PAIR3044 Cinema and Political Theory
This module explores the relationship between cinema and political theory. More specifically it addresses cinema as a distinct medium of political theorizing or political education. The module explores this topic through critical engagement of SOME of the following ‘genres’ of cinema: Westerns, Film Noir, Comedies of Re-Marriage, Science Fiction, War, Gothic, Horror in conjunction with selected topics in political theory, drawing on work in both film studies and political theory. (Examples of the kind of films we address would include: The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence, My Darling Clementine, The Maltese Falcon, Blade Runner, The Philadelphia Story, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Apocalypse Now, Ghost Dog, Days of Glory.)
Aims and Objectives
Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:
- Draw on, and critically engage, debates in film studies and political theory with respect to cinema as a medium of political thought and to demonstrate this through evaluations of different accounts of cinema as political theory and of different readings of particular films
- Evaluate particular films as contributions to political thinking
Introduction: Cinema as a medium of political thought (wk1) 1. Genre 1 (e.g., The Western: Foundings and Social Contracts) (wks2-4) 2. Genre 2 (e.g., Film Noir: Alienation, Corruption and Ethics) (wks 5-7) 3. Genre 3 (e.g., Comedies of Re-Marriage: Publicity, Education and Democracy) (wks8-10) 4. Debating Cinema as Political Theory (wks11-12)
Weekly film showing and use of scene sequences for assessment.
Learning and Teaching
Teaching and learning methods
One lecture, one seminar and one film showing each week.
|Supervised time in studio/workshop||30|
|Preparation for scheduled sessions||24|
|Wider reading or practice||22|
|Completion of assessment task||50|
|Total study time||150|
Resources & Reading list
Stanley Cavell (2005). Cities of Words.
Robert Pippin (2012). Fatalism in Film Noir.
Joshua Foa Dienstag (2016). Cinema, Democracy, Perfectionism.
|Critical Analysis ( words)||45%|
|Essay ( words)||55%|
|Exam (2 hours)||100%|
Repeat type: Internal & External