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FILM3025 International Film Industry: Issues and Debates

Module Overview

Film as industry plays out against the backdrop of a global economy, and at any given location witnesses high volumes of transnational flows of money, ideas and talent. At the intersections of these transnational flows we can detect influences of stakeholders such as filmmakers, press and media as well as power structures embodied by politicians, governments and corporations. Internet technology development and new digital ‘content platforms’ from smart phones and TVs to tablets and ‘all-in-one entertainment systems’ have changed audiences’ viewing habits drastically and continue to do so. This in turn has influenced how various film industries with national and transnational dimensions have acted and reacted. This module explores key issues and discourses of a range of distinct film industries since the end of WWII, and investigates their forms and impact from historical, sociocultural and political-economic points of view. Drawing on examples from mainstream film industries and independent cultural film practices from around the world (e.g. North America, Europe, East Asia), this module will introduce you to key themes as well as the latest trends of film finance, production, distribution and dissemination, marketing and publicity, and exhibition. Topics such as crowdfunding, creative labour accumulation and migration, film distribution via digital platforms and international film festival circuit will be discussed.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

• introduce you to key issues and discourses concerning film industries with national and transnational dimensions since the end of WWII via a range of selected films • inspire you to think critically not only about the films we will be watching in class but about cinematic traditions and practice in general • increase your awareness of the diverse range of employment opportunities that a typical film industry offers

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

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

  • the range of film industries from around the world and their key concerns
  • the historical, social, cultural, political and economic contexts of film industry practice across the world since the end of WWII
  • the themes explored in this module and be able to connect them to other international contexts
  • the relationships among various stakeholders that are in play within and among distinct film industries
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • communicate effectively in writing and speech
  • independently research appropriate resources
  • produce appropriate critical analysis
  • organise your time effectively
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • engage critically with a range of theories, discourses and films
  • apply the module’s concepts and themes to other contexts, and expand knowledge of these themes into other areas
  • critically research and analyse films and film industry practice in academic writing and oral presentations

Syllabus

We will begin by looking at the essentials of any given film industry. Weekly lectures will revolve around the chosen film(s) of the week to explore key themes. This module employs a wide selection of films, which might typically include films such as Brief Encounter (dir. David Lean, 1945), Jaws (dir. Steven Spielberg, 1975), Days of Being Wild (dir. Wong Kar-wai, 1990), Taste of Cherry (dir. Abbas Kiarostami, 1997), Dancer in the Dark (dir. Lars von Trier, 2000), Red Cliff I and II (dir. John Woo, 2008 and 2009), as the core texts of discussions. They will enable you to understand different film industries’ sociocultural and political-economic concerns in different time periods in a globalised world. Assigned readings will further support the weekly discussions in lectures and seminars that aim to familiarise you with a broad range of discourses, as well as the latest trends of film finance, production, distribution and dissemination, marketing and publicity, and exhibition. Topics such as crowdfunding, creative labour accumulation and migration, film distribution via digital platforms and international film festival circuit will be discussed.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include: • Lectures, used to introduce key issues and themes • Seminars, incorporating small group work and larger group discussion • Screenings of selected films • Individual consultations with tutor Learning activities include: • Independent study, research and viewing • Critical thinking, reading and writing • Engagement in seminar discussions as both speaker and listener • Preparation of written assignments

TypeHours
Preparation for scheduled sessions30
Lecture10
Practical classes and workshops30
Completion of assessment task70
Seminar10
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Finney, Angus with Eugenio Triana (2010). The International Film Business: A Market Guide Beyond Hollywood. 

Jäckel, Anne (2003). European Film Industries. 

Cheung, Ruby (2015). New Hong Kong Cinema: Transitions to Becoming Chinese in 21st-Century East Asia. 

Dancer in the Dark (dir. Lars von Trier, Argentina/Denmark/Finland/France/Germany/Iceland/Italy/Netherlands/Norway/Spain/Sweden/UK/USA, 2000). 

Days of Being Wild (dir. Wong Kar-wai, Hong Kong, 1990). 

Brief Encounter (dir. David Lean, UK, 1945). 

Red Cliff I and II (dir. John Woo, China/Hong Kong/Japan/South Korea/Taiwan, 2008 and 2009). 

Taste of Cherry (dir. Abbas Kiarostami, France/Iran, 1997). 

Ashby, Justine and Andrew Higson, eds (2000). British Cinema, Past and Present. 

Kindem, Gorham, ed (2000). The International Movie Industry. 

McDonald, Paul and Janet Wasko, eds (2008). The Contemporary Hollywood Film Industry. 

Jaws (dir. Steven Spielberg, USA, 1975). 

Davis, Darrell William and Emilie Yueh-yu Yeh (2008). East Asian Screen Industries. 

Assessment

Assessment Strategy

Differentiation between 2nd and 3rd level work For 3rd level students taking this module, expectations will be higher than those for 2nd level students. An additional assessment method (i.e. self-reflective report on the oral presentation) will be employed. The overall assessment criteria will be accordingly stricter. In particular: • Topics chosen for the assignments should allow a greater degree of focus and detail, whether of analysis, examination of and commentary on facts, critical insight, independent argument, or other factors. • Conversely, assignments should demonstrate a broader knowledge and understanding of context, a more confident use of analytical and critical tools, and a more mature handling of argument, etc. • Optimal standards of presentation are required, in terms of spelling, punctuation, and grammar; sophistication of vocabulary; provision of footnotes; inclusion of full bibliographic and related details; physical appearance of work, etc. • The self-reflective report on the oral presentation should show a high degree of self-awareness of the students’ own strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities in publicly articulating and explaining the use of relevant concepts, and/or commenting on certain phenomena in specific film industries. In short, 3rd level students should aspire at all times to the highest possible levels of undergraduate work.

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Presentation with supporting handout  (10 minutes) 5%
Report  (1000 words) 30%
Report  (500 words) 5%
Research project  (2500 words) 60%

Referral

MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Linked modules

Prerequisites: FILM1001 or FILM2006 or FILM1020 or ENGL1079

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