Module Catalogue 2016/17

SEL3319 : The Spielberg Generation

  • Offered for Year: 2016/17
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Andrew Shail
  • Owning School: English Lit, Language & Linguistics
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



To familiarise students with the historical scrutiny of cinema through the analysis of a selection of Hollywood films from the mid-1960s to the present, with special emphasis on whether and how the cinema of this period divides into distinct generations.

Outline Of Syllabus

Week 1: Introduction / Continuity or Change? & Working on Film
No film

Week 2: New Hollywood I & How to Read a Film
Film: The Graduate (Mike Nichols, 1967)

Week 3: New Hollywood 2
Film: American Graffiti (George Lucas, 1973)

Week 4: New New Hollywood
Film: Jaws (Steven Spielberg, 1975)

Week 5: The story of ‘Twentoeth-Century Fox Fanfare with Cinemascope Extension’
Film: Star Wars (George Lucas, 1977)

Week 6: The Cinema of Attractions Reloaded
Film: Gremlins (Joe Dante, 1984)

Week 7: Amblin, and Why Robert Zemeckis explains Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Film: Back to the Future (Robert Zemeckis, 1985)

Week 8: Remakes
Film: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (Steven Spielberg, 1989)

Week 9: Reagan, Cameron and the bomb
Film: True Lies (James Cameron, 1994)

Week 10: Remaking
Film: Saving Private Ryan (Steven Spielberg, 1998)

Week 11: New New New Hollywood?
Film: Avatar (James Cameron, 2009)

Week 12 – Revision week
No film

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

A successful student will be able to demonstrate in their written work:
- a historical knowledge of Hollywood film from the 1960s to the present;
- a detailed textual knowledge of selected films;
- an ability to discern core stylistic and thematic elements;
- knowledge of the relationship between film history and film form.

Intended Skill Outcomes

A successful student will be able to demonstrate subject-specific skills in regard to the reading of filmic sequences and structures, and the understanding of the cultural specificities important to film. The student will also be able to demonstrate intellectual skills in moving between the study of general tendencies and the specificities of highly individual texts.

Graduate Skills Framework

Graduate Skills Framework Applicable: Yes
  • Cognitive/Intellectual Skills
    • Active Learning : Present
    • Literacy : Present
  • Self Management
    • Planning and Organisation
      • Goal Setting And Action Planning : Present
    • Personal Enterprise
      • Initiative : Present
  • Interaction
    • Communication
      • Interpersonal : Present
      • Written Other : Assessed
    • Team Working
      • Collaboration : Present
      • Peer Assessment Review : Present

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion136:0036:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture141:0014:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading103:0030:00Film Screenings
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading154:0054:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching112:0022:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyStudent-led group activity110:0010:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study134:0034:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures give students insight into the major debates concerning periodisation in recent Hollywood history, accompanied with examples from close readings of films. Seminars give students the opportunity to develop their skills at analysing film stylistics, and, by requiring students to collaboratively map filmic structures, enhance their individual ability to discern formal and thematic variation and consistency over time. Film screenings require students to watch the primary texts in an academic environment conducive to critical viewing, and present the films in theatrical scale.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1A1004000 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The submitted work format is particularly good for testing organizational, writing and research skills, and for allowing the in-depth analysis of primary texts that is necessary to an analysis of historical variation.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2016/17 academic year. In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described. Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2017/18 entry will be published here in early-April 2017. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.