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Unit of study_

FILM1000: Introduction to Film Studies

Semester 1, 2023 [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 Film Studies
Credit points 6
Assumed knowledge


Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Pao-chen Tang,
Tutor(s) Nicole Fidalgo,
Wyatt Moss-Wellington,
Max Bledstein,
Kaitlin Lake,
Chenlei Xiao,
Shima Shahbazi,
Amelia Saunders,
Will Jeffery,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Assignment Research Essay
Formal essay response to a question.
40% Formal exam period
Due date: 10 Jun 2023 at 23:59
2000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO5 LO6
Assignment Film Sequence Analysis
Formal analysis of a brief film sequence.
20% Mid-semester exam period
Due date: 14 Apr 2023 at 23:59
1200 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO5
Presentation Tutorial Participation & weekly quiz
Tutorial participation across semester, including weekly quiz results.
20% Ongoing In class + 300wd weekly quiz
Outcomes assessed: LO4 LO6 LO5
Assignment Weekly Journal
paragraph-long, short response to weekly course materials on Canvas
20% Ongoing 1000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO2 LO5 LO4 LO3

Assessment summary

1 x Film Sequence Analysis

1 x Research Essay 

1 x Weekly Journal

1 x Midterm Exam

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 Film Screening: Rear Window (Dir. Alfred Hitchcock, 1954) Presentation (2 hr) LO1 LO6
course introduction Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO4
Week 02 course introduction + workshop on writing about film Workshop (1 hr) LO1 LO2
Film screening: In the Mood for Love (Dir. Wong Kar-wai, 2000) Presentation (2 hr) LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
narrative/narration Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO4
Week 03 narrative/narration Tutorial (1 hr) LO1 LO2
film screening: Billy Elliot (Dir. Stephen Daldry, 2000) Presentation (2 hr) LO1 LO3 LO4 LO5
continuity editing Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO4 LO5
Week 04 continuity editing Tutorial (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO5
Film screening: Man with a Movie Camera (Dir. Dziga Vertov, 1929) Presentation (2 hr) LO4 LO5
montage Lecture (2 hr) LO2 LO3
Week 05 montage Tutorial (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO4 LO5
film screening: Floating Life (Dir. Clara Law, 1996) Presentation (2 hr) LO4 LO5
mise-en-scène Lecture (2 hr) LO2 LO3 LO5 LO6
Week 06 mise-en-scène Tutorial (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO4
Film screening: The Shining (Dir. Stanley Kubrick, 1980, 146 min) Presentation (2.5 hr) LO4 LO5
cinematography Lecture (2 hr) LO2 LO3 LO6
Week 07 cinematography Tutorial (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 08 in-class midterm exam Tutorial (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO6
Film screening: Walkabout (Dir. Nicolas Roeg, 1971) Presentation (2 hr) LO3 LO4
Film music Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 09 Film Music/Sound Tutorial (1 hr) LO2 LO3
Film screening: Who Killed Vincent Chin? (Dir. Christine Choy, Renee Tajima-Peña, 1987) Presentation (2 hr) LO4 LO5
documentary Lecture (2 hr) LO4 LO5
Week 10 documentary Tutorial (1 hr) LO1 LO6
Film screening: All That Heaven Allows (Dir. Douglas Sirk, 1955) Presentation (2 hr) LO3 LO4
genre Lecture (2 hr) LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 11 genre Tutorial (1 hr) LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Film screening: Castle in the Sky (Dir. Hayao Miyazaki, 1986) Presentation (2.5 hr) LO3 LO4 LO6
animation Lecture (2 hr) LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 12 animation Tutorial (1 hr) LO3 LO4 LO5
Film screening: Persona (Dir. Ingmar Bergman, 1966) Presentation (2 hr) LO4 LO5 LO6
film materiality Lecture (2 hr) LO2 LO4 LO5 LO6
Week 13 film materiality + workshop on final paper Workshop (1 hr) LO3 LO4 LO5
Film screening: Waltz with Bashir (Dir. Ari Folman, 2008) Presentation (2 hr) LO3 LO4
Conclusion: film after film Lecture (2 hr) LO3 LO4 LO5

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. analyze film shots and sequences by using the proper language of film analysis.
  • LO2. articulate basic and key concepts in film analysis and interpretation.
  • LO3. grasp the historical, cultural, and material contexts that underpin key concepts in film studies scholarship.
  • LO4. understand a diverse range of cinematic forms within a field of changing technologies and media structures.
  • LO5. identify and formulate strong arguments in academic discussion and writing.
  • LO6. conduct a feasible scholarly research of your own design and argue the stakes, methods, and outcomes of your project.

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.