Checking date: 17/05/2022

Course: 2022/2023

American Cinema
Study: Bachelor in Film, Television and Media Studies (211)

Coordinating teacher: ARANZUBIA COB, ASIER

Department assigned to the subject: Communication and Media Studies Department

Type: Electives
ECTS Credits: 3.0 ECTS


1. Get a panoramic knowledge of postwar American cinema. Ability to identify the different historical periods, genres, movements, styles and principal authors of American cinema. 2. Get a good understanding of the traditions, issues and problems of American cinema. 3. Ability to analyze and interpret contemporary American cinema.
Skills and learning outcomes
Description of contents: programme
Week 1: Introduction & American Cinema in the 1970s: Key Films Week 2: Violence, Race & Exploitation: ¿Blaxploitation¿ Connection: Jackie Brown (Quentin Tarantino, 1997) / Bamboozled (Spike Lee, 2000) Week 3: Conspiracies & Paranoia: from the Watergate Scandal to the The Parallax View (J.A. Pakula, 1974) & All the President¿s Men (J.A. Pakula, 1976) Connection: Spotlight (Tom McCarthy, 2015) / The Insider (Michael Mann, 1999) Week 4: The Rise of Horror: Halloween (John Carpenter, 1979), Alien (Ridley Scott, 1979) & The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980) Connection: A Nightmare on Elm Street (Wes Craven, 1984) / Predator (John McTiernan, 1987) Week 5: Weird is Cool?: Blue Velvet (David Lynch, 1986) & Lynchian Aesthetics Connections: Donnie Darko (Richard Kelly, 2001) / Spring Breakers (Harmony Korine, 2013) Week 6: Boom!!!!!: The Disaster Blockbuster & Trumpism Connection: Don¿t Look Up (Adam McKay, 2021) Week 7: What¿s Indie Film?: The Case of Richard Linklater. Connection: Rushmore (Wes Anderson, 1998) / Kids (Larry Clark, 1995) Week 8: Genre, the City & Sickness: From Se7en (David Fincher, 1995) to Zodiac (David Fincher, 2007) Connection: Nightcrawler (Dan Gilroy, 2014) / American Psycho (Amy Harron, 2000) Week 9: History & the Nation: from Saving Private Ryan (Steven Spielberg, 1998) & Munich (Steven Spielberg, 2005) to There Will Be Blood (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2007) Connection: Schindler¿s List (Steven Spielberg, 1993) / Zero Dark Thirty (Kathryn Bigelow, 2012) Week 10: Queer Identities & The Weight of Society: Carol (Todd Haynes, 2015) & Moonlight (Barry Jenkins, 2016) Connection: Certain Women (Kelly Reichardt, 2016) Week 11: It¿s About the Money, Stupid!: from Margin Call (J. C. Chandor, 2011) to The Big Short (Adam McKay, 2015) Connections: The Wolf of Wall Street (Martin Scorsese, 2013) / The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley (Alex Gibney, 2019) / Inside Job (Charles Ferguson, 2010) Week 12: Dis(Affection) in the City & Time: from Lost in Translation (Sofia Coppola, 2003) to La La Land (Damien Chazelle, 2016) Connections: Only Lovers Left Alive (Jim Jarmusch, 2013) / The 25th Hour (Spike Lee, 2002) Week 13: Teenagers: American Honey (Andrea Arnold, 2016) Connection: The Florida Project (Sean Baker, 2017) / Ladybird (Greta Gerwig, 2017) Week 14: New Voices in Horror: From It Follows (David Robert Mitchell, 2014) to Hereditary (Ari Aster, 2018) Connection: A Quiet Place (John Krasinski, 2018) / The Conjuring (James Wan, 2013)
Learning activities and methodology
1. Lectures Basic understanding on economic, technological, social and cultural context in which the American film production develops. Main movements, trends and authors. 2. Practical classes Case study. Interpretation and analysis of movement, style or relevant author. 3. Student work Supervised study of theoretical and practical training materials and conducting a trial on specific aspects of the program of the course content.
Assessment System
  • % end-of-term-examination 60
  • % of continuous assessment (assigments, laboratory, practicals...) 40
Calendar of Continuous assessment
Basic Bibliography
  • Bordwell, D.. The Way Hollywood Tells It. Story and Style in Modern Movies. University of California Press. 2006
  • Bordwell, D.; Staiger, J.; Thompson, K.. The Classical Hollywood Cinema: Film, Style & Mode of Production to 1960. Columbia University Press. 1985
  • Hill, Derek. Charlie Kaufman and Hollywood's Merry Band of Pranksters, Fabulists and Dreamers: An Excursion Into the American New Wave. Oldcastle Books. 2008
  • Lewis, J. . American Film. A History. Norton. 2008
  • Salt, B.. Film Style and Technology. History and Analysis. Starword. 2009
Additional Bibliography
  • Acland Charles R. Screen Traffic: Movies, Multiplexes, and Global Culture. Duke UP. 2003
  • Diawara, Manthia. Black American Cinema. Routledge. 1993
  • Holmlund, Chris. American movies of the 1990s: Themes and Variations. Rutgers University Press.. 2008
  • Lash, S. y Lury, C. . Global Culture Industry: The Mediation of Things. Polity. 2007
  • Massood, Paula . Black City Cinema: African American Urban Experiences in Film. Temple University Press. 2003
  • Polan, Dana. Pulp Fiction. BFI Classics. 2008
  • Telotte, J.P.. The Blair Witch Project project: Film and the Internet¿. Film Quarterly 54:3, págs, 32-39.. 2000
  • Tzioumakis, Yannis. . American Independent Film: an introduction. Rutgers University Press. 2006
  • Wasko, Janet. How Hollywood Works. Sage. 2003
  • Waxman, Sharon. Rebels of the Back Lot: Six Maverick Directors and How They Conquered the Hollywood Studio System. William Morrow Productions. 2006

The course syllabus may change due academic events or other reasons.