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BART 12A04 - Identities Throughout European Cinema

Type d'enseignement : Workshop

Semester : Spring 2017-2018

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English



Course Description

This module is designed to provide undergraduate students with a holistic overview of European film history after World War II up to the present. It will set the foundations for a solid understanding of European film historiography and criticism and will allow students to fully grasp the place and function of cinema within modern and contemporary European culture and history. Lastly, it will provide students the necessary tools to comprehend and review film as historical testimony and artistic expression but also as political and social commentary and cultural artifact. The module firstly examines European cinema and its evolution taking under consideration the cultural, social and political impact of certain decisive events in post-World War II history: It begins from the very end of the War in 1945 and extends to 2010 to cover a long period of political shifts and changes to the social and cultural make-up of Europe and European nation-states. Namely, it looks at the division of Eastern Europe, the coming of post-War modernity, the emergence of small national cinemas in Europe's peripery, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the opening of borders and and post-1989 migration to Europe and the ongoing refugee crisis. Lectures will reflect on these key moments, their influence on European films and film production and on the relationship between history, identity, politics and cinematic representation. At the same time, the module builds itself on the premise of select key moments in the history of theoretical study of cinema that promoted a groundbreaking understanding of films and filmmaking in Europe as major outlets of culture and European values (identity, nationhood, culture). Lectures here will focus on the theoretical assumption that posited cinema as a philosophical medium and art form separate from other established arts (painting, literature, theatre, sculpting). Lastly, the module looks at the development of cinema as an art form. It defines the work of pioneering filmmakers and the emergence of particular movements and national cinemas as key moments in the history and evolution of the expressive means of cinema.


PHILLIS, Philip Edward (PhD, Lecturer)

Pedagogical format

One 60 minute lecture per week will be followed by smaller group seminars of 60 minutes where students will partake in short group presentations based on weekly reading material and screenings. The seminars will be conducted mainly by the students while the tutor will act as a facilitator of dialogue. It is crucial that the students prepare in advance for their seminars by reading one designated text from the bibliography for each week and attending screenings of films/case studies. This will make it possible to participate in discussions during seminars.

Course validation

To validate the course, students are expected to participate in group presentations and discussions during seminars which will count towards 40% of their final grade. A final exam will count for 60% of the final grade. Students are expected to attend all seminars. In seminars, groups of 3-4 students will provide a presentation of maximum 15 minutes based on each week's designated reading and/or film screening and from there a class discussion will ensue. It is mandatory for all students to participate in this activity and to share the workload and time of the presentation. Presentations are meant to be a group effort so, in order to get full marks, each student must contribute but the group needs to function as a whole as well.

Required reading

Film History : An Introduction, Kristin Thompson and David Bordwell (1993)

Additional required reading

  • Screening Europe, image and identity in contemporary European cinema, Duncan Petrie (ed.) (1992)
  • Screening Strangers, migration and diaspora in contemporary European cinema, Yosefa Loshitzky (2010)
  • East West and Centre, reframing post-1989 European cinema, Michael Gott & Todd Herzog (eds.) (2015)
  • A Companion to Eastern European Cinemas, Anikó Imre (ed.) (2012)