The first term is just around the corner and I wonder if you, freshers, are feeling as excited/uncertain as I felt when I was about to start university. If so, then let me help you a bit by giving you an insight into the first term’s film module, called “Reading Film”. (If you’re doing Film and Media, like me, Reading Film is the only film subject in the first term because the other two modules are Media ones.)
- What’s this subject about?
Very briefly, it’s about the most basics of films in general: how to analyze and interpret them, considering various aspects (historic background, formal style etc). Every week there is a different film to examine and they often differ from each other in genre, era or country.
- How many classes per week are there for Reading Film?
There is a one-hour lecture followed by a two-hour screening and a seminar each week. Since the lecture and the screening are basically together, for me it was sometimes a bit long, to be honest, sitting 3 hours in one place (even with a short break), but you can get used to it, really. Besides, it’s good that the screening is included in the lecture because this way you don’t have to worry about watching the films in advance on your own. However, if anytime you’d like to have access to a film, all you need to do is go to the third floor of the library where you can find a great selection of DVD-s which you can borrow. As far as the seminars are concerned, the discussions about the films are more interactive (feel free to share and express your opinion, even your dislikes of a film, if you have any). To prepare for the seminars, what you need to do is read the weekly critical literature.
- What books are needed?
The book that is essential for this module (and will be useful later, too!) is from Jeffrey Geiger and R. L. Rutsky and it’s called Film Analysis: A Norton Reader. Other clues for recognizing it: it’s red and surprisingly heavy. It contains analysis of some of the most famous films and it helped me a lot when I was writing an essay or tried to understand a movie in more depths. You can search for it in the bookshop, located on the ground floor of the library; that’s where I bought mine, too. And then there are the already-mentioned weekly readings which are in fact separate articles collected into a booklet – it was available from the School Office (in Attenborough Building).
These few details are based on my last year’s experience but I’m guessing it will be pretty much the same this year, too. I hope I could help you to see what to expect in terms of a (first) film module. If you’d like to know more, just simply ask me here! And don’t worry: in the first few days before the actual studying begins, you will receive plenty of information about everything you need to know!