Core Module Information
Module title: Modernism at the Movies

SCQF level: 08:
SCQF credit value: 20.00
ECTS credit value: 10

Module code: CLP08123
Module leader: Tara Thomson
School School of Arts and Creative Industries
Subject area group: Media and Humanities

There are no pre-requisites for this module to be added

Description of module content:

On this module, you will learn about modernism in 20th century cinema, with a focus on cinema’s two modernist periods: the silent era (up to about 1930) and the post-WWII period of new wave or art film movements (1950s-1970s). With recognition of film as an inherently modern medium, we will explore a range of cinematic responses to 20th century modernity (technological, socio-political, and aesthetic) to establish an understanding of modernism as a formal, thematic and aesthetic framework that defines particular kinds of films in particular historical and (inter)national contexts. To consider how cinema has responded to and represented modernity, and how particular films and cinematic movements have been constructed as modernist, assigned films will be paired with film criticism contemporary to their historical and aesthetic contexts, including excerpts from modernist film journals such as Close Up and Cahiers du Cinema, among others.

Indicative topics include: mass production and audience; urbanism and architecture on screen; representing interiority on screen; women working in cinema and film criticism; sexuality and modern gender politics in cinema; race and decolonisation, behind and in front of the camera; subcultures and revolutionary politics on screen; subversive comedy; auteurism; mid-century modernist responses to mainstream Hollywood; global New Wave movements as critical responses to mainstream commercial cinema; and the codification of the “art film” in relation to mainstream entertainment.

Learning Outcomes for module:

LO1: Develop insight into the meaning of the terms modernity and modernism, as they relate to 20th century cinema.
LO2: Develop insight into how film has been understood as an inherently modern medium, and various ways 20th century modernity has been both represented and constructed on screen.
LO3: Examine specific landmark films and cinematic movements that characterise 20th century modernity and modernism, to consider some of the defining formal features of modernism in film.
LO4: Explore conceptions of the modernist/art film in relation to mainstream cinema in 20th century film criticism.
LO5: Formulate arguments that place specific films in context of modernity and modernism, both in writing and in discussion.

Full Details of Teaching and Assessment
2023/4, Trimester 1, FACE-TO-FACE,
Occurrence: 001
Primary mode of delivery: FACE-TO-FACE
Location of delivery: MERCHISTON
Member of staff responsible for delivering module: Tara Thomson
Module Organiser:

Student Activity (Notional Equivalent Study Hours (NESH))
Mode of activityLearning & Teaching ActivityNESH (Study Hours)
Face To Face Lecture 20
Face To Face Tutorial 10
Face To Face Guided independent study 170
Total Study Hours200
Expected Total Study Hours for Module200

Type of Assessment Weighting % LOs covered Week due Length in Hours/Words
Oral Presentation 40 1,2,3,5 7 HOURS= 05.00
Essay 60 1,2,3,4,5 13 HOURS= 07.00, WORDS= 2500
Component 1 subtotal: 40
Component 2 subtotal: 60
Module subtotal: 100

Indicative References and Reading List - URL:
Contact your module leader