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Kursussøgning, efter- og videreuddannelse

FM, Module 2: Issues in World Cinema

Practical information
Study year 2016/2017
Programme level Full Degree Master
Full Degree Master choice
Course responsible
  • Karina Fleischer (6-8574754a4748527a877f407d8740767d)
  • Department of Media, Cognition and Communication
Course number: HFMK03311U

Course content

Adopting a wide-ranging ‘world cinema’ approach, this course explores the recurring connections between cultures, genres, and audio-visual style.  The terms ‘culture’ and ‘genre’ will be interpreted broadly: ‘culture’ encompasses national cultures, but also, for example, institutional cultures or emerging subcultures and alternative cultures; relevant to ‘genre’ are the formulae of commercial filmmaking but also types of audio-visual expression associated with art cinema and the independent sector.

A central aim is to encourage a comparative approach to questions of culture, genre, and aesthetics, and featured films will thus be drawn from all corners of the globe. Lectures and discussions will focus on a series of issues that highlight the extent to which the links between culture, genres, and aesthetics are anything but trivial, having instead much to do with the world-making capacities— and thus social and other contributions—of audio-visual expression.

Issues to be explored in the course, with an indication of the required film viewings’ geographic foci, are as follows:

  • Group style and film movements (6th generation independent filmmaking in the People’s Republic of China);


  • Moral feel-good films (On the psychological benefits of genre: Gauri Shinde’s English Vinglish [India] and Lone Scherfig’s Italian for Beginners [DK]);


  • Authentic expression and ‘direct speech’ (West African village films, European funders, and the filmmaker’s role as “griot”);


  • Heritage and memory (Types of heritage film: cultural norms as reflected in English and Danish examples);


  • Social justice and human rights films (Fiction and non-fiction in human rights filmmaking: Luis Puenzo [Argentina] and Joshua Oppenheimer [DK]);


  • Nollywood (Nigeria), Riverwood (Kenya) and the ‘straight-to-video’ phenomenon (Quality, quantity, piracy, markets and the appeal of local culture);


  • Capacity building and training (Nurturing personal, independent, creative expression: Denmark’s role beyond Denmark – CPH:DOX’s CPH:LAB; the National Film School of Denmark’s ‘Middle East Project’; International Media Support’s Screen Institute Beirut initiative, among others);


  • Slow cinema (Time and experience: Chantal Akerman [Belgium] and Apichatpong Weerasethakul [Thailand]);


  • Depicting the natural world (Environmental aesthetics and the experimental art film: Knut Erik Jensen [Norway], Andrej Zdravic [Slovenia] and James Benning [USA]);


  • The horror of nature (American B films and the revenge of nature; the New Nordic horror cinema)


  • Extreme cinema (Provocation and the art film: Lars von Trier [DK])

Assigned readings introduce students to debates about how best to study world cinema, to elucidations (from a variety of theoretical perspectives) of central concepts, and to case studies relevant to the films in focus. The course emphasizes practitioner’s agency, the practice-based thinking that goes into the making of a film, and a mix of analytic/cognitive and cultural approaches. Timetabling permitting, we expect to engage directly, via Skype, with a number of practitioners (e.g. Gaston Kaboré [Burkina Faso], Judy Kibinge [Kenya], Mary Stephen [France/Hong Kong], Knut Erik Jensen [Norway], and Charles Liburd [the Amsterdam-based initiator of Riverwood 20]).

Lectures extend beyond the films in focus and the detailed course outline suggests additional films on a world-wide basis, thereby offering students considerable latitude in connection with their written assignments.

Learning outcome

Master in Film and Media Studies 2016-curriculum:
Module 2: Media, Genre and Aesthetics: HFMK03311E

Master in Film and Media Studies 2013-curriculum:
Module 2: Culture, genres and aesthetics: HFMK03021E

Sign up

Master elective for students from outside of Humanities at UCPH:


Apply on form to sn-mef@hum.ku.dk   June 1, 2016 at the latest.


Master in Film and Media Studies, 2016-curriculum + 2013-curriculum


Study Board of Media, Cognition and Communication


Mette Hjort


1 semester


Skema bliver lagt udenfor blokstruktur
---- SKEMA LINK ----

Teaching and learning methods





Category Hours
Seminar 42
Course Preparation 367,5
English 409,5


Type of assessment

The exam will be conducted in English or Danish

Criteria for exam assessment

Master in Film and Media Studies, 2016-curriculum:


Master in Film and Media Studies, 2013-curriculum:

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