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Unit information: Contemporary French Cinema (1990s-present). in 2018/19

Please note: It is possible that the information shown for future academic years may change due to developments in the relevant academic field. Optional unit availability varies depending on both staffing and student choice.

Unit name Contemporary French Cinema (1990s-present).
Unit code FREN30100
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Marianne Ailes
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of French
Faculty Faculty of Arts


This unit will taught by Dr Albertine Fox

This unit will build on the second-year cinema course that introduces issues and debates in contemporary French film production. This seminar-based course will be organised around a number of key themes and trends in recent cinema. The content (films, directors, movements, technologies of style etc) will vary from year to year. The aim will be to explore key issues around aesthetics, cultural representation, spectatorship and reception, and the socio-economic context of contemporary French cinema. Topics include: popular genres, thrillers, new social realism, auteur film, beur cinema, women filmmakers, heritage film, Hollywood remakes, stars, digital technology and the economy of the French film industry.


  • To introduce students to a significant body of knowledge of a complexity appropriate to final year level. The content matter will normally include one or more of the following: literature; social, cultural or political history; linguistics; cultural studies; film, television or other media.
  • To facilitate students' engagement with a body of literature, including secondary literature, texts, including in non-print media, primary sources and ideas as a basis for their own analysis and development. Normally many or most of these sources will be in a language other than English and will enhance the development of their linguistic skills.
  • To develop further skills of synthesis, analysis and independent research, building on the skills acquired in units at level I.
  • To equip students with the skills to undertake postgraduate study in a relevant field.

Intended learning outcomes

Successful students will:

  • be knowledgable about a significant cultural, historical or linguistic subject related to the language they are studying;
  • will have advanced skills in the selection and synthesis of relevant material;
  • be able to evaluate and analyse relevant material from a significant body of source materials, usually in a foreign language, at an advanced level;
  • be able to respond to questions or problems by presenting their independent judgements in an appropriate style and at an advanced level of complexity;
  • be able to transfer these skills to other working environments, including postgraduate study.

Teaching details

Two seminar hours per week across one teaching block (22 contact hours)

Assessment Details

Oral presentation (25%) plus 4000-word essay (75%)

Reading and References

Essential Reading:

  • Guy Austin, Contemporary French Cinema (Manchester University Press: Manchester, 1996).
  • Guy Austin, Stars in Modern French Film (Arnold: London, 2003).
  • Susan Hayward, French National Cinema, second edition, (Routledge: London, 2005).
  • Lucy Mazdon (ed.), France on Film: Reflections on Popular French Cinema (Wallflower: London, 2001).
  • Michael Temple and Michael Witt (eds.), The French Cinema Book, (BFI: London, 2004).
  • Ginette Vincendeau, Stars and Stardom in French Cinema, second edition, (Continuum: London, 2005).