Introduction to Film Analysis (EAF1503)

StaffDr Lisa Stead -
Credit Value30
ECTS Value15
NQF Level
Duration of Module Term 1: 11 weeks;

Module aims


The module aims to introduce you to key tools and skills in film analysis, ranging across the basics of film form and style, alongside the analysis of narrative structures, styles and modes of narration. The module covers a wide range of texts from different historical periods, cultures, genres, movements and styles, ranging from mainstream American and international cinema, to documentary, animation, television and avant garde. Your learning will be structured by weekly seminars, workshops, screening introductions and lectures, including a final interactive roundtable from film lecturers in the department focusing on analysis in practice. By the end of the module, you will be proficient in a range of tools and techniques for close formal analysis and be able to relate analysis outwards to an understanding of relevant cultural and industrial contexts and conditions.


ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Demonstrate a critical appreciation of some of the dominant concepts, methods and debates informing the study of film and the cinema.
  • 2. Demonstrate a capacity to analyse the form and content of particular film texts.
  • 3. Demonstrate an awareness of the variety of ways in which films can be compared and contrasted with one another.
  • 4. Demonstrate an understanding of different traditions of filmmaking in different national and international contexts.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 5. Demonstrate an ability to analyse films of different periods and to relate their concerns and modes of expression to their historical context.
  • 6. Demonstrate fundamental skills in the close formal, thematic, generic, and authorial analysis of different kinds of films.
  • 7. Demonstrate fundamental skills in the research and evaluation of relevant critical and historical materials for the study of film.
  • 8. Demonstrate a basic ability to interrelate texts and discourses specific to their own discipline with issues in the wider context of cultural and intellectual history.
  • 9. Demonstrate a basic ability to understand and analyse relevant theoretical ideas, and apply these ideas to films.

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 10. Through seminar work and group presentations, demonstrate communication skills and an ability to work both individually and in groups.
  • 11. Through the writing of essays and other pieces of written work, demonstrate appropriate research and bibliographic skills, a capacity to construct a coherent, substantiated argument, and a capacity to write clear and correct prose.
  • 12. Through research for seminars, essays and other pieces of written work, demonstrate a proficiency in formation retrieval and analysis.
  • 13. Through research, seminar discussion, and the writing of essays and other pieces of written work, demonstrate a capacity to question assumptions, distinguish between fact and opinion, and reflect critically on their own learning.

Syllabus plan


Topics covered in the module may include the following:




  • Cinematography

  • Mise-en-scène

  • Editing

  • Sound

  • Music

  • Performance

  • Narrative


Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled16.5Lecture – 1x1.5hr weekly
Scheduled22Seminar – 1x2 hr weekly
Scheduled55Screening – 2x2.5 weekly
Scheduled16.5Workshop – 1x1.5hr weekly
Scheduled97Seminar and workshop prep
Guided independent95Research and essay writing

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Sequence analysis1000 words1, 2, 5, 6, 12Written and tutor
MLA referencing QuizOnline quiz11Written and tutor

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay652000 words1-9, 11-13Written and tutor
Group Presentation2520 minute group presentation AND individual summary of presentation of 500 words1-2, 4-10,12-13Written and tutor
Seminar Participation10Continuous 1-10, 12-13Written and tutor

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
EssayEssay 2000 words1-9, 11-13Referral/deferral period
Group PresentationEssay 1500 words1-2,4-10,12-13Referral/deferral period
Seminar participationSeminar participation1-10, 12-13Referral/deferral period

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Basic reading:

Indicative Core Viewing




Black Narcissus (Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, GB, 1947)


Volver (Pedro Almodova, Spain, 2006)


 Man with a Movie Camera (Chelovek s kinoapparatom) (Dziga Vertov, USSR, 1929)


Waltz with Bashir (Ari Folman, Israel, 2008)


Amélie (Le Fabuleux Destin d`Amélie Poulain)(Jean-Pierre Jeunet, France/Germany, 2001)



Indicative Core Reading



Bordwell, David and Kristin Thompson. Film Art: An Introduction. London: McGraw�Hill.


Bordwell, David. The Way Hollywood Tells It: Story and Style in Modern Movies. Berkeley: U of California P, 2006. Print.


Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

College to provide hyperlink to appropriate pages


Available as distance learning?


Last revision date


Key words search

Film Cinema Cinematography Editing Narrative Mise-en-scene