Module code: FSS003
Module name: Melodrama
ECTS: 5
Semester/term taught: !st semester/ Michaelmas term
Contact hours: 22 class hours, 22 screening hours
Module personnel: Dr. Paula Quigley
Module learning outcomes:
On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
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Synthesise their knowledge of melodrama within a wider
economic, industrial, aesthetic and socio-cultural context;
(PO1)
Analyse current issues within the study of melodrama within
the broader context of currents within film studies; (PO2)
Recognise the range of material that characterizes the
category of melodrama; (PO3)
Apply the theoretical models and critical approaches under
discussion to specific films and film styles. (PO3, PO5, PO7)
Module learning aims:
This module will consider a wide range of variations on the
‘melodramatic mode’, including examples from early cinema,
classical Hollywood cinema, as well as current American and
European cinema. We will explore key theoretical debates around
melodrama and link these debates with critically informed close
analyses of the films under discussion.
Module content:
Defining melodrama
Genre and sub-genres
Film style and mise-en-scene
Questions of authorship
Issues of audience and spectatorship
Social and cultural contexts
National and industrial contexts
Critical responses
Textual analyses
Generic revisionism
Recommended reading list:
There is no set text for this course. Required viewing and reading is
set each week. Further viewing and reading is recommended as
appropriate.
The following titles are useful accompaniments to the module as a
whole.
Basinger, J. A Woman’s View: How Hollywood Spoke to Women
1930-1960. London, Chatto & Windus, 1994.
Bratton, Jackie et al. (eds) Melodrama: Stage, Picture, Screen.
London: BFI, 1994.
Brooks, P. The Melodramatic Imagination. New York: Columbia
University Press. 1985.
Byars, J. All that Heaven allows: Re-reading gender in 1950s
melodrama. University of North Carolina Press, 1991.
Campbell, J. Film and cinema spectatorship: melodrama and
mimesis. Polity Press, 2005.
Doane, M.A. The Desire to Desire: The Woman’s Film of the 1940s.
London: MacMillan, 1987.
Gledhill, C. Home is where the heart is: studies in melodrama and
the woman’s film. BFI, 1987.
Lang, R. American Film Melodrama: Griffith, Vidor, Minnelli.
Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1989.
Laing, H. The Gendered Score: Music in 1940s Melodrama and the
Woman’s Film. Ashgate Publishing, 2007.
Landy, M. (ed.) Imitations of Life: A Reader on Film and Television
Melodrama. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1991.
Mercer, J. and Shingler, M. Melodrama: Genre, Style and Sensibility.
London, Wallflower Press, 2004.
Singer, B. Melodrama and Modernity: Early Sensational Cinema and
its Contexts. Columbia University Press, 2001.
Stewart, M. (ed) Melodrama in Contemporary Film and Television.
Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.
Zarzosa, A. Refiguring Melodrama in Film and Television. Rowman
and Littlefield, 2013.
Module pre requisite: None
Module co requisite: None
Assessment details: 90% coursework; 10% Participation.
Academic start year: 2015
Module Code:
FSS019
Module Name:
National Cinemas: Post-war British Cinema
ECTS weighting
5 ECTS
Semester/term taught: Hilary (2nd semester)
Contact Hours:
22 class hours
22 screening hours
Module Personnel:
Learning Outcomes:



Dr Ruth Barton
This course will enable students to:
be conversant with the historical, political and social
backgrounds to these works (PO1, PO2)
employ textual analysis to discuss and illustrate
these issues (PO3)
confidently evaluate the shifting nature of film
representation in the period covered (PO1, PO2,
PO3)
Module Learning Aims This is a Sophister Option course. It is designed to
introduce students to the main analytical tools that can be applied to British
filmmaking, notably questions of social realism, of class, race and gender
representation and of the relationship between British and Hollywood cinemas.
Module Content Moving from David Lean’s Brief Encounter and the films of
Powell and Pressburger, through the cinema of the British New Wave, of Ken
Loach and on to Gurinder Chadha’s Bhaji on the Beach and Mike Leigh’s Vera
Drake, this course provides a history of British cinema in the post-war period.
We will be discussing the idea of a British art film and the influence on British
cinema of government policies as analysing the films and discussing their themes.
Recommended Reading List Textbooks will include: Steve Blandford (2007),
Film, Drama and the Break-Up of Britain, Bristol, Chicago: Intellect Books, John
Hill (1995), Sex. Class and Realism, London: British Film Institute, Robert Murphy
(1989) Realism and Tinsel, London and New York: Routledge, and Robert Murphy
(ed.), British Cinema of the 90s, London: British Film Institute.
Assessment Details A two-part essay of 3,500 – 4,000 words is required:
Part one consisting of about 1,500 words should be a literature review of the
main writings on the essay topic.
Part two of about 2,000 words should be the application of the
critical/theoretical/historical writings on the topic to chosen films. Analysis in
the second part should include textual analysis written in your own words
without referencing.
