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BA Drama / Course details
Year of entry: 2023
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Course unit details:
Contemporary British Cinema
|Unit level||Level 2|
|Teaching period(s)||Semester 1|
|Available as a free choice unit?||No|
The course will critically examine issues and themes in contemporary British cinema from 1996 onwards. We will initially explore how ideas of the national and post national are implicated in a study of British cinema and then examine the characteristics of the British film industry and British film policy in the last 25 years, assessing their relative strengths and weaknesses. We go on to explore genre and representation in contemporary British Cinema, looking at heritage cinema, ‘art’ cinema, social realism, race, gender and sexuality. We look at the auteur in the context of British cinema production and consider the effects of devolution on regional film production in the period under consideration. Directors studied include, Mike Leigh, Andrea Arnold, Ken Loach and Michael Winterbottom. Students will be encouraged to consolidate and extend their use of concepts and critical methods involved in film studies in order to assess and analyse the main features of British film over the past 25 years.
Any L1 core Drama Study or Film module
Any L2 Core Drama or Film module – Practitioners in Context 1; Practitioners in Context 2; Screen, Culture & Society
- To give students an overview of British cinema from 1990s to the present day
- To familiarize students with the main features of contemporary British film
- To acquaint students with the social, cultural and political context of key British films
- To equip students with the tools to analyse a range of British films and critically assess the aesthetic and representational strategies deployed by film-makers.
Knowledge and understanding
Define well established critical approaches to British cinema in terms of industry, genre, aesthetics and representation.
Demonstrate an ability to evaluate and interpret British cinema according to these frameworks.
Demonstrate an in-depth knowledge and understanding of 2 areas of significance to British cinema and how they might be applied to an analysis of film/films under consideration.
- Demonstrate an ability to make connections between concepts, and apply these relationships in analysis and argument
- Demonstrate an ability to synthesise material from diverse sources, consider multiple and competing lines of argument, evaluate arguments of others, and revise approaches in response to feedback
- Demonstrate an ability to initiate and undertake critical analysis of contemporary British film and to develop a line of argument in response
- Communicate understanding of course materials effectively in both speech (as evidenced through seminar participation) and writing (as evidenced by summative assessments)
- Effectively deploy persuasive techniques when ‘pitching’ a proposal for funding in class seminar exercise.
- Demonstrate an ability to take personal responsibility and take initiative in decision-making in group work.
Transferable skills and personal qualities
- demonstrate an ability to communicate effectively with others about intellectually demanding concepts, topics, materials
- demonstrate an ability to draw with accuracy, focus, detail and precision on complex materials in independent and group work
- demonstrate an ability to effectively present – through discussion and in writing – complex topics, drawing convincingly on oral, written and visual media as appropriate to the topic
- Group/team working
- an ability to work productively as part of a group and independently in learning environments that present complex challenges
- Project management
- an ability to develop detailed, planned and multi-layered approaches to tasks
- Oral communication
- an enhanced ability to effectively adapt self-presentation to different audiences/contexts, especially when communicating complex topics
- Problem solving
- a good level of critical thinking and problem-solving skills
|Consultation on presentation and essay||NA (formative)|
Formative or Summative
Essay - written
Presentation – written
Formative and Summative
Consultation on presentation and essay plans - oral
- Ashby and Higson (2000)British Cinema –past and present London and New York:Routledge
- Barrow and White (eds) (2008) Fifty Key British Films London: Routledge
- Blandford Steve (2007) Film Drama and the Break up of Britain Bristol and Chicago: Intellect.
- Bourne, S. (2001). Black in the British frame¿: the black experience in British film and television . [2nd editon]. London: Continuum.
- Dave, Paul, (2006) Visions of England- Class and Culture in Contemporary Cinema Oxford and New York:Berg.
- Leggot, James, (2008), Contemporary British Cinema- From Heritage to Horror, London, Wallflower.
- Nwonka, C.J. and Malik, S. (2018). Cultural discourses and practices of institutionalised diversity in the UK film sector: ‘Just get something black made’. The Sociological Review, 66(6), pp.1111–1127
- Murphy, Robert, (2009) British Cinema of the 90s, London, BFI.
- Young, L. (1996). Fear of the dark¿: ‘race’, gender and sexuality in the cinema . London: Routledge
|Scheduled activity hours|
|Independent study hours|
|Victoria Lowe||Unit coordinator|
Plus screenings as appropriate.