Study Abroad and Exchanges



FRE2005 : Classic French Cinema

Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0


•       In consonance with the overall aims of the degrees offered in the SML, to build on skills gained at Stage 1, and to provide students with an introduction to key aspects of the history of French cinema from 1930-1960.
•       To provide students with an understanding of important debates in Film Studies.
•       To prepare students for postgraduate study in the area of film studies.
•       To make aspects of the above available to students from outside the degree.

Outline Of Syllabus

Students will attend 11 lectures, 11 seminars and 4 exam preparation sessions. There will also be 6 optional film screenings which students are strongly encouraged to attend. The lectures will be devoted to the films, their context, and to preparatory reading which will be set in advance. There will be the opportunity to ask questions during these sessions. Seminars will be devoted to sequence analyses, which students will be asked to prepare in advance, and discussion of the preparatory reading. Seminars will include group work and class discussion.
Weekly topics may include:
1 Intro to module and to presentation-giving.
2 The 1930s
3. L’Atalante
4. Le Jour se lève
5. The 1940s
6. Le Corbeau
7. Jour de fête
8. The 1950s
9. Casque d’or
10. Et Dieu créa la femme.
11. Conclusion to module.
12. Revision session – exam practice.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture211:0021:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading721:0072:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching101:0010:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching21:002:00Workshops.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery31:003:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study921:0092:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The module will explore three different decades of French cinema history, commonly thought of as the ‘classical period’, from the coming of sound in the 1930s, to the advent of the New Wave in the 1950s.Students will be expected to read preparatory texts closely as lectures will assume knowledge of these. Seminars will entail analysis of film sequences in small groups followed by class debate which will draw on the concepts discussed in lectures. The following skills will be developed:
Preparatory work for the lectures and seminars: bibliographical work, planning and organizing, independent study.
Lectures: Note-taking.
Seminars: Note-taking, teamwork (including initiative, adaptability and interpersonal communication), arguing opinions, analysing sequences, oral communication and presentation skills, problem solving.
Guided independent study includes film screenings and weekly required reading, as well as suggested further viewing and reading. Students are also encouraged to carry out their own independent research.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise1M401500 word sequence analysis. To be submitted at the end of Semester 1.
Essay2M602500 word essay. To be submitted at the end of Semester 2.
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Written exercise1MSequence analysis of 750 words. Week 7.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The summative assessment for this module is in two parts:

1.       A Written exercise: sequence analysis of 1500 words.
2.       An Essay of 2500 words.

The first part consists of a one week take home written exercise, in which students must analyse a sequence from one of the films studied on the module. The sequence will be provided along with a list of questions/aspects that students may wish to consider in their analysis. This should take the form of an essay of 1500 words. The exercise is designed to test students’ ability to analyse form, content and context, and to relate these three aspects of the sequence to each other.

The second part consists of a 2500 word essay in which students will be expected to demonstrate an understanding of context and film style as well as to engage critically with appropriate academic sources. Questions will be designed to test the students' ability to draw on specific textual analysis of the films, as well as demonstrating links between formal aspects of the films and the broader concepts discussed in lectures, in order to show their overall understanding of the period and its key films.

The resit will take the form of a 4000 word essay, in which students will be required to answer one of a number of questions on two of the films studied on the module. Questions will address aspects of film style as well as content and context. Students will be expected to have acquired a good knowledge of relevant scholarly writing as well as the films themselves. All points should be supported with evidence from the films.
Resit 4,000 words.

Reading Lists