Film Studies

By Dr. Vellikkeel Raghavan   |   Central University of Kerala
Learners enrolled: 1448

This course will introduce the fundamental concepts in film studies, major structural features of cinema, master filmmakers, and key film theories. After familiarizing the students with the essential glossary of cinema, the historical development of film as a distinct cultural product will be discussed focusing on its technical/ideological tuning points. The linkages of cinema with other performance/non-performance genres like literature, theatre, music, photography, etc. will be discussed in detail for establishing the interdisciplinariness of film as a cultural product. The key-terms selected for the course will equip the learner to approach cinema as a medium which has got unique specificity. The emphasis of the course is to provide enough conceptual foundations so as to make the students approach the medium theoretically. As a practical component, the students will be given inputs on writing professional film reviews and critical academic articles on cinema. The course will be delivered through four major components: Structural features of film, major movements in cinema, classic filmmakers and their select films, and theoretical essays on cinema.
Course Status : Completed
Course Type : Elective
Duration : 15 weeks
Category :
  • Multidisciplinary
Credit Points : 4
Level : Postgraduate
Start Date : 01 Jul 2022
End Date : 31 Oct 2022
Enrollment Ends : 15 Sep 2022
Exam Date :

Page Visits

Course layout

Week 1:
History of Film, Mise-en-Scene, and Cinema Verite

Week 2:
Documentary Film, Andre Bazin ("The Ontology of the Photographic Image"), and Amy Villarejo ("The Language of Film")

Week 3:
Louis Lumiere (Early 10 Films), Charlie Chaplin (Modern Times), and Sergei Eisenstein (The Battleship Potemkin)

Week 4:
Satyajit Ray (Pather Panchali, and "Introduction" to Our Films, Their Films), Film Noir and German Expressionism

Week 5:
Italian Neorealism, French New Wave and Andrew Dix ("Film and Narrative")

Week 6:
Jean-Luc Godard (Breathless), Vittorio de Sica (Bicycle Thieves), and Richard Attenborough (Gandhi)

Week 7:
Samira Makhmalbaf (Blackboards), Dogme 95, and Queer Cinema

Week 8:
Third Cinema, Auteur Theory, Laura Mulvey ("Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema")

Week 9:
Deepa Mehta (Fire), and Mehboob Khan (Mother India)

Week 10:
Ritwik Ghatak (Nagarik), Cinematography, and Black Cinema

Week 11:
Montage, Film Soundscape

Week 12:
Jean-Louis Baudry (“Ideological Effects of the Basic Cinematographic Apparatus”), and Akira Kurosawa (Seven Samurai)

Week 13:
Adoor Gopalakrishnan (Elippathayam), and John Abraham (Amma Ariyan)

Week 14:
Writing Film Review, Hollywood, and Film and Music

Week 15:
Film Genres, David E. James (“Is There A Class in this Text: The Repression of Class in Film and Cultural Studies”)

