MI6008 - Contemporary British and Irish Cinema

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What will I learn on this module?

This module is concerned with developments in British film-making since 1990, and how these have been critically understood. There is an emphasis on how contemporary film-making has played a role in the creation, maintenance and circulation of ideas about national identity and belonging. The module considers some of the ways that national identity has been understood in critical and theoretical writing, before moving on to use specific case-studies to identify the relationship between films and their wider cultural, political, industrial and generic contexts. Given the nature of the module, the syllabus is liable to change in line with contemporary developments in film-making and scholarship, but an indicative schedule is as follows:

1. What is contemporary British cinema?
2. Ethnicity and Race
3. Gender
4. Heritage Cinema and history
5. Social realist cinema
6. Art Cinema
7. Romantic comedy
8. Horror
9. Crime and Gangster cinema
10. James Bond in the 21st Century
11. Celtic Cinema

How will I learn on this module?

This module is taught by weekly screenings, three-hour seminars and occasional tutorials. The seminars (180 minutes) will contain some ‘lecture’ elements involving the tutor introducing students to the key historical, critical and theoretical issues relating to the subject, illustrated by relevant clips. This will be followed by small or whole group discussions of issues raised by the week’s topic. There is a weekly screening of a film appropriate to the topic of the seminar, and which will provide the main case-study for analysis. 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. Tutorials will offer students support with specific issues, in particular in relation to the assessment for the module, and may also be used to give feedback on assessed work.

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 task. 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:
• An understanding of some of the key critical issues raised by recent British film-making
• An ability to contextualise contemporary British films within their generic, historical, social, political, cultural and industrial contexts.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:

• An ability to articulate, evaluate and apply key theoretical and critical issues associated with recent developments in British cinema.
• Demonstration of analytical and communication abilities through verbal and written means.


Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

• An appreciation of the cultural contexts of contemporary British cinema.

How will I be assessed?

The assessment strategy for this module is to encourage students to develop a critically and contextually informed understanding of
contemporary British cinema. The essay (3000 words) tests the ability of students to deploy relevant critical material within a detailed analysis of a single film or small group of films. Students are able to choose a question from a list given by the tutor. The task addresses all of the MLOs relating to knowledge/understanding and intellectual/professional skills in testing: an understanding of key critical issues, an ability to contextualise specific examples, an ability to articulate, evaluate and apply theoretical/critical ideas in relation to specific examples, and the communication of these abilities. Submission and receipt of feedback is via Turnitin.
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Pre-requisite(s)

none

Co-requisite(s)

none

Module abstract

This module is concerned with developments in British film-making since 1990, and how these have been critically understood. There is an emphasis on how contemporary film-making has played a role in the creation, maintenance and circulation of ideas about national identity and belonging. The module considers some of the ways that national identity has been understood in critical and theoretical writing, before moving on to use specific case-studies to identify the relationship between films and their wider cultural, political, industrial and generic contexts. Given the nature of the module, the syllabus is liable to change in line with contemporary developments in film-making and scholarship, but likely topics will be: heritage cinema, romantic comedy, social realism, art cinema, horror cinema, the representation of gender, class and ethnicity, and the contemporary film industry. It is taught by a weekly three-hour class, and a screening of a relevant film that will be the main case-study of the accompanying seminar. Assessment is by a 3000 word essay, chosen from a list of questions given by the tutor.

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 Lipman Building, Newcastle City Campus

City Newcastle

Start September 2019 or September 2020

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