Course Description

Course Name

Cinema: The French Touch

Session: VPRS1322

Hours & Credits

42 Contact Hours

Prerequisites & Language Level

High Intermediate

  • Prior to enrolling in courses at this language level, students must have completed or tested out of a minimum of three semesters (or five quarters) at the college level.


  • Prior to enrolling in courses at this language level, students must have completed or tested out of a minimum of two semesters (or three quarters) at the college level.


1 / General objectives of the course:
What is called the French Touch? In terms of cinema, can we speak of an aesthetic or "typically" French themes? This is the question that the course proposes to explore throughout a visionary journey that begins at the beginning of the 20th century and ends a century later, when the Internet allows access to thousands Of films from all cultures.

2 / Pedagogical approach:
The course will be structured around the screenings. It is a matter of acquiring the first reflexes of film analysis and of highlighting what the films tell of their authors and the French society. Beyond the film analysis, the course will highlight the characteristics of the French economic model. Several sequences will be analyzed in pairs. Students will be encouraged to tap into their own cinematography to enrich their work.

3 / Supports
The main material, the films, will be brought by the teacher. Students will be asked to see at least one indoor film.

4 / Bibliographical references summary / Recommended sites
Prédal René, 50 years of French cinema, Nathan Université, 1992
Bibliothèque du Cinéma François Truffaut, 4, rue du Cinéma, Paris 75001 (Forum des Halles)

5 / Evaluation: four notes.
Note 1: Working on a table - Multiple Choice Questionnaire (MCQ).
Note 2: a sequence analysis presented orally - group work Note 3: table work - MCQ (Multiple Choice Questionnaire)
Note 4: participation in activities
Attendance at table controls is mandatory to obtain the certificate.


1. Preamble: the origins of cinema - views
2. Is cinema an art?
The notion of author - views
3. The 1930s: cinema at the heart of the turmoil
Boudu saved from the waters - Jean Renoir 1932
4. Introduction to Analysis
The financing of French cinema
5. TEST 1 and viewing / 40 years.
The Beauty and the Beast - Jean Cocteau 1946 (excerpts)
6. The 50's
The Devilish Henri Georges Clouzot - 1955

7. The 1960s "The New Wave".
Watch: Adieu Philippine - Jacques Rozier 1962

 8. Two decades of short-viewing and collective analysis
Group Work / Scenario

9. The 80's
Visionnage A nos amours - Maurice Pialat 1983 Restitution analyzes
10. TEST 2
Watching Goodbye Children - Louis Malle 1987

11. Introduction to the 2000s (various excerpts) Group activities
Restitution analyzes

12. Towards a mixture of genres?
Watching Persepolis - Marjane Satrapi 2007
13. Grandeur et misères of the Cannes Film Festival
Restitution analyzes

14. The real in cinema
Viewing Polisse - Maïwenn 2011 Restitution analyzes
15. Balance + Film «surprise» ...

*Course content subject to change