Books and references

Aufderheide, Patricia. Documentary Film: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford U.P., 2007.
Barbas, Samantha. Movie Crazy: Fans, Stars, and the Cult of Celebrity. New York and Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2001.
Bazin, Andre. What is Cinema? Vol I and II, Trans. Hugh Grey. Berkeley: University of California, 1971.
Ben-Shaul,  Nitzan. Film: The Key Concepts. Oxford: Berg, 2007.
. Benyahia, Sarah Casey, et al. A Level Film Studies: The Essential Introduction. New York: Routledge, 2020. 
Bodnar, John. Blue-collar Hollywood: Liberalism, Democracy and Working People in American Film. Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins U.P., 2003.
Bordwell, David and Kristin Thompson. Film Art: An Introduction (8th ed.). Boston: McGraw Hill, 2007.
Chatman, Seymour. Story and Discourse: Narrative Structure in Fiction and Film. Cornell: Cornell UP, 1978.
Cohan, Steven and Ina Rae Hark (eds.). Screening the Male: Exploring Masculinities in Hollywood Cinema. London and New York, Routledge, 1993. 
Cubitt, Sean. The Cinema Effect. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2004.
David Bordwell. Making Meaning: Inference and Rhetoric in the Interpretation of Cinema. Cambridge: Harvard U.P., 1989.
Eisenstein, Sergei. Film Form: Essays in Film Theory. ed and trans, Jay Leyda, New York: 1949.
Gerstner, David A and Janet Staiger eds. Authorship and Film. New York and London: Routledge, 2003.
Gledhill, Christine (ed.). Stardom: Industry of Desire. London and New York: Rougledge, 1991.
Grodal, Torben. Moving Pictures: A New Theory of Film Genres, Feelings and Cognition. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1997. 
Heyward, Susan. Key Concepts in Cinema Studies. London: Routledge. 
Hill, John and Pamela Church Gibson (eds). The Oxford Guide to Film Studies. Oxford: OUP, 1998.
Hollows, Joanne, Peter Hutchings and Mark Jancovich (eds). The Film Studies Reader. London: Arnold, 2000.
James, David E. And Rick Berg (eds.). The Hidden Foundation: Cinema and the Question of Class. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1996.
Kupsc, Jarek.The History of Cinema for Beginners. Orient Longman.
Lapsley, Robert and Michael Westlake (eds.). Film Theory: An Introduction (2nd ed.). Manchester: Manchester U.P., 2006. 
Lee, Grieveson and Haidee Wasson, eds., Inventing Film Studies. Durham: Duke UP, 2008.
Metz, Christian. Film Language: A Semiotics of the Cinema. New York: Oxford UP, 1974.
Miller, Toby and Robert Stam (eds). A Companion to Film Theory. Malden, MA and Oxford: Blackwell, 1999.
Nelmes, Jill. Introduction to Film Studies. London & New York: Routledge, 2012. 
Noah Wardrip-Fruin and Nick Montfort (eds.). The New Media Reader. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2003.
Nowell-Smith, Geoffrey (ed). The Oxford History of World Cinema. Oxford: OUP, 1996.
Ray, Satyajit. Our Films, Their Films. Hyderabad: Orient Blackswan, 2009
. Rosário, Filipa and ‎Iván Villarmea Álvarez. New Approaches to Cinematic Space. New York: Routlede, 2018.
. Sikov, Ed. Film Studies: An Introduction. New York: Columbia University Press, 2020.
Stam, Robert. New Vocabularies in Film Semiotics: Structuralism, Poststructuralism and Beyond. Oxford: Blackwell, 2000.
Thompson, Kristin and David Bordwell. Film History: An Introduction (2nd edn). New York: McGraw-Hill, 2003.
Thornham, Sue ed. Feminist Film Theory: A Reader. Edinbrough: Edinbrough U.P., 1999.
Turner, Graeme. Film as Social Practice (3rd ed.) London: Routledge, 1988.
Villarejo, Amy.  Film Studies. London: Routledge, 2007.

Instructor bio

Dr. Vellikkeel Raghavan
Central University of Kerala

Dr. Vellikkeel Raghavan is faculty in the Dept. of English and Comparative Literature, Central University of Kerala (CUK). He has been working as a regular faculty in various colleges under Panjab University and in CUK for the last 16 years. His academic engagements are interdisciplinary in nature, focusing on Literature, Theatre, Film, and Literary/Critical Theory. He is an alumnus of University of Calicut, Kannur University, Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) and Central European University, Budapest, Hungary. He was a UGC Postdoctoral Research Awardee who worked on 21st Century Indian Political Documentary Films. On areas of literature, culture and films, to his credit he has fifteen articles in international and national journals, a single authored book, four edited international journal volumes, and a few popular articles and reviews in current affairs magazines. He was awarded the Central European University Scholarship in 2016 for attending the course "Screened Memories". His English translations of Safdar Hashmi-JANAM’s Hindi plays, Halla Bol and Machine, are taught as text books in Central University of Kerala, Mahatma Gandhi University, and Marymount University, USA. He has been offering elective courses on Film Studies, and Documentary Film at the postgraduate level in Central University of Kerala. Vellikkeel Raghavan can work across Malayalam, English and Hindi languages. His academic visits abroad include Austria, Canada, Hungary, Slovakia and Germany. Currently he is the Coordinator of Centre for Cinema and Screen Studies (CC&SS), Central University of Kerala. 

Course certificate

“30 Marks will be allocated for Internal Assessment and 70 Marks will be allocated for external proctored examination”

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