SEL3319 : The Spielberg Generation

  • Module Leader(s): Dr Andrew Shail
  • Owning School: English Lit, Language & Linguistics
Semesters
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

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

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 reading154:0054:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading103:0030:00Film Screenings
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
Total200:00
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.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2A1004000 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.

Reading Lists

Timetable

Disclaimer: The University will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver modules in accordance with the descriptions set out in this catalogue. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, however, the University reserves the right to introduce changes to the information given including the addition, withdrawal or restructuring of modules if it considers such action to be necessary.