Academic year
2021/2022 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
FT0502 (AF:354355 AR:190252)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
Degree level
Bachelor's Degree Programme
Educational sector code
2nd Term
Go to Moodle page
The course is part of the “Related or Additional Studies” programmes included in the curriculum of the “Performing Arts and Media Studies” module for the Bachelor's Degree Programme and part of the “Conservation of Cultural Heritage and Performing Arts Management” segment. Its aim is providing students with a set of theoretical notions that have distinguished the debate about cinema throughout history. The objectives of the course are: developing reflection skills through critical reading and film viewing; recognizing the theoretical dimension of the cinematic experience, in particular considering the epistemology and the fundamentals of the discipline, contextualizing it within its relevant historical period.

1. Knowledge and comprehension: Ability to recognize the principal phases of the theoretical debate that has developed around cinema; Ability to comprehend the current meaning of specific critical texts.
2. Ability to apply the acquired knowledge and comprehension: Ability to distinguish the theoretical aspects of a film text or a text belonging to the specialized literature; Ability to place a text of film theory in its specific historical-social context.
3. Ability of critical judgement: Ability to form and discuss simple possibilities of interpretation of audio-visual artworks; Ability to develop a critical-theoretical approach when evaluating films or other audio-visual products.
4. Communication skills: Ability to participate in discussions around the subjects of the course; Ability to define the specific character of the theoretical and historical discussion using an appropriate vocabulary, during the exam and during lectures; Ability to interact with fellow students and with lecturers in a critical and cooperative way, both during class and via virtual platforms.
5. Learning skills: Ability to take notes and share them in a cooperative manner; Ability to consult the reference texts and the bibliography these contain in a critical manner.
No prerequisites are required, but it is advisable for students to include the following courses in their study plan: History of cinema, Film analysis, Aesthetics, Photography, and History of contemporary art.

The critical-theoretical debate has been present in the History of cinema ever since its founding. In its multiple and vast expressions, it offers a comprehensive and stimulating overview of the issues that arise from the images in motion at the very moment they appear. Films, in fact, induce spectators (and scholars) to formulate questions around their own subjectivity-objectivity, they demand positioning and standpoints, they evoke a context, they relate to a series of other debates (critical, theoretical, social), they stir our own (frail) human condition. Against this background, the course intends to reconstruct part of the debate that has developed around certain practices of film that remain crucial in the contemporary modes of vision: the (ontological) status of images, the presence of a support/device, the gesture of the assemblage, the haptic and specular dimension of the gaze. The student will achieve this by means of confronting a number of theoretical essays (classic, modern and contemporary), viewing and discussing a number of significant film sequences, reading and discussing theoretical texts, with the latter two requiring an active students’ participation.

- Robert Stam, "Film Theory. An Introduction", Blackwell, 1999 (Selected Chapters)
- A selection of critical texts will be provided by the professor during lectures.

Additional materials of in-depth studies (filmographies, bibliographies, essays, articles, etc.) will be uploaded among the course materials on Moodle.

Students who cannot attend lectures are kindly requested to consult Moodle for general information on the course and subsequently to get in contact with the professor in order to agree upon an examination programme.
The method of assessment consists of an oral exam. It consists of three questions, concerning the filmography and the contents of the textbooks/essays contained in the programme.
The lectures will take place in class and employ a critical-theoretical perspective. They include reading and commentary on texts, viewing of few emblematic film sequences and active participation of students. The students’ participation will consist of discussions in class or teamwork – when the number of participants allows for it.
Class attendance is recommended to all students and is required to those who wish to apply for a thesis in History of Cinema.

Ca’ Foscari follows the Italian law (Law 17/1999; Law 170/2010) for the support and accommodation services available to students with disabilities or specific learning disabilities. If you have either a motor, visual, hearing or another disability (Law 17/1999), or a specific learning disorder (Law 170/2010) and you require support (classroom assistance, technological aids for carrying out exams or personalized exams, accessible format material, note retrieval, specialist tutoring as study support, interpreters or other), please contact the Disability and DSA office
Definitive programme.
Last update of the programme: 01/07/2021