Module Identifier EN33820  
Academic Year 2004/2005  
Co-ordinator Dr David E Shuttleton  
Semester Semester 1  
Course delivery Seminars / Tutorials   20 Hours 10 x 2 hour seminar workshops  
  Practical   30 Hours 10 x 3 hour viewing sessions  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment Continuous Assessment: 2 essays (2,500 words each)100%
Supplementary Assessment Resubmit any failed elements and/or make good any missing elements. 

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module students should typically be able to:

1. demonstrate detailed knowledge of a representative range of British films from the period;

2. demonstrate an informed awareness of their historical contexts of production;

3. analyse these filmic texts in a way that is informed by established critical and thoretical debates.

Brief description

The focus is upon films made during or immediately after the Second World War, a period when British film making is considered to have been at the height of its powers. You will be encouraged to consider how the set films problematise ideological formations concerning nationhood, the family, class, gender identity, sexuality and generational conflict. The syllabus begins with films made during the war itself and continues with work reflecting the war's longer-term impact on British culture, particular regarding class and gender. The distinctive, neo-romantic films of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger ('The Archers'), raise questions about the politics of film aesthetics. 'Noir' thrillers like The Third Man or Brighton Rock invite questions about film style and constructions of masculinity. Through a concern with women's melodrama, we shall also consider representations of gender, and in particular psychoanalytic and feminist film theory. Powell's controversial Peeping Tom invites associations between psychoanalytic theory and cinematic voyeurism. The module closes with debates about social realism and marginal identities prompted by the New Wave's representation of Northern working-class life.


Duration and Teaching

To be taught over one semester in 10 two hour sessions combining lectures and seminars: in addition a regular weekly venue/time will be designated for students to view set films on video.

FOR LEGAL REASONS THE TUTOR CANNOT 'LOAN OUT' VIDEOS TO INDIVIDUAL STUDENTS, but the films are usually available from local commercial rental outlets.


1. Introduction

2. 'How We Fight'

3. 'Why We Fight'

4. Neo-Romanticism

5. The Post-War 'Spiv' Cycle

6. Women and Film I

7. Women and Film II

8. The Cinematic Gaze

9. The New Wave

10. Social Problem Films

Reading Lists

** Recommended Consultation
Timothy Corrigan (2003) A Short Guide to Writing About Film Addison Wesley
Gerald Mast, et al. (eds.) (1998) Film Theory and Criticism (6th edition) Oxford University Press Inc., USA
Graeme Turner (1999) Film as Social Practice Routledge
Secondary reading lists on specific topics will be made available throughout the module.


This module is at CQFW Level 6