FS30180 Alternative&Independent Cinema

Academic Year 2021/2022

This module examines Anglophone Alternative and Independent cinemas from the 1970s to the present. With a marked increase in the production of blockbusters, remakes and other films based on pre-sold properties or established franchises, it has often been left to the rather loosely defined “alternative cinema” sector to produce films that pursue originality in terms of aesthetics, politics, representation and cultural commentary. Through an examination of a number of key films from the last four decades, the parameters of what constitutes alternative cinema shall be interrogated. Notably, the module shall examine three inter-related areas of critical interest: changing economic models of alternative cinema production and distribution and their relation to the output of “major studios”; how alternative cinema breaks from dominant aesthetic regimes such as “classical” Hollywood cinema; and whether such films promote alternative ideological viewpoints and challenge the status quo in terms of political, social, and sexual orthodoxies.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this course, students will be able to:1) Identify differences in style between and among mainstream cinema and its alternative counterparts.2) Analyse the degree to which alternative cinemas challenge dominant cultural assumptions regarding the construction of social and national identities.3) Identify ways in which technological innovation has influenced the production, marketing, and exhibition of independent cinemas.4) Explain how the economic infrastructures underpinning the production, marketing and exhibition of various independent cinemas compare and contrast with Hollywood’s industrial model. 5) Demonstrate the ability to conduct independent, discipline-specific research and to cite that research using an appropriate documentation system.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning








Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Teaching methods include lectures and critical seminar discussions and analysis. Classes will be a combination of lecture, seminar, and written and oral theoretical and analytical exercises. Students will be expected to attend all classes and screenings, read from a wide selection of sources, comment upon the readings (both online in the group discussion boards and in class) and participate in class discussion.
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Journal: Short creative reflection Week 12 n/a Pass/Fail Grade Scale No


Essay: Mid-term essay Week 7 n/a Graded No


Essay: Final Essay Week 12 n/a Graded No


Continuous Assessment: Students will give one presentation during the semester and engage in class discussion. Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, on an activity or draft prior to summative assessment
• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Global feedback to the entire class will be delivered in a lecture after assessed components. Students will also have an opportunity to meet with lecturer during scheduled personal feedback sessions during the term, as well as by personal appointment during weekly consultation hours, especially in lead up to final assignment.