FLMS1211: Contemporary World Cinema



FLMS1211: Contemporary World Cinema (2017)

Module Handbook


 Wednesdays (Semester 2)

13:15 – 16:15; JL G014




Dr. Mikel J. Koven (BB137)



This is a module in contemporary film appreciation; films discussed will all have been released within the previous twelve months or so, and include major award winners and film festival favourites. The discussions will put these films in their cultural and historical contexts.

By studying contemporary films the focus will be on textual analysis and demand of students to develop their creativity in finding cultural and historical contexts in which to discuss these films. The module also functions to introduce students to films outside of the Hollywood-dominated, multiplex culture.

Learning Outcomes:

On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:

  • Appreciate film in a global context
  • Experience a variety of cultures and nationalities through their cinema
  • Discuss contemporary cinematic issues and trends
  • Research films which have yet to establish a critical literature.

Attendance Policy:

It is expected that you will attend all taught sessions, in the same way that attendance is expected in the workplace. Indeed regular attendance has a significant impact on student engagement, understanding and successful completion of University courses. Furthermore non-attendance will significantly affect your ability successfully to complete a module and may jeopardise your ability to undertake re-assessment in the event of failing a module.

It is your responsibility as a student, just as it would be if you were an employee, to ensure that you are punctual and that your attendance has been recorded on the register each week.

Should you, for some unavoidable reason, be unable to attend a scheduled session (for example if you are ill) then you must send an email to ihcastudentabsence@worc.ac.uk . Please include in your email your name and student number, the module code and name, the date of the missed session, and your reason for missing it. You should make sure that you copy the module tutor into the email and also contact your module tutor to make arrangements to catch up on any work you have missed.

Notification must be received within 6 days of the date of the missed session.

Alternatively you can inform IHCA of your absence via the telephone. Please ring 01905 542015 (Shirley Adams) with the required details.

Students with two or more unexplained absences may be required to attend a tutorial/ interview with the module leader, course leader or head of division to discuss their progress.


Learning Contract:

On this module you are expected to be courteous and attentive to your fellow classmates and to the module tutor. You are also expected to undertake the required reading each week and to view the film or films under question. Failure to do either of these things will severely impede your success on the module.

The use of mobile phones will not be tolerated in classes, lectures or screenings. Please turn off all phones before the lesson starts.

Please feel free to email me (m.koven@worc.ac.uk)with any queries you have regarding the module, I will try to reply within 3 working days. My office hours will be posted on the door of my office (BB 137), however I am always open to seeing students at other times if you make an appointment.   


Most readings for this module are either feature articles from the BFI’s magazine, Sight & Sound, or from the BFI webpages. These readings are meant only to whet your appetite about the film being studied, and it is encouraged that students will look for more materials on their own, and with tutor guidance.

Here is the link to the university’s Talis list.

Module Outline

31 January: Introduction & Best of 2017
No film
Reading: James, Nick. 2018. Films of the Year. Sight & Sound January: 18-32.

07 February: Get Out (US, Jordan Peele, 2017)
Reading: Weston, Kelli. 2018. That Sinking Feeling. Sight & Sound January: 37-39.

14 February: The Salesman/Forushande (IR/FR, Asghar Farhadi, 2016)
Reading: Mayer, Sophie. 2017. A square. A screen. A stage to the world. British Film Institute [online]. http://www.bfi.org.uk/news-opinion/sight-sound-magazine/comment/trafalgar-square-salesman-asghar-farhadi-sadiq-khan-oscar-night [Last accessed, 23-01-18].
Stewart, Clare. 2017. In support of Asghar Farhadi and the #LondonIsOpen screening of The Salesman. British Film Institute [online]. http://www.bfi.org.uk/news-opinion/news-bfi/features/asghar-farhadi-londonisopen-screening-salesman [Last accessed, 23-01-18].

 21 February: Under the Shadow (GB/JO/QA/IR, Babak Anvari, 2016)
Reading: Wigley, Samuel. 2017. Under the Shadow: the films that influenced this creepy Iranian horror. British Film Institute [online]. http://www.bfi.org.uk/news-opinion/news-bfi/interviews/under-shadow-babak-anvari-influences-iranian-horror [Last accessed, 23-01-18].

28 February: The Lure/Corki dancingu (PL, Agnieszka Smoczynska, 2015)
Reading: Criterion Collection. 2017. Siren Song: An Interview with Agnieszka Smoczyńska. The Criterion Collection: Current [online]. https://www.criterion.com/current/posts/4415-siren-song-an-interview-with-agnieszka-smoczynska [Last accessed, 23-01-18].

07 March: A Ghost Story (US, David Lowery, 2017)
Reading: Concannon, Philip. 2017. Enduring Love. Sight & Sound September: 28-31.

14 March: Lady Bird (US, Greta Gerwig, 2017)
Reading: Shary, Timothy. 2012. Teen Films:  The Cinematic Image of Youth. In Barry Keith Grant (ed.) Film Genre Reader IV, pp. 576-601. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press.

21 March: Call Me By Your Name (IT/FR/BR/US, Luca Guadagnino, 2017)
Reading: Hutchinson, Pamela. 2017. My Summer of Love. Sight & Sound November: 33-35.

Easter Break

11 April: Age of Shadows (KR, Kim Jee-woon, 2016)
Reading: Paquet, Darcy. 2009. New Korean Cinema: Breaking the Waves. London: Wallflower.

18 April: The Other Side of Hope/Toivon tuolla puolen (FI/DE, Aki Kaurismäki, 2017)
Reading: Soila, Tytti. 2002. The Face of a Sad Rat. In Yvonne Tasker (ed.), Fifty Contemporary Filmmakers, pp. 195-204.

25 April: The Florida Project (US, Sean Baker, 2017)
Reading: Concannon, Philip. 2017. Little Miss Sunshine. Sight & Sound December: 26-30.

02 May: Conclusions and essay discussion.


Diagnostic Assignment

A short essay (750 words) about your favourite non-English language film. You’ll need to justify your choice of film with reference to at least three (3) different academic sources. This assignment is designed to see your skills at essay writing and identify any potential problems before main assignments are due.

Length: 750 words

Weighting: 40%


Research Essay

Essay questions will be distributed later in the module (by the beginning of Easter Break at the very latest). Essay topics should be discussed with the module coordinator to ensure you are on the right track.

Your essay will be graded according to the specified Learning Outcomes for this module (noted above). These are:

  • Discuss contemporary cinematic issues and trends
  • Research films which have yet to establish a critical literature

Length: 1250 words

Weighting: 60%


*Assignments will be graded within three weeks of submission*

Submission: All assignments should be electronically submitted via the student’s SOLE page. All assignments will be submitted to Turnitin by the module leader.

Electronic submissions should be made in either Word or PDF formats – as other file types cannot be opened through the University’s systems.

If paper submissions are required as an alternative format, please request this with the module tutor.

For information regarding plagiarism, referencing, and general study skills please visit http://www.worc.ac.uk/studyskills