Film Studies (A Level)
Intent of Curriculum.
In Film Studies, our intent is for the curriculum to promote an understanding of, interest in and ability to ‘read’ the language of the world of cinema and film as well as the worlds that these films reflect. Students examine the political, social, historical, cultural and production contexts of film and how these shape the content and meanings created. For the creative element of the course, students can utilise these skills to develop their own short film pieces and demonstrate understanding of their own directorial choices to create meanings for their audience.
The Purpose of the Curriculum.
The study of film promotes a wider understanding of cultural movements and how film reflects the wider world in which they are made and set. We aim to promote and develop in our students a desire to understand how films are just as valid a reflection of time, place and people as factual documents can be; how films can be social metaphors and both reflect and challenge dominant ideologies being presented by societies at key times in history. We wish to create a passion for examination; to not just passively absorb the content of films but be able to understand our subjective responses as well as critiquing objectively using highly sophisticated levels of analysis. To comprehend that Film has a language all of its own that can open up new levels of discussion into texts that surround us on a daily and international basis.
|Core Features and Meaning||Contexts and Representations||Specialist Areas|
|Understanding of the key terms in film language to become confident in the use of subject-specific technical terms||Understand how the social, political, historical and cultural contexts shape the narrative contents, stylistic features and movements/trends of film texts||Understanding how critical debates relating to film movements and texts shape readings of texts|
|Understanding of how a director’s choice of core features shape scenes/sequences/narratives to shape meaning for audiences||Understand the impact of production and industry contexts upon film-makers and film texts||Understanding the concept of auteur and how director’s signature styles appear in film texts and reflect trends in cinema|
|Understand how to apply technical language to deconstruct film texts and the effects created for spectators||Understand the contextual influences upon representations of key groups, ideologies and place within film texts||Understanding theories relating to spectatorship are used to deconstruct audience reception to films|
|Understand how contexts have shaped developments and shifts in representations and ideologies within film||Understand how ideologies of film movements and texts reflect social issues and readings of films|
Film Studies is a fascinating, provocative and diverse subject of increasing academic worth. The Arts are a valuable and relatable reflection of the societies in which they are made; we are passionate about how important being an active spectator of films is; to be able to ‘read’ deeper meaning into texts considered purely entertainment by the ‘layman’. Film has a close relationship with many other academic disciplines as well as the world around us; Film teaches us about psychology, politics, sociology, history, drama, literature and art as well as the wider media. The ideologies presented by directors, film genres, movements and national cinemas are looked at how they represent key values to the world; we encourage our students to approach these messages with a critical mind; to be aware of what concepts they are being ‘fed’ by such an influential industry. We desire the analytical; to deconstruct texts the same way a novel, an historical document or a news article can be.
Opportunities for Deeper Learning:
- Independent tasks provided for all students to stretch and challenge their thinking about key concepts
- Students taking ownership over revision and learning materials e.g. through flipped learning, ‘teaching’ the class, writing revision resources to develop cumulative knowledge of key terminology
- Reading and research around the topics and texts studied in class; students are provided with reading lists, links and clips to examine material beyond classes
- Students are encouraged to view around their topics to get an understanding of a film’s place in its industry contexts e.g. if studying directors considered auteur, to examine films other than the set texts to see how their signature is evident or to see the context of a film within a wider genre or movement such as British Social Realism
- Students can examine other related media linked to the films of the various units studied for example print media, television, music/videos, advertising, propaganda and other aspects of the Arts to see the place Film has within these other methods of communication and how films can subvert and/or conform to dominant social issues of the time
- As well as the creative side offered by the component 1 coursework, students can independently put their new knowledge and skills in to practice
- We have various opportunities where students can immerse themselves more fully in the world of Film and the subject such as becoming Film Studies ‘reps’, presenting to parents at key events, contributing presentations and articles to the annual Medway ‘FaME’ Film and Media conference or assisting with film clubs offered to younger students.