Reading the Screen: An Introduction to Film Studies module (EN11003)

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Module code


  • Level 1
  • Semester 1
  • English - School of Humanities
  • Coursework 100%
  • Thursday Evening Tutorial Available


Reading the Screen provides an introduction to the study of film from a critical and technical perspective, exploring how films are put together, various different styles of filmmaking and a range of directors. The aim is to familiarise you with the vocabulary of film studies through an examination of topics such as directing, editing, mise-en-scene, costume, lighting, framing and composition, auteur theory, genre and representation. By understanding how films work we can perceive how the medium can inform, entertain, manipulate or enthral the viewer.

Given the prominence of visual media in contemporary society, this is of huge importance for anyone interested in the art, culture and politics of the modern world.

Films to be studied include:

  • Short Films by The Lumiere Bros., Melies, Porter & D.W. Griffith
  • Modern Times (Charles Chaplin, 1936)
  • Citizen Kane (Orson Welles, 1941)
  • Rear Window (Alfred Hitchcock, 1954)
  • Jules et Jim (Francois Truffaut, 1963)
  • Some Like it Hot (Billy Wilder, 1959)
  • The Wild Bunch (Sam Peckinpah, 1969)
  • The Big Lebowski (Joel Coen, 1998)


The module will be delivered through weekly one-hour lectures plus weekly two-hour tutorials.  Regular film screenings will also be scheduled.


  • A close analysis exercise (40%)
  • Final Essay 2,500 words (60%)

The resit for this module will take the form of one 2-hour examination.


Secondary Reading

  • Barsam, Looking at Movies (W.W. Norton)
  • Cook, A History of Narrative Film (W.W. Norton)
  • Geiger and Rutsky, Film Analysis: A Norton Reader (W.W. Norton)
  • Hill and Gibson, Oxford Guide to Film Studies (O.U.P.)


This module is available on following courses: