French 320

FREN 320: French Cinema

Prerequisites: French 210

Credit Hours: (4) Four hours lecture

Survey of contemporary French films and the history of French cinema from 1930 to the present, with the integration of French films in their cultural background. This course has been approved for credit in the Foreign Languages Area of the Core Curriculum.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

Taught in a classroom equipped with large screen video projection equipment, French 320 shows and critically appraises 12 to 13 contemporary French films (depending on the length of the academic calendar.) The class is offered as a four-hour uninterrupted night course, allowing for an introductory lecture, the entire showing of a feature-length motion picture and a critical analysis by the students.


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

The semester begins with a four-hour introductory lecture on the history of French cinema, with particular emphasis on the modem period and its relationship with American and European film traditions. Afterwards, an introductory lecture places each film in its socio and historico-cultural context. Biographical information on the director and the cast, critical evaluations and other relevant information are provided for the students. All throughout the semester, the value of film as a mirror of on-going cultural processes within modem French society is emphasized. After the movie, the students participate in a joint critical session, debating, analyzing and evaluating the work under the leadership of the instructor.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

Students will achieve a degree of competence in a foreign language and culture. 


Students will be able to:

a. demonstrate language skills appropriate to the level of study

b. analyze similarities and differences between their own and the target cultures

c. explain contemporary international issues from the perspectives of their own and the target cultures


Assessment Measures

After the showing of each motion picture, students are required to complete a 2 to 3 page critical essay in French. By the end of the semester, each student has accumulated between 2.5 and 30 pages of t material, thereby emphasizing the importance of ‘ in this course. The average of all these critical essays accounts for 60% of the students’ semester grad

A mid-term and a final exam, each representing 20% of the final grade, check the students’ knowledge of the cinematic and cultural material included in weekly introductory lectures, as well as the students’ ability to analyze the cultural issues that surface in the films featured.. Class attendance is compulsory and participation is expected.


Other Course Information



Approval and Subsequent Reviews

Date Action Reviewed by
August 2001 Revised Eric du Plessis