A/P Ismail S Talib
Time: Friday, 9 am - 12 pm
Online: Zoom link will be given at the beginning of the semester
This module will introduce students to some of the basic ideas in cinema analysis that have a relationship with some of the concepts of linguistics and discourse analysis. The students will be exposed to a critical assessment of some of the early associations of cinema with linguistics. They will then learn about the approach to cinema as discourse, and of its relationship to the analysis of linguistic discourse. It is hoped that eventually, students will not only attain a better understanding of cinematic discourse, but also, of the concept of discourse in general.
The linkage of film with linguistic concepts has a long history, from the Russian Formalists, and through the Czech and French Structuralists. Students will be introduced to some of these attempts, but they should also adopt a critical attitude towards them. In addition, they will develop more viable theoretical ideas of cinematic discourse, which can be used for the holistic analysis of films. This will be done either in relation to, or independent from, theories of discourse in language. It is hoped that students will eventually attain a wider understanding of the notion of discourse in non-linguistic or semi-linguistic domains, and of the concept of discourse in general, and this will enrich their understanding of discourse in language.
This module will be taught online, via Zoom. The lecture notes are available online; the links to the notes for each lecture can be found on the programme page. All assignments should be submmitted electronically, via LumiNUS (or by other means [e.g. by shared electronic folder] if the files are too large).
Some of the topics to be covered will be selected from the following
For the likely arrangement of the above topics during the semester, refer to the programme.
The table below will be amended at the beginning of the semester.
|Types of Assessment||Frequency||Percentage|
|Electronic Participation:||Depends on individual contributors||20%|
|Class Participation & Quizzes:||Depends on attendance and individual contributions||25%|
The module will be taught completely online. There will be one three-hour session per week. All the sessions are highly interactive. You are expected to participate actively in each session.
Note: You should treat your web-notes, which are closely coordinated with your lecture topics (see the module schedule) as your main readings. As far as print materials are concerned, there is no ‘compulsory’ reading per se. Of all the books below, Bordwell’s 1985 book is highly recommended, because it is a classic textbook which deals with many, but not all, of the issues to be taught and discussed in the module. Bordwell's 2008 book also covers a lot of the ground for this module, but not as much as his earlier book, and what is covered is usually at a more advanced level. However, the latter book is more up-to-date, and some of its references are to more recent films. Metz's book is important, but it is an original work, not a textbook, and some of his views need to be filtered through later ideas or criticisms, some of which are provided by Bordwell and other scholars below. In addition to your web-notes, the recommended readings for each lecture are given in a separate document.
Bateman, John and Karl-Heinrich Schmidt Multimodal Film Analysis: How Films Mean Nes York: Routledge, 2012
*Bordwell, David Narration in the Fiction Film London: Methuen, 1985.
Bordwell, David Poetics of Cinema London: Routledge, 2008.
Buckland, Warren The Cognitive Semiotics of Film Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000.
Caughie, John Theories of Authorship: A Reader London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1981.
Ehrat, Johannes Cinema and Semiotic: Peirce and Film Aesthetics, Narration and Representation Toronto : University of Toronto Press, 2005.
Heath, Stephen Questions of Cinema Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1981.
Metz, Christian Language and Cinema Trans. Donna Jean Umiker-Sebeok, The Hague: Mouton, 1974.
Wexman, Virginia Wright (ed) Film and Authorship New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2003.
Wojcik, Pamela Robertson (ed) Movie Acting, the Film Reader London: Routledge, 2004.
(Bold characters indicate that the soft copies of the books are available online from the NUS Library).
A list of films referred to in the lecture are given in a separate document.
You may find Chapter
11 of my web-book, Narrative
Theory useful, as it summarises some of the important issues
discussed in this module. You may also find the hypertext links found in
this chapter quite handy, as they give you further information on some of
the details found in the chapter.
|Seminar hours per week:||3|
|No. of hours per week for projects and assignments:||4|
|No. of hours per week for preparatory work:||3|
|Total hours per week:||10|
NB1: The site is being constantly revised for the 2020/21 academic year.Last revised: 16 February 2021.