Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2012-2013 (archived)

Module FREN3271: FRENCH CINEMA: 1930s TO 1990s

Department: Modern Language and Cultures (French)

FREN3271: FRENCH CINEMA: 1930s TO 1990s

Type Open Level 3 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2012/13 Module Cap None. Location Durham


  • French Language 2 (FREN2051) OR an equivalent qualification to the satisfaction of the Chairman/woman of the Board of Studies in MLAC or his/her representative.


  • Modern Languages, Combined Honours and all Joint and 'with' programmes: French Language 4 (FREN3041) or French Language 4 following Year Abroad (FREN3351). Other: see Chairman/Chairwoman of the Board of Studies in MLAC or his/her representative

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To introduce students to the techniques of film analysis through the study of a selection of key films from French cinema (1930's to 1990's).
  • To enhance student skills in critical analysis, acquired in other modules and years, through their application to another medium (film).


Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • The principle movements in the history of French cinema.
  • The salient stylistic features that set these movements apart.
  • The specificity of film as a form of expression and as an art form; its aesthetic possibilities and limitations.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Using appropriate concepts and critical methods to analyse film language.
  • Being able to carry out a sequence analysis and analyse the use in film of such features as framing, camera movement and soud-track.
  • Analysing the specific use made of these features in the films studied on this course.
Key Skills:
  • Extended development of general written and oral communication skills.
  • The ability to discuss topical or general issues with a high degree of fluency.
  • Extended skills in the aquisition and interpretation of information through close reading and research.
  • An extended ability to read complex and multivalent texts with intellectual nuance, and a sensitivity to context and genre.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Lectures will provide a broad introduction to the films studied, contextualising them in terms of the history of French cinema and will introduce students to some of the principal tools of film analysis.
  • Seminars will provide the opportunity to discuss the content of lectures and to gain practical experience in the close analysis of short film segments.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Seminars 10 Fortnightly 1 hour 10
Lectures 21 Weekly 1 hour 21
Preparation and Reading 169
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Written Examination Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Written Examination 2 hours 100% No
Component: Summative Essay 1 Component Weighting: 20%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Summative Essay 1 1,200 words 100% No
Component: Summative Essay 2 Component Weighting: 30%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Summative Essay 2 1,800 words 100% No

Formative Assessment:


Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University