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Unit information: Global Cinemas / Local Stories in 2015/16

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Unit name Global Cinemas / Local Stories
Unit code DRAM33131
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Maingard
Open unit status Not open

DRAM11007 Production Skills for Film or equivalent



School/department Department of Film and Television
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

In this unit we will consider examples of global cinemas that might include Africa, Europe, India, Latin America, and the USA, in the context of globalisation. We will examine relevant theories of globalisation alongside definitions of Third and Fourth cinemas, national/transnational cinemas, and colonial/postcolonial cinemas, as they apply to the films screened. Skills already developed in textual analysis will be advanced by analysing the textual elements of selected films in relation to issues such as their social and cultural contexts; production, distribution and reception contexts; genre and authorship; narrative structure, style and aesthetics. We will develop responses to the issues and questions raised through making and exhibiting short films. We will think practically about how to (re)present ourselves and others on the big or small screen in a globalised world, using various possible approaches that might include autobiography, found objects, archival material, family photographs and constructions of new material.

The unit aims to:

  • examine examples of global cinema from various parts of the world in the context of globalisation;
  • examine relevant theoretical perspectives on globalisation;
  • consider definitions of global cinema in the context of relevant film theory, including Third and Fourth Cinemas, national/transnational cinemas, colonial/postcolonial cinemas;
  • advance skills in the textual analysis of films in their contexts;
  • create and exhibit short films in response to the issues raised in the study of global cinemas and globalisation.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

(1) demonstrate an understanding of global cinemas and their contexts;

(2) situate global cinemas in an appropriate theoretical framework drawn from relevant globalisation theories and film theories on ‘Third’ and ‘Fourth’ Cinemas, national /transnational cinemas, colonial/postcolonial cinemas;

(3) create short films or related practical work that engages with conceptual issues related to global cinema;

(4) demonstrate advanced practical skills in one or more aspects of short filmmaking (for example, camera, editing);

(5) consider and make appropriate choices for short film exhibition, including installation as a possible alternative to big-screen options.

Teaching Information

weekly 2-hour seminar/workshop + weekly 3-hour screening/workshop, production tutorials (within workshop sessions) and practical work (both independent and partially supervised).

Assessment Information

5-10 minute film or related work (70%) ILO 3-4, 5

2000 word reflexive account of practical work (30%) ILO 1-2, 5

Films can be made either individually or in groups, at the unit convenor’s discretion and within a defined range (i.e. individual projects and small groups, or larger groups and no individual projects). The required length of the film will vary, depending on the number of students involved and the specific nature of the project. Films made in groups will be awarded a single grade.

Reading and References

  • El-Ojeili, C. and Hayden, P. (2006) Critical Theories of Globalization, New York: Palgrave MacMillan. Ezra, E. and Rowden, T. (2006) Transnational Cinema: The Film Reader, London and New York: Routledge. Higbee, W. and Song, H. L. (2010) ‘Concepts of transnational cinema: towards a critical transnationalism in film studies’, Transnational Cinemas, 1(1), pp.7-21. Shohat, E. and Stam, R. (1994) Unthinking Eurocentrism, London & New York: Routledge. Solanas, F. and Getino, O. (1983 [1969]) ‘Towards a Third Cinema’, in Chanan, M. (ed.) Twenty-five Years of the New Latin American Cinema, London: BFI and Channel 4, pp.17-27. Steger, M. (2003) Globalization: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford: Oxford University Press.