Media and film studies

American Cinema A

Module code: P3050
Level 5
30 credits in autumn teaching
Teaching method: Seminar, Lecture, Film
Assessment modes: Coursework

An awareness of how Hollywood cinema was shaped, how it acquired its position of dominance, and the forms and aesthetic conventions that characterise it is essential to an understanding of cinema more generally. Accordingly, this module will focus on the formation of Hollywood in the 1910s through to the post-World War II era, with particular emphasis placed on the development of the 'studio system' and Hollywood's 'golden age' of the 1920s to 1950.

You will view a range of representative Hollywood films made during the period and analyse them in relation to the industry and its practices. You will also situate Hollywood cinema within the political and social life of the United States in the period.

Module learning outcomes

  • Understand the defining aesthetic, economic and technological characteristics of Hollywood cinema during the specified period.
  • Critically analyse Hollywood's products in relation to the historical development of the American film industry and its studio system.
  • Understand the relationship between Hollywood, its products, American society and the US government during this period.
  • Demonstrate critical engagement with diverse conceptual and historical approaches to US cinema encountered on the course