Spring 2023 - CA 137 D100

The History and Aesthetics of Cinema II (3)

Class Number: 6358

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

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

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 21, 2023
    7:00 PM – 10:00 PM
    HCC 1900, Vancouver



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%
  • Final exam 25%
  • Participation 10%



Karen Gocsik, Dave Monahan, and Richard Barsam, Writing About Movies (Fifth Edition) W. W. Norton, 2019

Other 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.


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website 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