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2010/1 Module Catalogue
 Module Code: MFC1010 Module Title: FILM ANALYSIS
Module Provider: Dance,Film & Theatre Short Name: MFC1010
Level: HE1 Module Co-ordinator: HONESS ROE A Dr (Dnc Flm Thtr)
Number of credits: 20 Number of ECTS credits: 10
Module Availability
Autumn Semester
Assessment Pattern

Unit(s) of Assessment

Weighting Towards Module Mark( %)


Scene analysis exercise








Analysis essay








Presentation and participation








Final exam








Module Overview

This module provides a grounding in film aesthetics and other key general concepts that help us interpret film. The purpose is to learn to “read a film” and to develop a vocabulary to describe and analyse moving image sequences in order to help us understand a film’s meaning. The focus is on learning to use descriptive categories such as ‘shot,’ ‘frame,’ ‘narrative,’ and so on, and in so doing on understanding the concepts behind them and the purpose of identifying them.

The formal analysis of film is linked to the interpretation of examples in which the social and cultural context plays a role in understanding the significance of particular sequences and films. The module will be concerned, however, with developing the means to approach these examples with general concepts, rather than interrogating the specific contexts of production and reception.  This module is designed to complement the module in Film History in developing students’ general interpretive and analytic skills.

The module will be structured around weekly topics introducing concepts with examples.  A range of films (in terms of periods, nationality, genre) will be shown.

Module Aims
  • To introduce students to the different elements of film analysis


  • To provide students with the skills to undertake analysis and interpretation of film


  • To provide students with skills in written and verbal analysis of film.


  • To provide students with a theoretical understanding and context for their practial work in film production





Learning Outcomes

At the end of this modules students will have developed:







  • An understanding of the formal elements that make up cinematography, editing and mise en scène and sound, including shots, camera movement, framing, lighting, montage and the relationship between sound and image.


  • An understanding of the concepts of film style and film form.


  • An understanding of different narrative techniques


  • The ability to interpret formal elements of a film in order to understand its theme and meaning.


  • An understanding of the relationship between ideology and film.


  • An understanding of issues of representation of race, class and gender in film.


  • An understanding of the significance of authorship and genre in interpreting film.





They will practice the skills of:

  • Shot analysis


  • Sequence analysis


  • Narrative analysis
  • Interpretation







Module Content

The following topics will be covered in this module:

cinematography, editing, mise en scène, sound, narrative, authorship, genre, ideology, representation

Methods of Teaching/Learning

Lectures (10) and screenings (10)

Reading using lecturers guidance

Preparing presentations

Participating in class discussion

Preparing presentations

Producing a researched essay

Preparing and taking examination

Selected Texts/Journals

Required books:

Barsam, Richard and David Monahan (2009) Looking at Movies: An Introduction to Film (3rd edition).  W.W. Norton

David Bordwell, Kristin Thompson, (2004) Film Art: An Introduction (7th edition),  New York : McGraw-Hill.

Recommended books: 
James Monaco, (2009) How to Read a Film: The Art, Technology, Language, History and Theory of Film and Media (4th edition) New York : Oxford University Press.

Maria Pramaggiore, Tome Wallis, (2007) Film: A Critical Introduction (2nd edition), London : Laurence King.




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