Spring 2024 - CA 137 D100

The History and Aesthetics of Cinema II (3)

Class Number: 6360

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 8 – Apr 12, 2024: Mon, 2:30–5:20 p.m.

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 18, 2024
    Thu, 12:00–3:00 p.m.



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 and aesthetics of cinema from the end of World War II to the present. 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 and the new film aesthetics that often attended these changes within various film cultures. 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. The course will also provide an introduction to the interpretation of cinema and the various vocabularies and methods with which one can explore the aesthetic qualities of cinema. 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
- Understand the relationship between film form, content, history, and theory
- Integrate theoretical concepts with visual analysis
- Practice writing clear and persuasive arguments


  • Shot-by-Shot Analysis 20%
  • Midterm exam 20%
  • Film Analysis Essay 25%
  • Final Exam 25%
  • Tutorial Participation 10%



The Film Experience (6th ed). Timothy Corrigan and Patricia White. You may purchase the e-book or hard copy. You may also use the 5th edition, which is available more cheaply used.

Karen Gocsik and Dave Monahan, Writing About Movies, 5th edition (New York; London: W.W. Norton & Company, 2018).

Additional required weekly readings will be made available on Canvas.


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