Course Description

Course Name

European Cinema

Session: VSVU1222

Hours & Credits

45 Contact Hours

Prerequisites & Language Level

Taught In English

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


Prerequisite: none; taught in English.

Students: ISA students

Contact hours: 45 hours

I. Course Description: 
This course on European Cinema has a broad geographic scope. It offers students an understanding of European culture, society, politics and history through the medium of cinematographic expressions. The aim of this course is to understand European identity and the composition of Europe in the 21st century through its cinema.  The course will make the students aware that the diversity of Europe is based on a cultural, social, political and historical heterogeneity.
This course encourages active student participation. Students will receive the theoretical corpus that will help to reinforce what has been learned through the practical component of the course.

II. Learning Outcomes: 
-    Identify the relevant topics of different European cultures, history and society and contrast their different filmic representations
-    Analyze various issues and trends in contemporary Europe
-    Debate ideas and concepts of Europe and European integration
-    Understand the historical development and diversity of European culture, society and politics through the medium of cinema
-    Interpret film in its socio-political and historical context and identify the elements, which define cinema as an artistic expression
-    Apply intercultural and interdisciplinary approaches to the topics related to Europe and its cinema.

III. Course Content (order of content may be modified):

Unit 1: European Cinema
-    European Cinema: an Introduction

Unit 2: Spanish Cinema: 
Spanish Cinema an Introduction
Modes of representation in Spanish cinema
-    Los lunes al sol (2001), Fernando León de Aranoa
Sexual abuse
-    Volver (2006), Pedro Almodóvar
Social and Political Context (from the Republic to the Era of Democracy)
-    La lengua de las mariposas, José Luís Cuerda.

Unit 3: German Cinema
German Cinema: an Introduction
The avatars of the GDR´s regime
The Stasi
-    The Lives of Others (2006), Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck

Unit 4: British Cinema
British Cinema: an Introduction
East vs. West culture and traditions
Racism and integration 
-    East is East (1999), Damien O´Donnell

Unit 5: French Cinema
French Cinema: an Introduction 
-    This is England (2006), Shane Meadows
Ethnic minorities, integration
Crime, youth
-    La Haine (1995, Matthieu Kassovitz

Unit 6: Italian Cinema
Italian Cinema: an Introduction
Neapolitan mob
Political corruption
The South
-    Gomorrah (2008), Matteo Garrone
-    Il Divo (2008), Paolo Sorrentino
-    Welcome to the South (2010), Luca Miniero

Unit 7: Exploring European documentaries through time, format and authors
The border zone between documentary and fiction
-    Representative fragments of European documentaries

Unit 8: European identity in cinema. 
North-South opposition in European cinema

IV. Bibliography: 
Along with selections from primary texts, students will be provided selections from other sources including:

-    Ezra, Elizabeth (ed.), (2004), European Cinema, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
-    Forbes, Jill (2000), European Cinema; An Introduction, London: Palgrave Macmillan.
-    Nowell-Smith, Geoffrey (ed.), (1996), The Oxford History of World Cinema, Oxford:
Oxford University Press.
-    Sorlin, Pierre (1991), European Cinema/European Societies, London: Routledge.
Online Reference & Research Tools:
-    VV.AA. 2009. 100 years of Spanish Cinema. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.

V.I. How to succeed in this course?
The most important key to success in this course is to spend enough time studying. Take the initiative and develop self-study habits to assure you stay on track as we will be covering a lot of material and move quickly. 
Become an active learner. Learning is an active process, not a passive experience. As you will have to read, listen to the lecture and work on assignments, make sure you are actively engaged. 
Due to the variety of topics covered in this course, come prepared. Listening to lectures, watching videos and participating in class activities and discussions is much more effective than reading someone else’s notes or watching a video later. Remember that active and meaningful participation is taken into account as part of the evaluation. 

VI. Grading scale:
Final grades will be calculated according to the following scale:

Matrícula de Honor =10
Sobresaliente = 9 – 9,9
Notable = 7 – 8,9 
Aprobado = 5 – 6,9
Suspenso = 0 – 4,9
No presentado = Student attended class but did not complete the exams
No asistencia = Student exceeded the maximum number of allowed absences

Please find as a reference the following grading scale conversion. However, it is ultimately the responsibility of the student’s home university or institution to determine the final grade equivalencies. 
Matrícula de Honor = A+                                        
Sobresaliente = A                                                    
Notable = B                                                             
Aprobado =C    
Suspenso = F     
No presentado = Incomplete (attended classes but did not take the final exam)
No Asistencia = Incomplete (enrolled in the course but did not attend class)

Grade dispute: 
The deadline for claiming grades is 30 days from the receipt of the certificate at the university of origin.

VII. Course Policies

VII.I. Attendance
Class attendance is mandatory and is taken every class day and it is reflected in the course attendance sheet.
An 85% attendance rate is required for the successful completion of the course. Perfect attendance will be taken positively into account in the participation section. 
If a student exceeds this limit, 1 point will be taken off of the final grade (Spanish grade). Reaching a 20% of unexcused absences means that the transcript for this subject will show “not attended course”. 
Excused absences: Medical Certificates that will be considered only if issued by a physician (not notes from the family explaining the student’s absence). The certificates must include the exact dates for which a student should be excused for having missed classes. Courses cannot be audited, so attendance is possible only for students enrolled in a specific class. 
Punctuality: Students are expected to arrive on time to class and to return directly to class after class breaks. Arriving 10 minutes late (or more) and/or early class departures are considered unexcused absences and will be taken into account as half an absence. 

Attending class is not only the presence in the classroom. The professor will encourage active participation in the course and it will be taken into account as part of the evaluation.  

Auditors: Courses cannot be taken as auditors, thus attendance is possible only for students enrolled in a specific class.

VII.II. Conduct in class.
Students who actively participate in classroom activities and who maintain a professional and respectful attitude will be evaluated positively. Students must not eat or use laptops during the class (unless specifically authorized by the teacher).  

VII.III. Late work. 
One half point will be taken off (from the learning activities grade) for homework that is submitted late repeatedly. Late assignments will be corrected but will not be graded. 
Missing a class does not release the student from completing the homework assigned or studying the topics covered in class that day. 

VII.IV. Make-up exams:
If a student cannot be present for an examination for a valid reason (see V.II.) and approved by the teacher and academic direction, a make-up exam will be given. 

VII.V. Quizzes retention:
After quizzes are graded, the professor will review the examination with the class and collect all exams. The quizzes will be retained for one semester following the current one, and then they will be destroyed. 

VII.VI. Academic Honesty:
Students are expected to act in accordance with their university standards of conduct concerning plagiarism and academic dishonesty. 

VII.VII. Special accommodations: 
Students with special needs who require reasonable accommodations, special assistance or specific aid in this course (either for properly making-up classes, taking exams, etc.) should direct their request to Academic Coordination during the first days of the course in the case that they did not report it when submitting the Health Form. 

Teaching staff is required to report any disclosures harassment or violence of any kind. 

*Course content subject to change