Module Identifier TF21920  
Academic Year 2003/2004  
Co-ordinator Dr Mikel Koven  
Semester Semester 1  
Other staff Dr Kevin J Donnelly  
Pre-Requisite TF10220  
Course delivery Lecture   10 x 2 hour  
  Seminars / Tutorials   5 x 1 hours  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment 2500 word essay  60%
Semester Assessment 2500 word essay For information on due dates for submission of assessed work, please refer to the departmental web pages at

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:
command the basic terminology of film studies in terms of how the classical Hollywood cinema developed into an industrial norm;

generate theoretical applications of some basic classical Hollywood film theories, applying them to contemporary Hollywood films.


-To develop a cache of formal and analytical terminology which were codified within the classical Hollywood period (1915-1960) and have become the norms of film studies discourse including narrative image, mise-en-scene, editing, the star system, genre, and sound;
-To begin to develop a critical awareness of some of the theoretical issues in film studies which have been discussed in this period including a consideration of ideology, gender and sexual orientation representation.

Brief description

Classical Hollywood Cinema, the so-called `Golden Age?, approximately between the years 1915 ? 1960, was the period that the codes of cinematic storytelling were established, and to which, some theorists/historians argue, all later filmmakers respond, either by duplicating these codes or by rejecting and disrupting them. Either way, Classical Hollywood Cinema is the dominant discourse of all filmmaking sensibilities. In other words, it is the centre to which all other discourses develop from/respond to. This module negotiates the basic terminology of film studies through this historical period and by presenting an introduction to film theory, proceeds to examine how this terminology may be applied, by extension, to contemporary Hollywood cinema.

Reading Lists

** Recommended Background
Blandford, Steve, Barry Keith Grant and Jim Hillier (2001) The Film Studies Dictionary London: Arnold
Bordwell, David and Kristin Thompson (2001) Film Art - an introduction 6th edition London: McGraw-Hill
Bordwell, David, Janet Staiger and Kristin Thompson (1985) The Classical Hollywood Cinema London: Routledge
Braudy, Leo and Marshall Cohen (eds) (1998) Film Theory and Critcism 5th edition Oxford: OUP
Cook, Pam and Mieke Bernink (eds) (1999) The Cinema Book 2nd edition London: BFI
Elsaesser, Thomas and Warren Buckland (2002) Studying Contemporary American Film: A Guide to Movie Analysis London: Arnold
Hollows, Joanne, Peter Hutchings and Mark Jancovich (eds) (2000) The Film Studies Reader London: Arnold
McDonald, Paul (2000) The Star System: Hollywood's Production of Popular Identities London: Wallflower Press
Nichols, Bill (ed) (1976) Movies and Methods Volume I Berkeley: University of California Press
Nichols, Bill (ed) (1985) Movies and Methods Volume II Berkeley: University of California Press
Stam, Robert and Toby Millers (eds) (2000) Film and Theory: An Anthology Oxford: Basil Blackwell
Thomas, Deborah (2001) Reading Hollywood: Spaces and Meanings in American Film London: Wallflower Press
Thompson, Kristin (1999) Storytelling in the New Hollywood: Understanding Classical Narrative Technique London: Harvard University Press


This module is at CQFW Level 5