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Module

FRE2005 : Classic French Cinema

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Sarah Leahy
  • Owning School: Modern Languages
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

• 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 aspects of French culture and history and their representation in film.
• 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 receive 18 hours of synchronous teaching, supported by 36 hours of structured online activity and 18 hours of guided study. During these hours we will cover key contextual information, read and discuss primary and secondary sources relating to the period and the French film industry at the time, and watch and analyse six key films, on which the assessment will focus. Activities will include guided study (e.g. film viewing and reading), group work (e.g. research tasks, thematic and sequence analysis, reading discussion points), online activities (Q&A via discussion board, quizzes) and in-class discussion and presentation. Weekly preparatory viewing and reading will be set in advance.
The module is structured in three blocks, with an overall introduction and sessions devoted to revision and assessment preparation.
Example syllabus:

Introduction to module
Block 1: Constructions of class, race and gender in the 1930s
Block 2: Occupation Cinema.
Block 3. Post-war reconstruction: nationhood and modernity.
Revision and essay preparation.
Films to be studied may include: Le Grand Jeu (Feyder, 1934), Pépé le Moko (Duvivier, 1937), Le Corbeau (Clouzot, 1943), Le Ciel est à vous (Grémillon, 1943), Jour de fête (Tati, 1949), Et Dieu… créa la femme (Vadim, 1956). Films are made available to students via the World TV and Film service (IPTV).
(NB: in addition to the structured and guided activities listed above, students are expected to complete a further 128 hours of independent study, including reading, viewing and assessment preparation. An extensive bibliography and filmography are provided.)

Teaching Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials160:308:00Recorded presentations with activities.
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion301:0030:00Essay. Research, planning, drafting, checking.
Structured Guided LearningAcademic skills activities160:308:00E.g. Film language activities, group sequence analysis, using primary and secondary *see below
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading62:0012:00Film viewing.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching91:009:00Synchronous online
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities92:0018:00E.g. Essential weekly reading, quizzes, discussion points.
Guided Independent StudySkills practice31:003:00E.g. preparation of group sequence analyses.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching81:008:00Present-in-Person
Structured Guided LearningStructured non-synchronous discussion20:301:00E.g. Q&A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery40:151:00Synchronous online: Scheduled appointments, mid and end of module to discuss progress and assessmen
Guided Independent StudyStudent-led group activity60:303:00E.g. group discussion of screening notes.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study981:0098:00Additional viewing and reading, independent research.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk40:151:00Recorded introductory talks for the module overall and for each new block.
Total200:00
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.
The module is divided into 3 blocks. Each block comprises 2 key films, Screening notes will be provided for each film and students will be expected to discuss these in groups prior to the scheduled classes. In addition, each week will have one or two essential preparatory readings. Students will be also be expected to read these texts closely; online quizzes will test knowledge and comprehension while discussion points which will be followed up during classes will develop critical engagement with sources.
Throughout the module reading, viewing, online and in-class discussion will help develop analytical and critical skills as well as knowledge of the period in question and the specific films in relation to their contexts.
Activities will be set as part of Structured Guided Learning to allow students to familiarize themselves with film language and analysis, and group analysis activities will reinforce this.

Scheduled learning and teaching activities: Note-taking, teamwork, arguing opinions, analysing sequencesoral communication and presentation skills, problem-solving.
Structured Guided Learning: Note-taking, teamwork (including initiative, adaptability and interpersonal communication), arguing opinions, analysing sequences, oral and written communication, independent research.
Guided independent study: note-taking, teamwork (including initiative, adaptability and interpersonal communication), arguing opinions, analysing sequences, oral and written communication, problem-solving, film screenings, reading, independent research, essay-writing.
*sources, academic writing
NB: THIS MODULE WILL BE TAUGHT AND ASSESSED IN ENGLISH THOUGH SOME OPTIONAL READING MAY BE PROVIDED IN FRENCH.

Assessment Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2M1002500 (+/- 10%) word essay. To be submitted at the end of Semester 2.
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Essay2MAn essay introduction and plan (1000 words max).
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The assessment 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.
A mid-module formative assessment (introduction plus detailed essay plan, max. 1000 words) will be offered to provide students with informal feedback on key features of essay-writing, for example, developing and presenting an argument, planning and structure, engaging with primary and secondary sources, using evidence.

Reading Lists

Timetable