FLMS1211: Contemporary World Cinema



FLMS1211: Contemporary World Cinema (2017)

Module Handbook

 Tuesdays (Semester 2)

13:00 – 16:00

Dr. Mikel J. Koven (BB133)




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 133), however I am always open to seeing students at other times if you make an appointment.   


Stafford, Roy. 2014. The Global Film Book. London: Routledge (an e-book version of this book is available via the Talis Resources List for this module. *Note, while this list is available to view by anyone, only registered University of Worcester students will have access to the digitalized content.)

In addition, various articles and reviews will be made available to you.

Module Outline

31 January, 2017
Toni Erdmann (DE, AT, RO, Maren Ade, 2016)
Readings, please see Talis Resource Lists.
James, Nick. 2017. Films of the Year. Sight & Sound January: pp. 42-55.

7 February, 2017
Tale of Tales/Il racconto dei racconti (IT, FR, GB, Matteo Garrone, 2015)
Readings, please see Talis Resource Lists.
Porton, Richard. 2009. Inside “The System”: An Interview With Matteo Garrone. Cineaste Spring: 12-15.
Stafford, Roy. 2014. Chapter 3: Approaching films from different cultures. In The Global Film Book. Pp. 152-180. London: Routledge.
Wakefield, Thirza. 2016. Tale of Tales (review). Sight & Sound July: 87-88.

14 February, 2017
Taxi Tehran/Taxi (IR, Jafar Panahi, 2015)
Readings, please see Talis Resource Lists.
Cronk, Jordan. 2015. Taxi (review). Cineaste Fall: pp. 48-50.
Johnston, Trevor. 2015. Taxi Tehran (review). Sight & Sound November: pp. 68-69.
Stafford, Roy. 2014. Chapter 6: Middle East without borders. In The Global Film Book. Pp. 152-180. London: Routledge.

21 February, 2017
Timbuktu (MR, FR, Abderrahmane Sissako, 2014)
Readings, please see Talis Resource Lists.
Andrew, Geoff. 2015. Abderrahmane Sissako: The Interview. Sight & Sound June: pp. 46-49.
Garcia, Maria. 2015. Timbuktu (review). Cineaste Spring: pp. 53-55.
Pinkerton, Nick. 2015. Timbuktu (review). Sight & Sound June: pp. 87-88.
Stafford, Roy. 2014. Chapter 8: Cinema that needs to be different?. In The Global Film Book. Pp. 206-234. London: Routledge.

28 February, 2017
Mommy (CA, Xavier Dolan, 2014)
Readings, please see Talis Resource Lists.
Clark, Ashley. 2015. Mommy (review). Sight & Sound April: pg. 81.
Stafford, Roy. 2014. Chapter 7: International art cinema and the festival circuit. In The Global Film Book. Pp. 181-205. London: Routledge.
Walters, Ben. 2015. All About My Mother. Sight & Sound April: pp. 32-34.

7 March, 2017
Girlhood/Bande de filles (FR, Céline Sciamme, 2014)
Readings, please see Talis Resource Lists.
Harris, Sue. 2015. Girlhood (review). Sight & Sound June: pp73-74.
Stafford, Roy. 2014. Chapter 4: National cinemas in Europe: contrasting experiences. In The Global Film Book. Pp. 96-124. London: Routledge.
Vincendeau, Ginette. 2015. Minority Report. Sight & Sound June: pp. 22-27.
Wakefield, Thirza. 2015. Girls in the Hood. Sight & Sound June: pp. 28-29.

14 March, 2017
Son of Saul/Saul fia (HU, László Nemes, 2015)
Readings, please see Talis Resource Lists.
Kemp, Philip. 2016. Son of Saul (review). Sight & Sound May: 92-93.
Liebman, Stuart. 2015. Son of Saul (review). Cineaste Winter: 46-48.
Quart, Leonard. 2015. A New Perspective on the Holocaust: An Interview with László Nemes. Cineaste Winter: pp. 38-39.
Wachsmann, Nikolaus. 2016. Nightmare of Crime. Sight & Sound May: pp. 18-20.

21 March, 2017
The Tribe/Plemya (UA, NL, Myroslav Slaboshpytski 2014)
Readings, please see Talis Resource Lists.
Nayman, Adam. The Tribe (review). Sight & Sound June: pg. 91.
Romney, Jonathan. 2015. Code of Silence. Sight & Sound June: pp. 42-44

28 March, 2017
The Witch (US, GB, CA, BR, Robert Eggers, 2015)
Readings, please see Talis Resource Lists.
Baughan, Nikki. 2016. Films about Witches. Sight & Sound April: pg. 9.
Clarke, Roger. 2016. The Witch (review). Sight & Sound April: pp 66-67.
Nayman, Adam. 2016. The Witch (review). Cineaste Spring: pp. 46-47.

4 April, 2017
Readings, please see Talis Resource Lists.
The Lobster (GR, IE, NL, UK, FR, Yorgos Lanthimos, 2015)
Johnston, Trevor. 2015. Animal Instincts. Sight & Sound November: pp. 28-30.
Miller, Henry K. 2015. The Lobster (review). Sight & Sound November: pp. 81-82.
Murray, Jonathan. 2016. The Lobster (review). Cineaste Fall: 44-46.

10 – 21 April, 2017: Easter Break

25 April, 2017
The Wailing/Goksung  (KR,  Hong-Jin Na, 2016)
Readings, please see Talis Resource Lists.
Sharp, Jasper. 2016. The Wailing (review). Sight & Sound December: pg. 91.
Stafford, Roy. 2014. Chapter 5: Decentring the Hollywood dominance debate: Japan & South Korea. In The Global Film Book. Pp. 125-151. London: Routledge.

2 May, 2017
Essay Discussion




Diagnostic Assignment

A short essay (1000 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: 1000 words
Due: 17 February 2017, at 15:00
Weighting: 10%

Learning Log/Academic Journal

Each week you are expected to write a short piece (around 250-words) ‘response’ to the week’s film. These “short pieces” will be directed by the module leader (you’ll have a definite question to answer) and will be submitted via Blackboard (as you’ll be used to in FLMS1100). Learning log pieces will be due at 15:00 on the Friday following the class. Because these learning log pieces are submitted via Blackboard, late or missed submissions cannot be accepted.
Your pieces will be assessed weekly according to the Learning Outcomes (noted above). These are:

  • Appreciate film in a global context
  • Experience a variety of cultures and nationalities through their cinema

Your final grade for this assignment will be an average of all the pieces.
Weighting: 40%

Research Essay

The Research Essay asks you to develop and expand on one of your journal entries into a properly researched essay. You will need to contextualize your selected film with regards to the film’s director, country of origin or genre as appropriate. 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: 1000 words
Due: 12 May 2017, at 15:00
Weighting: 40%

*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