HEGRBTV08U Interdisciplinary Elective Subject, topic 8: Transnational Perspectives in European film from 1945 to the Present.

Volume 2020/2021

This module offers a transnational approach to European cinemas from the post-war period to the present day. Organised in terms of key topics, it examines important filmmaking traditions, movements and debates that have emerged in the European context and helped to shape it. The organization provides students with a critical and theoretical knowledge of reading different filmmaking forms as well as an historical overview of the development and mutual inspiration of different ‘waves’ in European art Cinema. The historical part of the course will also include central theoretical discussions (such as auteur film theory) on the characteristics of European art film as opposed to Hollywood mainstream productions, and texts on the development of a state subsidised art Cinema as a part of national and European culture policies and identity. This practical introduction to film analysis as well as historical and theoretical developments will be followed by an approach to contemporary issues in European and Global cinema, such as social and economic inequality, migration, transcultural identities, focusing on the increasing transnational aspects of contemporary cinema.  The module will thus provide students with ways of critically understanding the connectivities and dissimilarities of the European cinema, culture and identities, allowing them the possibility of transcending traditional national and linguistic divisions in order to pose broader comparative questions.


This module will begin by introducing the main issues at stake in the definition of European cinema: on the one hand, the opposition between art film and mainstream film productions and, on the other hand, the dynamics between European and Hollywood cinemas. In the introductory section, we will also analyse the role of institutional and governmental support in film industries, as well as the role of film in the development of a specific cultural European identity.

The first half is devoted to author/auteur theory and related discussions, exploring the pioneering currents and the national schools in European art film from the post-war period until the 1990’s. The sessions will focus on the analysis of exemplary and particularly outstanding films of Italian neorealism and the European new waves (French Nouvelle Vague, the New German Wave, Portuguese New Cinema, La Movida in Spain, British Social realism, Eastern European film before the 1989 and Danish dogma film). Single famous auteurs will also be considered (Buñuel, Bergman, and Oliveira). In the analysis of individual films, we will look at the use of many aspects of the film language but also situate films in their social, historical, political and cultural context, thereby highlighting the specificity and locatedness of cinematic production.

The second half focuses on contemporary issues, exploring contemporary European film to see how political and social crises after 1990 have influenced European film as an artefact (themes, characters, narratives, context). We will focus on how the political and cultural climate after the end of the Cold War has been decisive in the reconceptualization of national cinemas across Europe and the ways in which those crises are being reflected and represented. Contemporary issues including migration and multiculturalism, financial and social crises, emergence of nationalisms and right wing populism, and solidarity chains will be considered.

Learning Outcome

The aim of this module is to enable students of Engerom to read films with regard to its aesthetic language and its historical and cultural context. The module may also appeal to students at other departments such as IKK and Institut for Kommunikation, where Film Studies has now given way to media studies and films are not being studied in regard to and as sources of knowledge on the specific cultural contexts, on which we are experts at Engerom. We will look at European cinema through a transnational perspective, bringing together examples from different countries, in different languages and different genres to understand the diversity and coherence of Europe in a historical perspective as well as in the context of today´s globalised world. 

2+4 hrs a week: 2 hrs of lecture and discussion based on texts, theory and film extracts + 4 hrs practical work with film analysis (with student presentations and discussions) – written ‘micro’ assignments for everyone as requirement/preparation for the film analysis.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 84
  • Preparation
  • 325,5
  • Total
  • 409,5
Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Feedback by final exam (In addition to the grade)
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)
Type of assessment