Media and film studies

Film Analysis: Hollywood Narrative and Style

Module code: P3029
Level 4
15 credits in autumn teaching
Teaching method: Film, Lecture, Seminar
Assessment modes: Coursework

This module explores the diverse ways that filmmakers use key techniques of cinematic expression, such as narrative, cinematography, mise-en-scene, editing, sound, performance and special effects.

You explore how such techniques are accomplished (i.e. the creative choices available to filmmakers) but also the potential they have for generating meaning and pleasure when combined together to produce filmic texts.

The module is based around a series of reading assignments, which will be discussed in seminars along with the week's set film and extracts from other films. In particular, we examine one of the most influential and most pervasive models of cinema: the classical narrative film produced during the era of the Hollywood studio system (from approximately 1915 to 1960).

You will consider several films from this era, as well as films produced subsequently, in the light of influential propositions by David Bordwell and other film scholars regarding the systematic organisation of stylistic and narrative norms within classical Hollywood storytelling.

Module learning outcomes

  • Identify and accurately describe a range of filmic methods of story-telling, and audio-visual techniques of expression, at an appropriate introductory level.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of connections between technological change and film aesthetics, at an appropriate introductory level.
  • Deploy the above concepts and knowledges in the critical analysis of the meanings, impacts and affects generated in selected film sequences, at an appropriate introductory level.