CINE101-12S1 (C) Semester One 2012

What is Cinema?

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 20 February 2012
End Date: Sunday, 24 June 2012
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Friday, 2 March 2012
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 18 May 2012


An introduction to the fundamental principles of film form and style. Each class focuses upon a specific filmmaking technique in order to analyse its cinematic function and effect.

This course will provide an introduction to the fundamental principles of film, focusing on the significance of specific filmmaking techniques (shot construction, cinematography, editing, sound, lighting, colour and acting) which contribute to our overall experience of film art.  

Class discussions will be devoted to broad questions of film form, production, distribution, ideology, gender, and authorship.  Students will learn to apply concepts from the assigned readings to specific films drawn from a spectrum of different national cinemas (New Zealand, Japan, Britain, Germany and the US) and historical periods that range from early sound cinema to the present.  Through careful analysis of individual films, students will acquire mastery of the critical and technical language of the discipline.  Beyond the acquisition of essential and basic critical tools, students will also be introduced to political, modernist, and other alternatives to the commercial conventions of Classical Hollywood Cinema.  Classroom explanations and tutorial sessions during the semester will guide students through the screening, reading, and writing assessments.  Topics will include:  

• Classical Hollywood continuity style (alternatives to continuity style)
• the critical and technological language of Cinema Studies
• the cinematographic apparatus and ideological effects, including such concepts as ‘the gaze’ and male voyeurism
• national film industries and film production
• sound design and sound editing
• cinematography (framing, lighting, camerawork)
• the notion of authorship
• the remake and ‘the original’
• the notion of ‘art cinema’
• gender roles; feminist discourse; the body

Learning Outcomes

  • Basic knowledge of the critical and technical vocabulary of the discipline
  • Basic awareness of film history, ranging from early cinema to the present
  • Recognition that different film forms impact on the meaning and effects of film texts
  • Basic knowledge of the various issues associated with the production, distribution, and exhibition of films
  • Basic ability to conduct close analysis of scenes and images from films
  • Basic ability to identify relationships between films and their social, cultural and historical contexts

Timetable Note

Please note that the Monday 12-3pm Workshop is a film screening additional to the tutorials and all students are expected to attend.

Course Coordinator

Alan Wright


Mary Wiles


Assessment Due Date Percentage 
On-line Assignment 10%
1500 Word Essay 30%
Final Exam 50%
Test 10%

Textbooks / Resources

Required Texts

Bordwell, David. , Thompson, Kristin; Film art : an introduction ; 9th ed; McGraw-Hill, 2010.

Recommended Reading

Corrigan, Timothy; A Short Guide to Writing About Film ; 7th edition;

Hayward, Susan; Cinema studies : the key concepts ; 3rd ed; Routledge, 2006.



Week One: Introduction
Do the Right Thing (Lee, 1989)

Week Two: Classical Hollywood Cinema
Casablanca (Curtiz, 1942)

Week Three: The Shot
Vigil (Ward, 1984)

Week Four: Mise-en-Scène
A Clockwork Orange (Kubrick, 1971)

Week Five:
Waltz with Bashir (Folman, 2008)

Week Six:
The Great White Silence (Ponting, 1924)

Week Seven: Editing I
Rear Window (Hitchcock, 1954)

Term 2

Week Eight: Editing II
Elephant (van Sant, 2003)

Week Nine: Sound I
M (Lang, 1931)

Week Ten: Sound II
Two-Lane Blacktop (Hellman, 1971)

Week Eleven: Film Style
Night of the Hunter (Laughton, 1955)

Week Twelve: Contemporary Genre: Horror
Let the Right One In (Alfredson, 2008)

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $619.00

International fee $2,688.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see Humanities and Creative Arts .

All CINE101 Occurrences

  • CINE101-12S1 (C) Semester One 2012