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World Cinema Today

Course Times & Enrolment

This course is currently unavailable.

Course Summary

Nowadays, film audiences are challenged by new styles, new countries, new technologies. But how do they help us to understand and learn more about the world? Do new techniques enrich or destroy our love of cinema? How much are our own tastes beginning to change? A complement to A Short History of World Cinema, this course examines the leading trends in contemporary film.

Course Details

Pre-requisites for enrolment

The course is designed for students new to the subject, as well as for those with a prior knowledge of cinema.

Content of Course

1. Mainstream versus Art-house: A Necessary Evil?

2. The Confusion of Genres

3. Digital Era: The Triumph of Technology?

4. The Internet Age: New Models of Funding, Production and Distribution

5. The Aesthetics of Poverty

6. World Politics, Personal Politics

7. Discovering New Territories and Old Traditions

8. Introducing New Voices

9. Expanding Boundaries: Filming the Unfilmable

10. All the World’s a Stage: Film in a Global Context

Teaching method(s)

Lecture-based course with film excerpts, analysis and extensive group discussion.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course the student should be able to:

  • Understand the continuity and disjunctions in the evolution of cinema as an art form;

  • Describe camera work and narrative techniques;

  • Identify various directorial styles that are often lumped together under the term ‘World Cinema ‘;

  • Identify genres, auteurs and schools;

  • Perceive the degree to which cinema, and popular culture in general, is influenced by politics and ideology.


Core Readings

  • Duncan Petrie (ed.) - Screening Europe: image and identity in contemporary European cinema, London: British Film Institute, 1992.

  • Guy Austin - Contemporary French cinema: an introduction, Manchester : Manchester University Press, 1996

  • Steve Neale (ed.) – Contemporary Hollywood cinema, London: Routledge, 1998

  • John Hill and Pamela Church Gibson (eds.) - American cinema and Hollywood : critical approaches, Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2000

  • John Hill and Pamela Church Gibson (eds.) - World cinema : critical approaches, Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2000

  • James Chapman - Cinemas of the world : film and society from 1895 to the present, London : Reaktion, 2003.

  • Geoffrey Nowell-Smith(ed.) - The Oxford history of world cinema, Oxford : Oxford University Press, 1997.


If you have questions regarding the course or enrolment, please contact COL Reception at Paterson's Land by email or by phone 0131 650 4400.

Student support

If you have a disability, learning difficulty or health condition which may affect your studies, please let us know by ticking the 'specific support needs' box on your course application form. This will allow us to make appropriate adjustments in advance and in accordance with your rights under the Equality Act 2010. For more information please visit the Student Support section of our website.