Module Identifier TF30920  
Academic Year 2007/2008  
Co-ordinator Dr Jamie Sexton  
Semester Semester 1  
Pre-Requisite TF10220  
Course delivery Seminars / Tutorials   5 x 1 hour  
  Lecture   10 x 2 hour  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment 3000 word essay 1 For information on due dates for submission of assessed work, please refer to the departmental web pages at 50%
Semester Assessment 3000 word essay 2  50%
Supplementary Assessment Resit will be by submission of failed component (essay or portfolio) to a fresh topic 

Learning outcomes

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


The aims of the module are:


This module introduces students to the practices and reception of what is known as 'alternative cinema'. As such, it amis to discuss the similarities and differences between 'avant-garde cinema', 'cult cinema', 'experimental cinema', 'exploitation cinema', 'US Independent Cinema', 'trash cinema' and 'underground cinema'.   
A first part of the module is devoted to a historical overview of alternative cinema in its diverse appearances. Special attention will go to questions of style, experimental cinema, and the avant-garde. We will also concentrate on how alternative cinema evokes alternative readings through so called 'reading agains the grain'. Throughout this part, the emphasis will be on cinema as a historical form and as a viewing experience. Issues of production practices, cutural background, reception, and canonization will be central to the discussions. Avant-garde films of the 1920s and 1930s, films from the US underground, European art cinema, Political cinema and US Independent Cinema will be used as case studies.
A second part of the module is devoted to the more popular examples of alternative cinema, such as cult, horror, trash, and exploitation cinema. Lectures and seminars will outline the most important theoretical concepts of studying these cinemas, such as 'reflexivity', 'alternative reception', 'paracinema', 'cultism', 'perverse spectators', and 'textual poaching'. Throughout this part the issues of high-culture versus low-culture, and the challenging of aesthetics, niche-market reception, and viewing experiences will be central to discussions.

Reading Lists

** Recommended Background
Hiller, Jim (2001) American Independent Cinema: A Sight and Sound Reader BFI
Jancovich, Mark et al (2004.) Alternative Europe :eurotrash and exploitation cinema since 1945 /edited by Ernest Mathijs & Xavier Mendik. Wallflower Press 1903364930
King, Geoff (2005.) American independent cinema /Geoff King. Distributed in the U.S. by Palgrave Macmillan 978150439387
Mathijs, Ernest & Mendik, Xavier (2003.) Defining cult movies :the cultural politics of oppositional taste /edited by Mark Jancovich ... [et al.]. Manchester University Press 0719066301
Mendik, Xavier & Schneider, Steven Jay (2002.) Underground Usa :filmmaking beyond the Hollywood canon /edited by Xavier Mendik & Steven Jay Schneider. Wallflower 1903364493
O'Pray, Michael (2003) Avant-Garde Film; Forms, Themes and Passions Wallflower Press
Rees, A. L. (April 1999) A History of Experimental Film and Video BFI Publishing 0851706819TRADEPAPER
Telotte, J.P. (1991.) The Cult Film Experience :beyond all reason /edited by J.P. Telotte. University of Texas Press 0292711352
Wayne, Mike. (2001.) Political Film : Dialectics of Third Cinema /Mike Wayne. Pluto 0745316700
Wilinsky, Barbara. (c2001.) Sure seaters :the emergence of art house cinema /Barbara Wilinsky. University of Minnesota Press 0816635625


This module is at CQFW Level 6