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Study information

European Cinemas: Art, Industry, Entertainment

Module titleEuropean Cinemas: Art, Industry, Entertainment
Module codeEAF2512
Academic year2024/5
Module staff

Dr Fiona Handyside (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

This is a module that introduces you to the diverse and complex production, distribution, and exhibition histories of European cinemas. We will study some of European cinema’s most famous films, made by world-renowned auteur directors and we will ask how and why these films are so important for the image of European cinema as art cinema. We will also think about how European cinema is an industry and a form of entertainment. We will see how European cinema is a counterweight to Hollywood, and how it both struggles against, and thrives alongside, its great cinematic rival. 

Module aims - intentions of the module

On this module you will study European cinema from 1960 to the present day. A wide range of major European film producing countries will be examined, including France, Spain, Italy, and Germany. Some of the most significant and important films ever made will be covered, with the module examining critically how cinema comes to be understood as ‘art’ the equal of painting and literature in this model. European cinema also aims to offer entertainment to domestic and international audiences. Various EU policy initiatives and film festivals held in Europe seek to provide it with a firm industrial footing. This module aims to analyse how successfully or otherwise European cinema navigates between its status as art, entertainment, and creative industry.  

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Appreciate of the critical debates around European cinema and its status as art, entertainment, and industry
  • 2. Analyse film texts using appropriate formal and critical terminologies
  • 3. Connect at an advanced level the formal analysis of film to the broader conceptual questions raised by the module

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 4. Demonstrate autonomous skills in the research and evaluation of relevant critical and historical materials for the study of film
  • 5. Understand and analyse relevant theoretical ideas, and apply these ideas to films
  • 6. Analyse films of different origins at a sophisticated and intellectually mature level

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 7. Through essay-writing and other assignments, demonstrate research and bibliographic skills, an advanced and intellectually mature capacity to construct a coherent, substantiated argument and to write clear and correct prose
  • 8. Through research and essay writing demonstrate an advanced and intellectually mature capacity to question assumptions, to distinguish between fact and opinion, and to critically reflect on your own learning process
  • 9. Through the planning and organisation of research projects, demonstrate independence of thought and confidence in developing ideas and formulating questions
  • 10. Through responses to constructive feedback, demonstrate an advanced and intellectually mature ability to reflect upon and strengthen your work

Syllabus plan

The module surveys the history of European cinema from c.1960 to the present day. It takes a topic-based approach, first exploring European cinema’s status as art cinema, and its negotiation with Hollywood cinema; second examining how European cinema is financed, and the importance of film festivals; and lastly through considering European stars and stardom. It looks at major trends, exemplary films, and the industrial, creative, and cultural contexts that shape them.  

All films selected for study will be subtitled in English. 

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 Teaching16.5Lectures
Scheduled Learning and Teaching30Film viewing
Scheduled Learning and Teaching11Seminars either online or face to face
Guided Independent Study100.5Essay research and preparation
Guided Independent Study66Seminar preparation (individual)
Guided Independent Study66ELE Forum activities and preparation

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Forum activitiesMini essays of 500 words posted to Forum in week 2-31-10In Forum

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
Sequence analysis301500 words1-10Written feedback sheet
Essay703000 words1-10Oral

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Sequence analysisSequence analysis1-10Referral/deferral period
EssayEssay1-10Referral/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

Indicative Viewing

  • 81/2 (Fellini, 1962)
  • Wild Strawberries (Bergman, 1959)
  • Fear eats the Soul (Fassbinder, 1974)
  • A bout de souffle (Godard, 1959)
  • Vagabond (Varda, 1985)
  • Diva (Beineix, 1981)
  • Women on the Edge of a Nervous Breakdown (Almodovar, 1988)
  • Joyeux Noel (Carrion, 2005):

A digitised reading list will be available on ELE, Readings will be taken from texts including the following:

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Key words search

European cinema, industry, entertainment, art cinema  

Credit value30
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


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Last revision date