategy

Assessments designed to provide informal, in-module feedback ? Discussion of essay work ? Feedback on presentations ? Tutorials Relationship between the teaching, learning and assessment methods and the planned learning outcomes Firstly, weekly plenary sessions provide a background to the topic to be studied that week and set up the key debates, drawing on the required reading and indicating further avenues of enquiry. These sessions are also more interactive than lectures and require active contribution by the whole group. Screenings are also a central part of the module and provide a focus for the discussion in the plenary sessions and seminars. You will also be required to undertake independent viewing, and you are encouraged to see, and be in a position to write about and discuss, a wide range of films. Finally, the seminars build on the ideas introduced in the plenary sessions and by the reading, and will usually centre on a discussion of the film(s) seen that week and often a student presentation. Seminars provide a forum in which to discursively try out your ideas, to clarify your critical understanding, and to develop your skills of analysis and argumentation in an informal setting.

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (2000 words) 50%
Presentation with supporting handout  (20 minutes) 10%
Project report  (2000 words) 40%

Referral

MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (4000 words) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Linked modules

Prerequisites: FILM1001 or FILM2006 or ENGL1007

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