Contemporary French Film: Issues and Debates (MLF2065)

StaffDr Fiona Handyside - Convenor
Credit Value15
ECTS Value7.5
NQF Level5
Pre-requisitesMLF1001 or MLF1052 or equivalent
Duration of Module Term 2: 11 weeks;

Module aims

This module aims to give you an informed appreciation of the rich and complex nature of Contemporary French Cinema. As well as studying individual films in depth, we will investigate links between various films, and between films and their social and cultural contexts. The module will introduce you to films that vary in tone, genre, and popular appeal, addressing questions of authorship, setting, technology, and the politics of aesthetics. The module aims to give you the opportunity and research skills required to trace aesthetic, cultural and critical connections between the films produced within a strong, defiant national cinema culture. Lectures and forum tasks will model research and interpretation that brings together stylistic, political, and socio-cultural analysis. You will be trained to perform close readings of sequences in films. Online discussion and forums and/or seminars will give you the opportunity to develop your own approaches to the syllabus texts and other materials.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Demonstrate a sound general understanding of the chosen texts, including reference to their place in the historical / cinematic / cultural context of their time

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 2. With some guidance from the course tutor, evaluate and apply a range of critical approaches to the material covered
  • 3. Mount a detailed argument in the appropriate register of English, mustering a range of textual or other evidence in its support
  • 4. Access and use critically printed and, where appropriate, electronic learning resources identified as useful by the course tutor, and, to a limited extent, discover other useful materials independently
  • 5. Analyse selected TL texts, relating them to significant elements in their cultural / historical / generic context
  • 6. Following broad guidelines, locate and identify library and electronic resources on a given topic
  • 7. Use recommended reference works to compile a bibliography on a specified topic

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 8. Undertake defined learning activities with a measure of autonomy, asking for guidance where necessary
  • 9. Adopt a critical approach to the selection and organisation of material in order to produce, to a deadline, a written or oral argument
  • 10. Present information and arguments on a defined topic to a group of listeners
  • 11. Present a cogent and sustained argument orally and in writing, in English, on a topic chosen from a range of options provided, following broad guidelines but selecting and adapting them as required
  • 12. Using course material provided, research, plan and write an essay on a chosen aspect of the subject, to a specified length and deadline
  • 13. Demonstrate general competence in word-processing and in use of the Internet

Syllabus plan

The course is divided into topics which introduces students to issues of authorship, markets, and representation in French film culture. The topics are taught through a combination of lectures, online asynchronous discussion, and seminars either held face-to-face or online.

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching6Lectures
Scheduled Learning and Teaching6Online or face to face seminar
Scheduled learning and teaching6Forums
Guided Independent Study12Film viewing
Guided Independent Study120Private study in preparation for discussion and essay

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay plan500 words1-4, 6Email and office hours online

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay1002500 wordsAllWritten feedback on standardised feedback form. Individual consultation

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
EssayEssay1-6Referral/Deferral period

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will be required to submit a further assessment as necessary. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Reading provided via a digitised reading list.

Indicative Viewing:

  • Caché (Haneke, 2005)
  • Le fabuleux destin d’Amlie Poulain (Jeunet, 2001)
  • 5 x 2 (Ozon, 2004)
  • Bienvenue chez les Chtis (Boon, 2009)
  • Tout est pardonné (Hansen-Love, 2007)
  • Entre les murs (Cantet, 2008)

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date