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Unit of study_

FILM1000: Introduction to Film Studies

Semester 1, 2022 [Normal day] - Remote

How does film function as an artistic, technological and cultural form? This unit provides a critical introduction to elements of filmmaking and viewing, exploring the components of film form as they have evolved through the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. We will study films in a variety of cultural and historical contexts, from early cinema to the emergence of new digital cinemas, and discuss topics that include visual style, sound design, narrative, genre, and film authorship.

Unit details and rules

Unit code FILM1000
Academic unit Art History
Credit points 6
Assumed knowledge


Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Ivan Cerecina,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Presentation Tutorial Group Exercise
Small groups moderate a tutorial discussion
10% Ongoing In class
Outcomes assessed: LO3 LO5 LO4
Participation Tutorial Participation
Tutorial participation across semester.
10% Ongoing In class
Outcomes assessed: LO4 LO6 LO5
Assignment Weekly Film Viewing Journal
150w critical response to weekly film viewings.
20% Ongoing 1200 words
Outcomes assessed: LO2 LO5 LO4 LO3
Assignment Film Sequence Analysis
Formal analysis of a brief film sequence.
20% Week 05
Due date: 31 Mar 2021 at 23:59
1000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO5
Assignment Research Essay
Formal essay response to a question.
40% Week 13
Due date: 04 Jun 2021 at 23:59
2000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO5 LO6

Assessment summary

1 x Film Sequence Analysis

1 x Research Essay 

1 x Weekly Film Viewing Journal

1 x Tutorial Group Exercise 

1 x Tutorial Participation

For further details on each of these tasks, please see the “Assessments” tab in the unit of study Canvas page.

Assessment criteria

FASS grade guides to be added by faculty:

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

This unit has an exception to the standard University policy or supplementary information has been provided by the unit coordinator. This information is displayed below:

Work not submitted on or before the due date is subject to a penalty of 5% per calendar day late. If work is submitted more than 10 days after the due date, or is submitted after the return date, the mark will be 0. Details of the Faculty Resolutions and Provisions regarding late work: Undergraduate:

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 Why Film? An Introduction to Film Studies Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO4
Unit introductions; speaking and writing about film Tutorial (1 hr) LO1 LO2
Film Screening: Hugo (Martin Scorsese, 2011) Presentation (2.5 hr) LO1 LO6
Week 02 Film Form: Technology, Images, Narrative Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO4
Film analysis and criticism: workshop Workshop (1 hr) LO1 LO2
Film screening: The Cabinet of Dr Caligari (Wiene, 1920) Presentation (2 hr) LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 03 The Evolution of Film Style Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO4 LO5
What is film form? Tutorial (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO5
Film screening: Casablanca (Curtiz, 1942) Presentation (2 hr) LO1 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 04 How do we tell film stories? Film narrative Lecture (2 hr) LO2 LO3
Analysing film style: German Expressionism Workshop (1 hr) LO1 LO2
Film screening: Citizen Kane (Welles, 1941) Presentation (2.5 hr) LO1 LO2 LO4
Week 05 Case Study: Orson Welles, Hollywood Rebel Lecture (2 hr) LO2 LO3 LO5 LO6
Space and time: story, plot, narrative Tutorial (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO4
Film screening: Meshes of the Afternoon (Maya Deren, 1943); Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Sciamma, 2019) Presentation (2.5 hr) LO4 LO5
Week 06 Making meaning: sound and vision Lecture (2 hr) LO2 LO3 LO6
Post-classical Hollywood: the importance of Welles Tutorial (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Film screening: Parasite (Bong Joon-ho, 2019) Presentation (2.5 hr) LO4 LO5
Week 07 Against the grain: world cinemas Lecture (2 hr) LO3 LO4 LO5
Practical task: mapping a soundscape Workshop (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO6
Film screening: Apocalypse Now (Coppola, 1979) Presentation (2.5 hr) LO4 LO5
Week 08 Film music Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Subversive cinema: Bong Joon-ho Tutorial (1 hr) LO2 LO3
Film screening: Marie Antoinette (Sofia Coppola, 2006) Presentation (2 hr) LO3 LO4
Week 09 Film and Ideology Lecture (2 hr) LO4 LO5
Feeling film music: music and affect Workshop (1 hr) LO1 LO6
Film screening: Cléo de 5 à 7 (Cléo From 5 to 7, Agnès Varda, 1962) Presentation (2 hr) LO4 LO5
Week 10 Authors, auteurs, and auteur theory Lecture (2 hr) LO3 LO4 LO5
Film, ideology, politics Tutorial (1 hr) LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Film screening: High Life (Clair Denis, 2018) Presentation (2 hr) LO3 LO4
Week 11 Film genre: form and excess Lecture (2 hr) LO3 LO4 LO5
Film authorship: Varda and the French New Wave Tutorial (1 hr) LO3 LO4 LO5
Film screening: Source Code (Duncan Jones, 2011) Presentation (2 hr) LO3 LO4 LO6
Week 12 Digital cinema: where are we now? Lecture (2 hr) LO2 LO4 LO5 LO6
Genre and Gender: debating ideology Tutorial (1 hr) LO3 LO4 LO5
Film screening: In the Mood for Love (Wong Kai-wai, 2000) Presentation (2 hr) LO4 LO5 LO6
Week 13 Course conclusion: film and the essence of life Lecture (2 hr) LO3 LO4 LO5
The digital turn; essay writing workshop Workshop (1 hr) LO4 LO5 LO6
Film screening: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Tarantino, 2019) Presentation (2 hr) LO3 LO4

Attendance and class requirements

According to Faculty Board Resolutions, students in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences are expected to attend 90% of their classes. If you attend less than 50% of classes, regardless of the reasons, you may be referred to the Examiner’s Board. The Examiner’s Board will decide whether you should pass or fail the unit of study if your attendance falls below this threshold.

If a unit of study has a participation mark, your attendance may influence this mark.

For more information on attendance, see

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Required readings

For a detailed list of all reading and viewing material set on the course, please visit the Canvas site and click on the "Learning Materials" link beneath the Canvas banner. From there, you will see a link to "Tutorials".

* It is critical that you complete all required reading and viewing prior to your tutorial. 

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. Students will be able to analyse film shots and sequences utilising the language of film analysis.
  • LO2. Students will be able to introduce and explore basic concepts in film analysis and interpretation.
  • LO3. Students will be able to articulate key concepts in film studies scholarship, such as auteurism, genre theory, and national cinemas.
  • LO4. Students will be able to articulate the historical, cultural, and material contexts that underpin concepts such as genre, auteur, spectator, and audience.
  • LO5. Students will be able to relate film analysis and interpretation to wider historical, cultural and material processes.
  • LO6. Students will be able to analyse new cinema forms within a field of changing technologies and media structures.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

This unit has been developed in 2021. Based on student feedback, we have changed film titles and content in several lectures, diversified the film selection, and we have again incorporated two assessment workshops.


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.