MI5013 - Hollywood Cinema

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What will I learn on this module?

This module will encourage students to explore key aesthetic, economic, ideological and historical issues in relation to Hollywood cinema. These include analysing the formation of the studio system in the late teens and how this led to Hollywood becoming a global, dominant force; how Hollywood representations can be linked to broader ideologies; how aesthetics and representations are influenced by censorship; and how Hollywood has changed historically in relation to social factors. The latter will lead to an understanding of periodisation (such as classical and post-classical Hollywood); of technical innovations and their impacts (such as the introduction of sound and colour); the changing nature of stardom; the increasing acceptance of Hollywood as an art form; and how Hollywood has absorbed international trends and personnel. An indicative syllabus is as follows:

1. Archival Research on Hollywood Cinema
2. The Studio System
3. Sound and Music
4. Censorship
5. The B Movie
6. Politics and Hollywood
7. Stardom
8. Indiewood
9. Gender and Hollywood
10. High Concept Filmmaking and the Blockbuster
11. Global Hollywood

How will I learn on this module?

The module is taught via seminars (three hours) and associated screenings. Seminars combine lecture elements and group work activities. The lecture elements introduce students to key historical and theoretical issues, and include excerpts of relevant films. The group work activities will strengthen student knowledge and critical reflection upon the issues under discussion. There will be weekly screenings of relevant films that will provide a case-study for the accompanying class. In the seminars, students will also begin to
undertake archival research so that they can think through historical research via practice. Finally, tutorials support students with specific issues, not least concerning assessment. Students are required to make positive contributions to the learning experience. They are expected to prepare for classes by studying books, articles, films and Internet sources, references to which are provided by the module guide, e-reading list, and supplementary material posted on the e-learning portal. They are also encouraged to develop communication skills by taking an active part in seminar discussions. Assessment will be through a report on archival research at the end of week 4 (20%) and a 2500-word essay (80%) toward the end of the module.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Classes will involve group discussions with the tutor and fellow students, providing a constructive environment for the enhancement of knowledge and understanding of the subject, preparation for the assessment tasks, and the development of communication skills. Class material (such as Powerpoint slides, links to film clips and discussion points) will be accessible via the e-Learning portal, along with supplementary learning material (which may include web links, suggestions for further viewing and reading). A list of key and further reading material will be available on the eLP, and an electronic reading list will link you directly to key sources, allowing you to access them anytime and anywhere. The module will also incorporate assessment preparation sessions, with advice on how to approach the essay/exam components. Furthermore, the module tutor will offer set office hours for academic support

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
• To understand the different critical understandings of Hollywood cinema, including textual and contextual approaches.
• To locate the development of the studio system within historical contexts, relating to social, institutional and technological issues.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• Communication of academic theories and ideas, demonstrating leadership and communication skills.
• Cultivation of archival research skills.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
• To cultivate an awareness of the global dimensions of Hollywood cinema and how this impacts on cultures.

How will I be assessed?

Assessment is by one archival report of 1500 words (20%) – this will be a critical report on doing archival research – and one 2500 word essay (80%).

The tasks address all the MLOs relating to knowledge/understanding and intellectual/professional skills in testing: an understanding of critical approaches to the subject, an appreciation of historical contexts, the communication of critical understanding, and (in the case of the archival task) the cultivation of archival research skills.

There be written summative feedback for each of the assessments, which will provide critical commentary on strengths and weaknesses. Students also have the opportunity to discuss feedback further with the module tutor.

Assignments are submitted electronically via Turnitin.

Pre-requisite(s)

None

Co-requisite(s)

None

Module abstract

Please find details of this module in the other sections provided.

What will I learn on this module?

This module will encourage students to explore key aesthetic, economic, ideological and historical issues in relation to Hollywood cinema. These include analysing the formation of the studio system in the late teens and how this led to Hollywood becoming a global, dominant force; how Hollywood representations can be linked to broader ideologies; how aesthetics and representations are influenced by censorship; and how Hollywood has changed historically in relation to social factors. The latter will lead to an understanding of periodisation (such as classical and post-classical Hollywood); of technical innovations and their impacts (such as the introduction of sound and colour); the changing nature of stardom; the increasing acceptance of Hollywood as an art form; and how Hollywood has absorbed international trends and personnel. An indicative syllabus is as follows:

1. Archival Research on Hollywood Cinema
2. The Studio System
3. Sound and Music
4. Censorship
5. The B Movie
6. Politics and Hollywood
7. Stardom
8. Indiewood
9. Gender and Hollywood
10. High Concept Filmmaking and the Blockbuster
11. Global Hollywood

Course info

UCAS Code P391

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Arts

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2019 or September 2020

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