Methods of Assessment: 10% class participation; 90% term essay
Module code: FSS029
Module name: Film Style and Performance
ECTS: 5
Semester/term taught: 1st semester /Michaelmas Term
Contact hours: 22 class hours, 22 screening hours
Module personnel: Dr. Paula Quigley
Module learning outcomes:
On successful completion of this module students will be able to:




Synthesise their knowledge of aspects of film performance
within a wider economic, industrial, aesthetic and sociocultural context; (PO1)
Analyse current issues within the study of film performance
within the broader context of currents within film studies;
(PO2)
Differentiate between the range of material the characterizes
the category of ‘film performance’; (PO3)
Apply the theoretical models and critical approaches under
discussion to specific films and film performances. (PO3, PO5,
PO7)
Module learning aims:
This module will examine a range of issues to do with film style and
performance, such as the phenomenon of film stars and stardom,
different modes of screen performance, the evolution of ‘acting’,
genre and performance, gender and performance, film style and
performance and film style as performance. We will consider these
issues in relation to a range of cinematic contexts, drawn from
‘classical’ and current trends in American and European cinema.
Module content:
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Stars and stardom
Modes of performance
Screen ‘acting’
The actor as auteur
Narrative and performance
Film style and performance
 Film style as performance
 Genre and performance
 Gender and performance
 Postmodernism and performance
Recommended reading list:
There is no set text for this course. Required viewing and reading is
set each week. Further viewing and reading is recommended as
appropriate.
The following titles are useful accompaniments to the module as a
whole.
Cynthia L. Baron and Sharon Marie Carnicke (eds.) Reframing
Screen Performance. University of Michigan, 2008.
Cynthia L. Baron et al (eds.) More Than a Method: Trends and
Traditions in Contemporary Film Performance. Wayne State
University Press, 2004.
Christine Cornea (ed.) Genre and Performance. Manchester
University Press, 2014.
Andrew Klevan, Film Performance: From Achievement to
Appreciation. Wallflower, 2005.
Alan Lovell and Peter Kramer (eds.) Screen Acting. Psychology
Press, 1999.
Donna Peberdy, Masculinity and Film Performance: Male Angst in
Contemporary American Cinema. Palgrave, 2011.Pamela Robertson
Wocjik (ed.) Movie Acting: The Film Reader. Routledge, 2004.
Module pre requisite: None
Module co requisite: None
Assessment details: 90% coursework; 10% Participation.
Academic start year: 2015
Module code: FSS031
Module name: Beyond the Visual: Film Sound and Dialogue
ECTS: 5 ECTS
Semester/term taught: 2 (Hilary Term)
Contact hours:
22 class hours
22 screening hours
Module personnel: Dr. Jennifer O’Meara
Learning outcomes:
On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
 Analyse theories of film sound and dialogue within the
broader context of film history and film studies;
 Demonstrate knowledge of the keys forms and functions of
film sound and dialogue;
 Critically appraise the design and execution of sound and
dialogue in selected cinema
Module learning aims:
This module will introduce students to critical theories on film sound
and dialogue, as well as to reasons why film studies has tended to
marginalize these elements to focus on meaning communicated
visually. Using cases studies from selected American, European and
Asian cinema, we will consider the forms and functions of dialogue
and sound in film. Concepts to be explored include: modes of
listening and aural spectatorship; the use of voice-over, sound
effects and silence; distinctions between diegetic and extra-diegetic
sound; various relationships between sound/dialogue and image.
Attention will be paid to the ways in which selected filmmakers
write and/or integrate dialogue with other filmic components, as
well as to: 1) the vocal and physical performance of dialogue; 2)
the treatment of dialogue in relation to genre, gender, and
characterization. Historical developments in cinema’s treatment of
sound and dialogue will be considered, including the impact of
digital sound technology, and evolving criteria for what constitutes
‘good’ sound or dialogue.
Module content:
 Aural spectatorship
 Sound as ‘spectacle’
 Forms and functions of dialogue and sound
 The structure of sound effects, music and dialogue on the
soundtrack
 Narrative, aesthetic and performative properties of dialogue
 Generic dialogue and sound
 Filmmakers’ identifiable verbal/sonic styles
 Gendered verbal dynamics
 Historical developments in approaches to sound and dialogue
Recommended reading list:
There is no core text for this course. Readings will be provided on
the course handout and made available on Blackboard. The
following is an indicative list of resources:
Altman, R. (1992) Sound Theory, Sound Practice, London:
Routledge.
Axelrod, M. (2014) Constructing dialogue: from Citizen Kane to
Midnight in Paris, NY: Bloomsbury.
Beck, J. and Grajeda, T. (eds.) (2008). Lowering the Boom: Critical
Studies in Film Sound, Champaign, IL: University of Illinois
Press.
Chion, M. (2009) Film, A Sound Art, translated from French by
Claudia Gorbman. New York; Chichester: Columbia University
Press.
DiBattista, M. (2001) Fast-Talking Dames, New Haven, CN; London:
Yale University Press.
Jaeckle, J. (ed.) (2013) Film Dialogue, New York; Chichester, West
Sussex: Wallflower.
Kozloff, S. (2000) Overhearing Film Dialogue, Berkeley and L.A.;
London; University of California Press.
