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FTV3190 - Forms of Narrative Cinema

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader: David Hanan


Clayton First semester 2007 (Day)


A study of films representative of a range of stylistic diversity in the cinema. The aim is to develop in students an awareness of film form, and of filmic communication as organised within certain structured ways. The areas of cinema used to exemplify topics will be major innovatory phases in cinema history, e.g. the development of film form, including the continuity editing system 1895-1920; Russian experiments with editing in the 1920s (Eisenstein); Brecht and the Cinema; alternative formal systems in films by Ozu in Japan; and post-war developments, which will include Italian neo-realism, European art cinema (Antonioni, Godard), some avant-garde films, and Third World filmmaking.


A primary objective of this subject is for students to be able to engage in a detailed manner with the ambiguities and complexities of narrative film, considering film as a multi-layered form of communication. By the end of the course students will be expected to demonstrate an understanding of issues of spatial construction in film and of a range of editing styles, in particular the continuity editing system and alternatives to it. Students should also be able to comment on a number of other parameters of filmic communication, for example use of body language, sound mixing, and different kinds of narrative organisation and culturally specific iconography.


Essay (2700 words): 60%
Class presentation (450 words): 10%
Visual test (80 mins, equivalent to 1350 words): 30%

Contact hours

4 hours (1 x 1 hour lecture, 1 x 1 hour tutorial and 1 x 2 hour screening) per week