First Person Film (MA) (878P4)

30 credits, Level 7 (Masters)

Spring teaching

First Person Film examines the ways in which film can be used as a personal, subjective medium, whether in fiction or documentary. Autobiographical or analytical, abstract or essayistic, professional or amateur, the first-person modality is increasingly present in all filmmaking practices. This module seeks to introduce you to theories of subjectivity whether from psychoanalysis, post-structuralism and/or literary theory considering the multiple theoretical incursions on the unity of the subject from Lacan to Butler and Nancy, and even the outright denial of the author (Barthes). We will explore questions of subjectivity such as: what constitutes a subject? from what position does s/he speak? and what or who is the 'I' that speaks? From this will arise further questions regarding the address: to whom does s/he speak and to what avail? who is being interpellated as audience? and how is identification constructed? The module will survey a range of first-person filmmaking, including the fictional autobiography, artist's experimental films, first-person documentary, the essay film, the home movie and the proliferation of YouTube direct address.


60%: Lecture (Film)
40%: Seminar


100%: Coursework (Essay)

Contact hours and workload

This module is 300 hours of work. This breaks down into 55 hours of contact time and 245 hours of independent study.

This module is running in the academic year 2019/20. We also plan to offer it in future academic years. It may become unavailable due to staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of such changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: