Spring 2020 - CA 236 E100

Cinema in Canada (3)

Class Number: 8827

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    We 5:30 PM – 8:20 PM
    GCA 4955, GOLDCORP

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 22, 2020
    7:00 PM – 10:00 PM
    HCC 1800, Vancouver

  • Prerequisites:

    3 units in film studies (CA (or FPA) 135, 136, 186, 235, 237, 335, 337, 436) or 30 units.



Examines the achievements of dramatic, documentary and experimental filmmaking in Canada from the earliest days until the present. Special attention will be paid to the cinemas of Quebec and western Canada, and to the cultural, political and theoretical traditions that have shaped contemporary cinema in Canada. May be of particular interest to students in other departments. Students with credit for FPA 236 may not take this course for further credit. Breadth-Humanities.


This course is an historical survey of cinema in Canada that explores the achievements of dramatic, documentary and experimental filmmaking in Canada from the earliest days until the present. Rather than focusing on stylistic movements, common themes, or auteur filmmakers, this course will examine the history of cinema in Canada through a series of institutional case studies. By looking at a broad range of institutions, including production companies, networks of distribution and exhibition, government agencies, grassroots collectives, and ethnic communities, this course aims to decenter narratives of Canadian cinema that focus on the shadow of Hollywood and other foreign film cultures; focusing, instead, on the ways in which cinema evolved, adapted, and flourished in Canada in spite of, and in some cases because of, US, British, French, or Canadian settler cultural hegemony. We will pay special attention to film exhibition and the practices of moviegoing, sponsored and nontheatrical film in Canada, and indigenous cinemas.


Students will:

  • Gain an understanding of Canadian film history and historiography
  • Learn to analyze film texts, contexts, and paratexts
  • Use online databases to better understand film history and digital research methods as they relate to cinema studies
  • Integrate theoretical concepts with visual analysis
  • Practice writing clear and persuasive arguments


  • Vancouver Movie Theatre Assignment 20%
  • Midterm 25%
  • Final Essay 20%
  • Final Exam 25%
  • In Class Participation 10%


All assignments should be submitted on the day they are due. Extensions will be granted only in advance and under exceptional circumstances. Unless you have negotiated an extension with me, late assignments will be graded down each day (i.e. B+ becomes a B, etc). Students must complete all exams and assignments in order to pass the course.

Attendance and Participation
As discussion is a big part of the course, attendance and participation in lecture, screenings, and discussion will be crucial to your success and the success of the class overall. Come to class having completed all the readings and prepared to discuss them and the films thoughtfully with your classmates. If for any reason you miss a class, you are responsible for seeing the film on your own. Most -- not all – films will be on reserve or available online.



Films on Reserve

Most of the films screened in class are available for re-viewing online or on reserve at Belzberg Library


All required readings will be made available on Canvas

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html