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Film Studies

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The Subject

  • Is film an art form or an industry?
  • Do you ever wonder why stars are so appealing?
  • Do you follow the work of certain directors or prefer a certain kind of film?
  • What influence do the movies have on us as individuals and as a society?
  • How have Hollywood films become so dominant?
  • Why is the British film industry in such a sorry state?
  • How is film put together and what meanings do we attach to it?
  • Why are some images so shocking?

These are some of the questions that you will consider if you take Film Studies. This is a hybrid subject that is part art, part science. It draws from disciplines as diverse as history, psychology, literature, sociology and linguistics.

You will use critical skills in analysing and interpreting data, build arguments in response to contemporary film debates and develop close analysis of the way meaning is conveyed in film language. Your own critical appreciation of diverse films will be encouraged, as will creative skills in applying your undertanding to your own scripts, storyboards and video sequences. You do not need any prior study but a healthy interest in film (and regular cinema attendance) is a prerequisite for success in this subject.

The subject combines particularly well with Art, English, Sociology, Psychology and Business Studies, though since it is multidisciplinary, Film Studies can complement any combination of subjects.

The Course

Two modules are taken each year, consisting of one coursework and one examination module.  

AS:  

Unit FM1 Internal Assessment, Coursework based

Exploring Film Form:  

  • One analysis of how the micro aspects of a chosen extract from a film of your choice produce meanings and responses (1500 words). This could involve a focus on two or more of the following: Cinematography, Mise En Scène, Editing and Sound
  • One creative project based on a film sequence or short film. This piece might be presented in the form of a 2-3 minute short film, made by a group of up to four students, or an individually written screen play extract from an imaginary film .

Unit 2 FM2 Externally Assessed, 2.5 hour written exam consisting of 3 essays.

British and American Film:  

  • Essay 1: A response to stimulus material set bythe Exam Board based on the business aspect of the film industry.
  • Essay 2: Topics in British Film. An essay based upon the study of a group of British films made during a specific era or dealing with a particular set of issues. We will be looking at the British cinema of the sixties, and examine the ways in which they served to either construct or debunk the myth of “Swinging London”.
  • Essay 3: US Cinema Comparative Study. An essay based upon the comparative study of two American films from the same genre, or dealing with a similar theme. We will be looking at films from either the Gangster or Science Fiction genres.

A2:

Unit 3 FM3 Internally Assessed, Coursework based.

Film Research and Creative Projects

  • A supervised small-scale research project undertaken into an aspect of Film Studies of their choice. Topics could include: the work of a particular director and how they might have signature or specific style, the work of a particular star, issues of representation (youth, race or gender for example) or the evolution of a particular genre over time.
  • A creative project in the form of a short 5 minute film undertaken as part of a group of up to four students  

Unit FM4 External Assessment, 2.75 hour Written Exam consisting of 3 essays.

Varieties of Film Experience: Issues and Debates:

  • Section A World Cinema topics. An essay in response to issues regarding World Cinema. What is World Cinema? Is it defined by language, style or simply in opposition to Hollywood?  
  • Section B Spectatorship topics. How do different people react to different kinds of films? Are our individual identities important in how we read films or are we all just made to understand them in the same ways? Why are some films shocking for some people and not for others?  
  • Section C Single Film – Critical Study. The study of an individual film that has caused controversy of some kind and an examination of the reasons why.

Preferred Board: WJEC

 

 

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