FT2AF-Alternative Forms in Film

Module Provider: Film, Theatre and TV
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Ms Alison Butler

Email: a.j.butler@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:

Alternative Forms in Film introduces students to a range of innovative and experimental work in film, video and new media. The module takes the form of a survey of formally innovative work in film and video from the late 1950s to the present day, including art cinema, political counter-cinema, the essay film, feminist film, visionary experimental film, structural film, found footage and contemporary atists' digital moving image. Through close analysis and contextual study, students will gain an understanding of how alternative filmmakers and artists working with film and video have offered challenges and alternatives to mainstream cinema.

The module aims: to develop a critical and conceptual understanding of forms of film and video and that offer alternatives and challenges to mainstream conventions through experimental and oppositional work; to introduce theoretical perspectives that will enable students to find appropriate approaches to the analysis of alternative films and videos; to contextualize alternative film and video in relation to the history of cinema and the evolution of media forms.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module it is expected that students will be able to:?- work with forms of analysis appropriate for discussing and interpreting alternative films; - develop critical arguments based on the analysis of alternative film;?- articulate an understanding of the ways in which modern critical and cultural theories have impacted upon film practice and intersected with recent critical approaches to film analysis; - make comparative evaluations of a variety of forms of film and video practice.

Additional outcomes:
The third year Advanced Practical Project or Dissertation often draws on knowledge and ideas introduced by this module, and its ideas often inform the Practical Project or Dissertation at Part 2. Furthermore, the module extends skills and competencies which are central to the degree. It is expected that the level of skills and competencies achieved in the following will be appropriate to the level of study: oral communication and debate in a group context; library usage to assist in self-directed, independent work; appropriate deployment of research using a wide range of printed and electronic resources: critical analysis and coherent argument; presentation of written work using IT; identifying and addressing problems which have a relationship to both film and theatre texts and contexts.

Outline content:

This module explores a range of film and video practices that have developed in opposition to the dominant conventions of cinema and media. Taking the emergence of art cinema in the post-war period as its starting point, the module explores alternative approaches to story and structure, subjectivity and objectivity, time and space, form and medium. The module is structured as a survey, covering a range of alternative practices, including the art film, the essay film, counter-cinema, feminist film, abstract film, experimental cinema, slow cinema, video art and gallery film. Practitioners whose work is studied might include: Jean-Luc Godard, Chris Marker, Alain Resnais, Chantal Akerman, Jordan Belson, Stan Brakhage, Hollis Frampton, Yvonne Rainer, James Benning, Harun Farocki, Hito Steyerl and Eija-Liisa Ahtila.

Global context:
The module explores film and media in an international context. It refers to forms of practice and examples of work from across the world.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Lectures will introduce the students to new theoretical concepts and critical approaches which will be tested out in seminars in the exploration of film texts. The two weekly screenings are an integral part of the module. 

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 9
Seminars 13.5
Supervised time in studio/workshop 36
Guided independent study 141.5
Total hours by term 200.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Other information on summative assessment:

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall.

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Resubmission of coursework.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

    Last updated: 31 March 2017

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