Film Studies

FILM 100 The Art of Motion Pictures

This course is an introduction to the art of motion pictures. The course will examine a representative selection of films covering the history of cinema, introducing students to basic concepts in film aesthetics. By examining narrative construction, theoretical concepts, and visual aesthetics, students will develop the skills necessary to identify and interpret various aspects of film, including form, meaning, and ideology.


Film 100 L'Art du Cinéma

(This course is taught in French)
Le but du cours est d’initier les étudiants à un certain nombre de concepts fondamentaux en esthétique du cinéma. L’analyse des caractéristiques formelles du cinéma devrait permettre aux étudiants de mieux comprendre comment le film est compris. Cette composante analytique sera complétée par l’étude de la structure narrative, des traditions stylistiques et des catégories génériques. Les étudiants devraient alors être en mesure d’identifier, d’expliquer et d’interpréter plusieurs aspects du fait cinématoraphique, y compris la forme, le sens et l’idéologie. Enfin, le cours établira une distinction entre des énoncés critiques descriptifs, interprétatifs et évaluatifs, de même qu’entre les différentes fonctions sociales du cinéma : divertissement, art, propagande.


FILM 255 World Cinemas

Film 255 examines international world cinemas by comparing the work of prominent directors from around the globe. In 2014, the focus will be on films from Europe, Latin America, and East Asia, by directors including Cristian Mungiu, Walter Salles, Mike Leigh, and Wong Kar-wai.


Film 251 Traditions in Narrative Film

This course will examine the formal and psychological aspects of storytelling in film, in order to define key concepts such as the narrator, point of view, narrative time and space, and major modes of narration including the classical Hollywood style and art-cinema narration. 


FILM 256 Underground Film

This course will introduce the most important developments in the history of experimental cinema. A discussion of international avant-garde films will be included, with a focus on the evolution of the avant-garde's alternative techniques, themes, modes of production, and audiences.  


FILM 286AD Aliens in Film

This course will examine the Alien, or Extra-Terrestrial, as the science-fiction film genre's exploration of identity. As a collective expression of desire for, and fear of, the Other, the Alien allegorizes common attitudes towards cultural difference, that partly overlap with Orientalist discourse.


FILM 348 Thinking about Film

The development of film theory and criticism from the silent period to the present. Major writings in silent film theory, montage theory, realism, auteurism, semiotics, psychoanalytic and spectatorship theories will be investigated.


Film 350 - Singapore Directors

This course focuses on three filmmakers from the city-state of Singapore: Eric Khoo, Royston Tan and Tan Pin Pin. The aesthetic and ideological dimensions of their films will be examined within the political and cultural contexts of Singapore's film industry, following its renaissance in the late 1990s.

FILM 380AI Cinema of Singapore

An introduction to the history of film in Singapore, this course will exemplify the cultural impact of political change in South-East Asia following the Second World War, including the transition from Malay to Chinese-language filmmaking after Singapore achieved political independence in 1965.


FILM 380AN French Science Fiction Film

This course will provide a historical survey of French-language science-fiction cinema, examining form, content and cultural context in an effort to identify its unique characteristics. In addition, a multi-disciplinary conference on French Science Fiction will take place at the University on Nov. 2-3, 2012. More information is available on the course website:


FILM 380 AP Indigeneity in Film

This course will examine the representations of First Nations people by Indigenous and non-Indigenous filmmakers. Topics will include the construction of non-Indigenous identities, exoticism and otherness, tradition and modernity.


FILM 480AR Film Music Theory

This course will examine music’s contribution to the movie soundtrack from narratological, psychological and aesthetic perspectives. Exploring these theories of film music will provide students with analytical tools allowing them to describe and discuss the forms and functions of a traditionally “ineffable” aspect of film.


FILM 480AW Orientalism in Film

Using the Southeast Asian City-State of Singapore as a case study, this course will examine historical, theoretical and aesthetic dimensions of orientalism in film and television, i.e. Western representations of the East.


FILM 480BB Post-Colonialism in Film

This course will examine the enduring legacy of colonialism in filmic representations of South-East Asia, both from Euro-American and Asian producers.


FILM 480BE - Early Kubrick

This course will examine Stanley Kubrick's photojournalism, documentary shorts and feature films prior to "2001: A Space Odyssey," to highlight transmedial and other cultural influences in the filmmaker's development as a visual storyteller.


FILM 480AZ Theorizing Small Cinema

This course will examine the ongoing aesthetic, economic and political existence of various "small cinemas", such as the cinemas of small nation-states, Edison's Nickelodeon, the cinemas of ethnic and religious minorities, experimental film, the cinemas of closed communities and the cinemas of international struggle and resistance, etc.