Course syllabus



SEMESTER 2, 2020

15 points



                                         Well-Being Always Comes First

We all go through tough times during the semester, or see our friends struggling. There is lots of help out there. For more information, look at this Canvas page, which has links to various support services in the University and the wider community.


Course Convenor:  Dr. Jenny Stümer

 Email -

 Office - HSB (building 201E), rm 526
 ZOOM Office Hour: Tuesday 10-11



Matt Allan (headtutor):

ZOOM Q and A: Tuesday 12-1, 3-4, 4-5; Wednesday 12-1

Laura Bunting:

ZOOM Q and A: Monday 10-11, 11-12, 12-1 ; Wednesday 10-11

Reuben Fong:

ZOOM Q and A: Monday 2-3, 3-4, 4-5

Sunny Liu:

ZOOM Q and A: Thursday 8-9, 9-10; Friday 11-12, 2-3


Find out about the schedule and who your GTA is here.

ZOOM Q and A Session at a glance here


Course Facebook group:



Kura Turuwhenua:

For information about Tuākana click here.


Course delivery:

Lectures: Wednesday 2:00PM to 4:00PM Owen G Glenn, Room 115

Tutorials: 1 hour per week 

Timetable and room details can be viewed on Student Services Online)

PLEASE NOTE THAT TUTORIALS WILL BE TAUGHT CONSECUTIVELY AFTER THE LECTURE (This means tutorials start on Thursday and end on Wednesday (rather than Monday - Friday). If your tutorial is scheduled on Thursdays or Fridays your first Tutorial will be in week 1 after the lecture. If your tutorial is scheduled on Monday, Tuesdays or Wednesdays, your first tutorial will take place early in week 2 before the second lecture.


Class reps:

Mary Joy Colmenar:

Chantal Dalebroux:

Lisa Howard:


Course Description:              

This course explores a series of significant films, from the introduction of cinema to the present.We are interested in questions such as: What is cinema? How do we study film? And, most importantly, what kind of relationships does  film establish with the world we live in?

Students will develop a historical perspective, an awareness of film-making as an art and an interest in the relationship between films and society, including debates about race, gender, etc. We will use the films we study to think about histories and futures, and use film as a lens to consider memory and culture. We will look at the ways in which film negotiates different identities and perspectives and how all this is related to larger questions of cultural politics.

The course  provides an introduction to the formal techniques and conventions of feature filmmaking and presents some of the main traditions of film criticism. Over the semester students will become acquainted with the basic concepts of Film Studies, gain an appreciation for the depth and richness of narrative film, and acquire critical and analytical viewing skills.

Drawing on films from different periods and genres, there will be an emphasis on six main technical elements of film construction: editing, sound, cinematography, genre, mise-en-scène and narrative. In order to place these elements in context and investigate them in relation to each other, students will study a set of films to gain a comparative perspective, while acquiring technical vocabulary for the study of film. There will be considerable emphasis placed on the importance of developing skills for writing about film.
The tutoring and assessment processes of this course are designed to enable students to achieve and demonstrate their critical and analytical capabilities within the discipline. The successful completion of this course demonstrates that students have acquired the skills necessary to undertake film courses at Stage II. It is also the first step in acquiring the academic and literacy competencies that enable students to meet the Media, Film and Television Graduate Profile by their final year of undergraduate study.


Lectures Schedule:

(Please make sure you watch the film each week before the lecture)


I: The Myth and the Spectacle: Cinema begins…

Week 1 Introduction: Film begins


II: Hollywood vs. The French New Wave: Editing Iconic Styles and Style Icons

Week 2 Some Like it Hot (dir. Billy Wilder, 1959)

Week 3 Cleo from 5 to 7 (dir. Agnes Varda, 1962)


III: Sound Illusions: Hearing Film – Erasing Voices

Week 4 Singin' in the Rain (dir. Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen, 1952)


IV: Cinematography and Genre: Vampires around the World

Week 5 A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (dir. Ana Lily Amirpour, 2014)

Week 6 What We Do in the Shadows (dir. Taika Waititi, 2014)


V: Time and Space through Mise-en-Scène: Memory and Loss

Week 7 The Grand Budapest Hotel (dir. Wes Anderson, 2014)

Week 8 Chungking Express (dir. Wong Kar-Wai, 1994)


VI: Perspective and Special Effects: Mapping the World through the Child’s Eye

Week 9 Coraline (dir. Henry Selick, 2009)

Week 10 Beasts of the Southern Wild (dir. Benh Zeitlin, 2012)


VII: Wakanda Forever - The Superhero Blockbuster and Radical Politics

Week 11 Black Panther (dir. Ryan Coogler, 2018)


VIII Final Credits

Week 12 Exam Review


* all films are available at the library


Course outcomes:

A student who successfully completes this course will be able to

  • learn how to view films with an understanding of their historical, industrial and/or social background
  • understand the key concepts of film studies as well as the main traditions of film criticism
  • understand film as an aesthetic construct consisting of various formal elements
  • carry out film analysis based on a strong understanding of film techniques and their effects
  • acquire skills related to writing critically about film


How to succeed in film studies:

Every course consists of several components. Film courses typically consist of the following:
Reading Assignments
Film Screenings / Viewings
Written Assignments & Final Exam
Students substantially increase the quality of their performance and therefore their grade when they commit to all of these components. Students should ensure that they view each assigned film prior to that week's lecture, and that they complete readings and class exercises prior to each week's tutorial. Regular attendance at lectures and tutorials is important, and attendance at tutorials receives an assessment grade.

Assessment Summary:

Weekly exercises and tutorial participation: 10%
Film analysis: 15%
Film essay: 25%
Final exam: 50 %


Prescribed Text (available from UBIQ):

The Film Experience: An Introduction. Patricia White and Timothy Corrigan, New York: Bedford/St.Martins, 5th Edition, 2018.
 *launchpad is not required
You can use a previous edition, but please note that the page numbers as listed on Talis will not match. You will have to make sure to read the correct chapters and sections each week.

Recommended Texts:

Recommended readings in the form of articles or chapters related to specific films will be made available on Canvas under 'Reading Lists'.

Required Films:

Many of the films can be streamed via the library/Talis. Please check the Reading list for details. All required films are available as DVDs at the library and you can watch them onsite.

Of course you can also source them through your own preferred channels.



Additional learning resources:

Lecture slides: posted on Canvas after each week's lecture (see Modules)

Lecture recordings: While lecture recordings will be available on Canvas, this is never a substitute for lecture attendance. We cannot guarantee that the recording technology will work smoothly each week or that recordings will be made available before the relevant tutorial (at which you will be required to discuss issues raised in the lecture). We may also edit material out for copyright reasons. International research has shown that students learn more effectively by using recordings to supplement in-class learning e.g. for clarifying or revising specific material, rather than relying on them as an alternative to attendance.


Workload and submission of coursework:           

The University of Auckland's expectation is that students spend 10 hours per week on a 15-point course, including time in class and personal study. Students should manage their academic workload and other commitments accordingly. Deadlines for coursework are set by course convenors and will be advertised in course material.


Extensions and Late Penalties

You should submit your work on time. If you find yourself in circumstances that prevent you from submitting the assignment on time, you may seek an extension, but please do so before the assignment is due. Late assignments without a pre-approved extension will be penalised by loss of marks (1 mark/point per day). There should be a good reason for seeking an extension (e.g. illness, family emergency, etc.) and it will be up to your tutor or the lecturer to determine whether your situation warrants more time for the assignment. In general, we can only help you, if we know what is going on, so please come and talk to us.

Course summary:

Date Details