Spring 2022 - CA 137 D100

The History and Aesthetics of Cinema II (3)

Class Number: 7714

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo 2:30 PM – 5:20 PM
    GCA 3200, GOLDCORP

  • Instructor:

    Joseph Clark
    Office: GCA 3355
    Office Hours: Tuesdays 10am-12pm or by appointment



This course will examine selected developments in cinema from 1945 to the present, with attention to various styles of artistic expression in film. May be of particular interest to students in other departments. Students with credit for FPA 137 may not take this course for further credit. Breadth-Humanities.


This course examines the history of cinema from the end of World War II to today. In the second half of the 20th century, film emerged as a truly global medium as individual filmmakers, national film cultures, international film industries transformed the art, politics, and business of cinema.
In this course we will examine film culture as a product of a globalizing world – looking at how cinema transformed and represented world events. We will pay special attention to the affects of world war, the holocaust, and the atomic age had on film in the 1940s and 1950s, the emergence of auteur theory and art cinema, and the role film played in imperialism and post-colonial cultural movements. Throughout the course students will consider the formal qualities of films, as well as their production, distribution, and exhibition, in relation to their social and political contexts.


Students will:

  • Gain an understanding of film history in a global context
  • Learn to analyze film texts, contexts, and paratexts
  • Use visual analysis to understand the relationship between film form, content, history, and theory
  • Use online databases to better understand film history and digital research methods as they relate to cinema studies
  • Practice writing clear and persuasive arguments


  • Weekly Film responses 5%
  • Scene Analysis 20%
  • Midterm 20%
  • Festival Assignment 20%
  • Take home final exam 25%
  • Participation 10%



Required weekly readings will be made available on Canvas.


For students who have not taken CA135 (Intro to Film Studies), CA136 (History and Aesthetics of Cinema I) or equivalent, I strongly recommend Ed Sikov, Film studies: An Introduction, (New York: Columbia University Press, 2010) or Timothy Corrigan and Patricia White, The Film Experience. These are both great introductions to film aesthetics and the language of formal film analysis – vocabulary you will be expected to use in your essays in the course. These books are on reserve at Belzberg Library.

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


Teaching at SFU in spring 2022 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with safety plans in place.  Some courses will still be offered through remote methods, and if so, this will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the spring 2022 term.