Module Identifier TF30720  
Academic Year 2001/2002  
Co-ordinator Professor Martin Barker  
Semester Semester 2  
Other staff Ms Tricia Rhodes  
Pre-Requisite TF10210 , TF31920  
Course delivery Lecture   20 Hours  
  Seminar   5 Hours  
  Practical   Viewing sessions  


To introduce students to number of competing approaches to film, paying particular attention to: the role of ancillary materials and commentaries (reviews, controversies, merchandising and narrative extensions); issues of taste and the problems of judgements of quality; the porousness of films to other systems of meaning (for instance, star meanings); and debates about the purposes of film analysis, in particular with reference to the way film analyses make claims about the nature of audiences.

Learning Outcomes:

Typically, upon completion of the module, students will be able to:
- Address a range of film texts more deeply, and particularly by reference to the ways in which the `meanings? of films are a
   function of processes and contributions from outside the individual film;
- Demonstrate an understanding of different approaches to film analysis, and take up a critically thought-out position in relation
   to them;
- Explore the significance of satellite materials for our understanding of films;
- Demonstrate the ability to think critically about the concepts of `taste?, and to connect these to thinking about your own film
- Evaluate `figures of the audience?, both for their role in debates around films, and their claim on actual audiences.


The module takes a number of (in the main recent) films, and uses them to examine a series of processes not normally given much attention within film studies: the role of publicity, marketing, merchandising, reviews, interviews, debates and gossip around films in shaping audiences? expectations and ways of responding; the ways films fit within taste-cultures, and the implications of these for understanding, for examples, controversies over some films; the way analyses of films (both academic and non-academic) import `figures? of the audience to support their claims about films? `meanings?, `messages?, or `effects?; and how, in the light of these, we may ourselves make claims about the purpose, quality, function and effectivity of films.

Reading Lists

** Essential Reading
Barker, Martin & Austin, Thomas. (2000) From Antz to Titanic; Reinventing Film Analysis. London, Pluto Press
Bordwell, David. (1989) Making Meaning: Inference and Rhetoric in the Interpretation of Cinema,. Boston: Harvard UP
Thompson, Kirstin. (1988) Breaking the Glass Armour. Princeton University Press
Hollows, Joanne & Jancovich, Mark, eds.. (1995) Approaches to Popular Film. Manchester University Press
Kuhn, Annette (ed). (1990) Alien Zone: Culture Theory and Contemporary Science Fiction Cinema. London: Verso
Staiger, Janet. (1990) Interpreting Films. Princetn UP
Maltby, Richard. (1983) Harmless Entertainment. London: Scarecrow Press
Kerr, Paul. (1986) The Hollywood Film Industry: A Reader. London: RKP
Wasko, Janet. (1995) Hollywood in the Information Age. Austin: University of Texas Press
Barker, Martin & Sabin, Roger. (1996) The Lasting of the Mohicans: History of an American Myth. Jackson: University of Mississippi Press
Horton, Andrew & McDougal, Stuart Y,. (1998) Play it Again, Sam: Retakes on Remakes. Berkeley: University of California Press
Dyer, Richard. (1979) Stars. London: BFI
Dyer, Richard. (1987) Heavenly Bodies: Film stars and Society. Basingstoke: Macmillan
Sconce, Jeffrey. (1995) '"Trashing" the academy: taste, excess, and an emerging politics of cinematic style' Screen. Winter
Neale, Steve, & Smith, Murray, eds.. (1998) Contemporary Hollywood Cinema. London: Routledge
Wells, Paul. (1998) Understanding Animation. London: Routledge