CINE202-21S1 (C) Semester One 2021

Film and Theory

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 22 February 2021
End Date: Sunday, 27 June 2021
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 7 March 2021
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 14 May 2021


The class sets the foundations for a working knowledge of the major debates that have informed Cinema Studies. Students will gain the necessary tools to use and understand the language of film theory and criticism.

The purpose of this course is to supply students with the necessary tools to use and understand the language of film theory and criticism. Cinema Studies, like any other academic discipline, possesses a set of theoretical terms and concepts that initially appear daunting. The class sets the foundation for a working knowledge of the major debates and discourses that have informed Cinema Studies.
Students will read important theoretical statements alongside critical texts by filmmakers and film scholars.  The focus of the class will be to connect visual analysis with critical thinking.  Classroom explanations and discussions will guide students through the screening, reading and research assignments. Topics will include:

• film and reality
• classic Hollywood style as an ideological system
• the family in film
• film history and politics
• the concept of national cinema
• gender and identity
• memory, time and trauma
• ideology and authorship
• the spectator and the image
• sound and the voice
• simulation, virtual reality and the digital image

Learning Outcomes

1. Ability to use and understand a range of conceptual and theoretical terms of the discipline
2. Specific knowledge of a range of national cinemas, movements and forms
3. Knowledge of the major theoretical debates and discourses in film studies
4. Ability to connect visual analysis of a film with critical thinking
5. Ability to identify and explain relationships between films and their social, cultural and historical contexts
6. Demonstrate competency in engaging with global and multi-cultural contexts
7. Growing ability to test and question ideas and interpretations offered in class
8. Ability to produce a detailed, coherent and persuasive argument in the form of an academic essay

University Graduate Attributes

This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:

Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award

Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.

Employable, innovative and enterprising

Students will develop key skills and attributes sought by employers that can be used in a range of applications.

Globally aware

Students will comprehend the influence of global conditions on their discipline and will be competent in engaging with global and multi-cultural contexts.


Any 15 points at 100 level from CINE, or
any 60 points at 100 level from the Schedule V of the BA.

Recommended Preparation

Timetable Note

Contact hours:

2 hours lecture
3 hours screening (includes 1 hour discussion)

Course Coordinator

Alan Wright


Please check the course LEARN page for further details and updates.

Textbooks / Resources

Recommended Reading:

Film Studies: Critical Approaches. Eds. Hill and Church
Film Theory and Criticism. 7th Ed. Eds. Braudy and Cohen
Cinema Studies: the Key Concepts.  Susan Hayward

Films offered:

The Incredibles (Bird, 2004)
Meet Me in Saint Louis (Minnelli, 1944)
Bicycle Thieves (De Sica, 1948)
Bashu, the Little Stranger (Bay’zai, 1989)
A Screaming Man (Mahamat Saleh Haroun, 2010)
Force Majeure (Ostlund, 2014)

Vertigo (Hitchcock, 1958)
Mulholland Drive (Lynch, 2001)
Memories of Murder (Bong Joon-ho, 2003)
Waltz with Bashir (Folman, 2008)
Her (Jonze, 2013)
Arrival (Villeneuve, 2016)

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $785.00

International fee $3,500.00

* 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 CINE202 Occurrences

  • CINE202-21S1 (C) Semester One 2021