Course Description

Course Name

Contemporary American Cinema

Session: VDNS3122

Hours & Credits

18 Credit Points

Prerequisites & Language Level

18 200-level MFCO or FIME points

Taught In English

  • There is no language prerequisite for courses at this language level.


An examination of a topic or topics pertaining to contemporary American cinema - such as the romantic comedy, the science fiction film, documentary genres, new technologies in American cinema, global Hollywood.

The notion of the film director as author has long been a central theoretical and historical issue within cinema studies. Film authorship has been crucially important both to film studies and the film industry itself in the last several decades. This paper will study the ways authorship has been theorised; its impact on the New Hollywood cinema of the 1970s to the present; and the work of a selection of contemporary American directors as authors. Students will leave the paper with a greater understanding of film history and the work of the film director. It is ideal for MFCO majors, humanities students, students who wish to work in any part of the film industry and any student interested in contemporary cinema.

Learning Outcomes
-Demonstrate knowledge of theories of authorship
-Demonstrate knowledge of the history of contemporary American cinema
-Demonstrate critical thinking abilities
-Demonstrate skill at written communication of ideas
-Demonstrate ability to conduct and use independent research in writing about film

Course Structure
This course covers a history of the New Hollywood, a study of film authorship and the examination of four major New Hollywood directors as authors.

-Participation 5%
-Reading Response One 10%
-Reading Response Two 10%
-Essay 30%
-Final Examination 45%

Course reader
Individual readings on Blackboard

*Course content subject to change