Contemporary American Cinema

University of Otago

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Contemporary American Cinema

  • Host University

    University of Otago

  • Location

    Dunedin, New Zealand

  • Area of Study

    Film Studies, Media Studies, Radio/Television/Film

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    18 200-level MFCO or FIME points

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credit Points

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview

    An examination of a topic or topics pertaining to contemporary American cinema - such as the romantic comedy, the science fiction film, documentary genres, new technologies in American cinema, global Hollywood.

    The notion of the film director as author has long been a central theoretical and historical issue within cinema studies. Film authorship has been crucially important both to film studies and the film industry itself in the last several decades. This paper will study the ways authorship has been theorised; its impact on the New Hollywood cinema of the 1970s to the present; and the work of a selection of contemporary American directors as authors. Students will leave the paper with a greater understanding of film history and the work of the film director. It is ideal for MFCO majors, humanities students, students who wish to work in any part of the film industry and any student interested in contemporary cinema.

    Learning Outcomes
    -Demonstrate knowledge of theories of authorship
    -Demonstrate knowledge of the history of contemporary American cinema
    -Demonstrate critical thinking abilities
    -Demonstrate skill at written communication of ideas
    -Demonstrate ability to conduct and use independent research in writing about film

    Course Structure
    This course covers a history of the New Hollywood, a study of film authorship and the examination of four major New Hollywood directors as authors.

    -Participation 5%
    -Reading Response One 10%
    -Reading Response Two 10%
    -Essay 30%
    -Final Examination 45%

    Course reader
    Individual readings on Blackboard

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

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