Module Catalogue 2020/21

FRE4006 : Contemporary French Cinema (Inactive)

  • Inactive for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Sarah Leahy
  • Other Staff: Professor Guy Austin
  • Owning School: Modern Languages
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment

As FRE4006 will be taught in French, students must have an advanced knowledge of French in order to be able to follow this module and successfully complete the assessment.


•       In consonance with the overall aims of the degrees offered in the SML to build on skills gained at Stages 1 and 2, and to provide students with an in-depth knowledge of aspects of French cinema.
•       To prepare students for postgraduate study in the area of French Cultural studies or Film Studies.
•       To develop students’ language skills in spoken and written French, especially in the areas of French culture and cinema.

Outline Of Syllabus

This module will study 6 key contemporary French films since the 1990s. Films will be drawn from both popular and auteurist cinema and will be used to explore important concepts in film studies such as: stardom, genre, representations of ethnicity, gender and sexuality, questions of national cinema, and the representation of history, society and national myths.
Films to be studied may include: Lemming, La Question humaine, 8 femmes, Potiche, Un héros très discret, Bienvenue chez les ch’tis.

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

By the end of the course, students will have had the opportunity to gain:
•       Knowledge and understanding of key genres in French cinema: the thriller, the horror/fantasy film, the realist drama, the musical and the comedy and their relation to critical issues in French society.
•       Knowledge and understanding of key debates in French cinema and in Film Theory.
•       A familiarity with different critical approaches to film including: star studies; auteurism; genre studies; questions of representation.

Intended Skill Outcomes

By the end of the course, students will have had the opportunity to practice:
•       Taking notes effectively in French in lectures and seminars, from journals and secondary material.
•       Developing critical and analytical skills, learning to construct coherent arguments and to use textual and cinematographic evidence to support them.
•       Finding secondary material in bibliographies devoted to film.
•       Analysing sequences of film closely.
Conducting individual research, planning and writing an essay.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion331:0033:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture121:0012:00Students will have 1 lecture of one hour per week.
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading321:0032:00N/A
Guided Independent StudySkills practice331:0033:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching201:0020:00Students will have 2 hours of seminars per week, taught in small groups.
Guided Independent StudyReflective learning activity331:0033:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery41:004:00Students will have the opportunity to drop in and discuss feedback on their work & any questions.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study331:0033:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The module will explore key aspects of contemporary French cinema: auteurism, representations of national identities, national myths, social and ethnic exclusion, gender and sexuality, in both popular and auteur cinema. Films may include: Lemming, La Question humaine, 8 femmes, Potiche, Un héros très discret, Bienvenue chez les ch’tis. Students will be expected to read the preparatory texts closely as lectures will assume knowledge of these, and seminars will entail analysis of film sequences in small groups followed by class debate. 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.
Plus optional film screenings: one per week.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2M30A sequence analysis of no more than 1500 words, on a sequence to be provided. Week 7.
Essay2A70An essay of no more than 2500 words, responding to one of a set of questions provided.
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Essay2MWeek 4.Students will write an essay introduction of approx. 500 words.They will be required to give feedback on each others’ work
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The summative assessment is in two parts:
1.       Sequence analysis of 1500 words (30%). Students must provide a sequence analysis on a film clip from one of the films studied on the module. The sequences 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.

2.       Essay of 2500 words (70%), 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. Students will be expected to have acquired a good knowledge of relevant scholarly writing as well as the films themselves. This component of the assessment will be in French and will allow students to demonstrate the ability to communicate ideas and arguments fluently and succinctly in French, and to develop the following skills: independent research, bibliographical work, planning and organizing, word-processing, footnoting and referencing.
In addition, there will be a formative assessment. This will be set in week 4 and will take the form of an extended essay introduction. Students will have to reflect on the purpose of the introduction in setting out the hypothesis, key debates and in outlining the plan of the essay, and provide feedback on a colleague’s work. This exercise will help develop the following skills: critical review, developing and communicating an argument, planning and organising. Teamwork and interpersonal communication, problem solving.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes

Original Handbook text:

Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2020/21 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 2021/22 entry will be published here in early-April 2021. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.