Spring 2020 - CA 337 E100

Intermediate Selected Topics in Film and Video Studies (4)

Myths&Ghosts: The Supernatural in Auteur Cinema

Class Number: 8598

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo 5:30 PM – 9:20 PM
    GCA 3200, GOLDCORP

  • Prerequisites:

    6 credits in film studies (CA (or FPA) 135, 136, 137, 186, 235, 236, 237, 335, 436) or 9 credits in CA (or FPA) courses including CA (or FPA) 136 or 137.



An intermediate course in critical studies in film addressing a variety of topics. This course can be repeated for credit.


Myths & Ghosts: The Supernatural in Auteur Cinema is a study on the potential of cinema as a medium to summon ghosts. Departing from Roland Barthes Camera Lucida, through viewings, readings and group discussion, this course aims to explore the idea of ‘film as a spirit’. We will concentrate on feature length works that focus on reflexive approaches to cinema using the supernatural as a framework that encompasses notions such as: transcendence, sacredness, magic, myth and consciousness, as well as the numerous spectres, spirits and ghosts that haunt their characters and landscapes. These ideas will be investigated through films that explicitly address them in their diegesis, as well as through cinematic approaches that are grounded in a naturalistic perception of reality, and nonetheless allude to these ideas in allegorical or metaphorical ways.

Each class will present a film for study of its visual and aural style in relation to one of the ideas around the supernatural, backed by readings on photography, media and cinema studies and, wherever possible, the filmmakers’ own writings.


  • Journals (8) 56%
  • Final Essay 30%
  • Engagement: participation in class discussion, critical analysis, attendance & punctuality 14%


Work will be graded on both content and quality of the writing as well as evidence of growth and progress.

Required Viewings: Students will be required to keep up to speed with the films shown in class, as well other additional screenings assigned and/or related to the course content and/or their personal research paper.




- Attendance and punctuality are important due to the discussions taking place in the first part of the class.

- Respect and abide by classroom rules: Remain quiet and attentive, be sensitive to the loudness of your movements when screening clips or during presentations, eating in the screening room is not allowed, do not pull out devices with glowing screens in class, don’t leave the classroom until the break unless absolutely necessary, do not leave garbage behind you.

- You are welcome to discuss your course progress with me at any time during the semester during office hours or, preferably by appointment. For urgent concerns, you can also talk to me after class.



Other requirements: Students will be required to keep a journal to record engagement with the films shown in class, to be handed at regular intervals.


Custom courseware. Students will be required to read widely in support to the weekly film screenings and in preparation for their research paper.

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