Lawrence, A. (1991) Echo and Narcissus: Women’s Voices in
Classical Hollywood Cinema, Berkeley and L.A.: University of
California Press.
Sergi, G. (2004) The Dolby Era: Film Sound in Contemporary
Hollywood, Manchester: Manchester University Press.
Silverman, K. (1988) The Acoustic Mirror: The Female Voice in
Psychoanalysis and Cinema, Bloomington and Indianapolis:
Indiana University Press.
Sonnenschein, D. (2001) Sound Design: The Expressive Power of
Music, Voice, and Sound Effects in Cinema, Studio City, CA:
Michael Wiese Productions.
Module pre requisite: N/A
Module co requisite: N/A
Assessment details:
3,500-4,000 word essay (90%)
Class participation (10%)
Students may be required to make a class presentation on some
aspect of the course content.
Methods of assessment:
Coursework: 90%
Participation: 10%
Academic start year : 2015-2016
Module Code: FSS021
Course Title:
Screening Irish-America
ECTS weighting 5 ECTS
Semester/term taught: 1st Semester/ Michaelmas Term
Contact Hours: 22 class hours
22 screening hours
Module Personnel: Dr Ruth Barton
Learning Outcomes: This course will enable students to:
 be conversant with the historical, political
and social backgrounds to these works (PO1,
PO2)
 employ textual analysis to discuss and
illustrate these issues (PO3)
 confidently evaluate the shifting nature of
film representation in the period covered
(PO1, PO2, PO3)
Module Learning Aims This is a Sophister Option course. We will
be asking what kind of narratives and cinematic space Irish
characters have occupied within Hollywood and how political events,
such as 9/11, have inflected these representations. The objective is
to produce a critical historical approach to issues of representation
in Irish-American themed films.
Module Content:
This module will cover the history and development of the
representation of Irish-America on screen from early and silent
filmmaking to Martin Scorsese’s The Departed. We will consider the
historical and sociological background to these representations and
analyse the films via theoretical considerations of race, religion and
ethnicity as well as genre, gender, stardom and authorship. Thus
we will consider the key figures of James Cagney and John Ford and
examine the contrasting depictions of masculinity and femininity in
these films. We will discuss how films from the early and silent
period and the Classic period built the foundation for subsequent
filmmakers and how the model was altered by subsequent
generations from the Kennedy era to the present.
Recommended Reading ListThe principal course textbook will be
Ruth Barton (ed) (2009) Screening Irish-America (Dublin & Portland
Or.: Irish Academic Press).
Films to be screened and discussed will include: Irene (Alfred E
Green, 1926), True Confessions (Ulu Grosbard, 1981), Miller’s
Crossing (Joel Coen, 1990).
Assessment Details A two-part essay of 3,500 – 4,000 words is
required:
Part one consisting of about 1,500 words should be a literature
review of the main writings on the essay topic.
Part two of about 2,000 words should be the application of the
critical/theoretical/historical writings on the topic to chosen films.
Analysis in the second part should include textual analysis written in
your own words without referencing.
Methods of Assessment: 10% class participation; 90% term
essay
Module Code: FSS020
Module Name: Transnational Cinemas
ECTS weighting 5 ECTS
Semester/Term: Semester 2 /Hilary Term
Contact Hours: 22 class hours
22 screening hours
Module Personnel: Dr Ruth Barton
Learning Outcomes:
This course will enable students to:
 be conversant with the historical, political
and social backgrounds to these works (PO1,
PO2).
 review critically the theoretical writings on
the topic
 employ textual analysis to discuss and
illustrate these issues (PO3).
 formulate responses to issues concerning
the ‘national’ and the ‘global’ in film (PO3).
Module Learning Aims This is a Sophister Option course. This
course acknowledges and responds to the new shifts within
globalisation that have led to a rethinking of the dominance of the
national and the emergence of the notion of the transnational. The
objective is to expose students to non-mainstream models of
filmmaking and to introduce them to concepts of migration, ethnic
mobility and conflict and to the industrial background of filmmaking
within the terms of Transnationalism.
Module Content:
We will be looking at, for example, cinemas of the diaspora, such as
Turkish-German cinema, films concerned with issues of migration
and border crossing, gypsy films and films concerned with issue of
ethnicity, the making of films in a non-national language. We will be
discussing concepts of diasporic space, of multiculturalism and the
relationship between ‘self’ and ‘other’ in specific societies.
Recommended Reading List:6
The main course textbook will be: Ezra, Elizabeth and Terry Rowden
(eds), (2006), Transnational Cinema: The Film Reader, London and
New York: Routledge.
Films to be screened and discussed include: Exils/Exiles (Tony
Gatlif, 2004), Children of Men (Alfonso Cuarón, 2006) and Bolse
Vita (Ibolya Fekete, 1996).
Assessment Details A two-part essay of 3,500 – 4,000 words is
required:
Part one consisting of about 1,500 words should be a literature
review of the main writings on the essay topic.
Part two of about 2,000 words should be the application of the
critical/theoretical/historical writings on the topic to chosen films.
Analysis in the second part should include textual analysis written in
your own words without referencing.
Methods of Assessment: 10% class participation; 90% term
essay