MA Spec Seminar


Class: Tuesday 11.45-13.15 room 2.07

Office hours: Thursday 13-15 room 4.15

Assessment: class participation (more than two absences will lower your grade); 3 x 500 word-long analytical pieces

You cannot use your phones in the class unless stated otherwise

Week 1 Introduction, screening Rosemary’s Baby (1969)

Week 2 screening Rosemary’s Baby (1969)

Homework: Homework: read Ch. 2 on mise-en-scene from  Understanding Movies 9th Edition

Week 3 no class

Week 4 Mise-en-scene; analysis of Rosemary’s Baby

Assignment 1: write a 500 word-long analytical note using mise-en-scene

Homework: read 1) fragment on Auteur theory film studies introductionand 2) collaborative theory by William Goldman

Week 5 Auteur theory; Polański’s Rosemary’s Baby; Collaborative theory: Rosemary’s Baby

Assignment 2: write a 500 word-long analytical note using either collaborative/auteur theory

Week 6 Genre; Rosemary’s Baby

Homework: watch a documentary about making Rosemary’s Baby

Week 7 Genre; Rosemary’s Baby, Star studies

Homework: read a fragment provided on stars Star Studies

Week 8 Star system

The World’s Highest-paid actors 2017

Homework: 1) watch Vertigo (1958); 2) read Laura Mulvey’s Visual Pleasure

Week 9 Hollywood; male gaze, to-be-looked-at-ness; ideology; historical context

Homework: 1) Ideology – definition; 2) Zizek’s text pp. 320-325; 3) re-watch Vertigo (1958); 4) re-read Laura Mulvey’s Visual Pleasure

Week 10 Hollywood; male gaze, to-be-looked-at-ness; ideology; Zizek;

watch: 1) Zizek on ideology; Zizek on ideology 2;

Assignment 3: write a 500 word-long analytical note using star studies theory, genre or/and discuss ideology (you have two weeks for that – deadline Tuesday Week 11)


Homework: 1) Introduction from Henry Jenkins’s Convergence Culture convergence-culture; 2) read Introduction from Andrew Keen’s Cult of the Amateur andrew_keen_the_cult_of_the_amateur_how_todaysbookfi-org; 3) read Tryon’s Chapter “Hollywood Remixed” from Reinventing Cinema

Week 12 Zizek’s Hollywood examples; paratexts analysis; DVDs, posters –Rosemary’s Baby; participatory culture; audience created paratexts – Rosemary’s Baby; Adaptation theory: remade, mashed-up, parodied, updated, E-FILMS

Homework: 1) read “Cult Cinema: a critical symposium”, 2)”What’s cult got to do with it”; 3) “Cult film or cinephilia” in Cineaste, Winter 2008, Vol. 34 Issue 1 (in electronic library UŁ)

Week 13 Cult film: Rosemary’s Baby

Homework: 1) watch Aranofsky’s Mother! (2017); 2) read Carroll’s “The Future of Allusion” here

Week 14 Cinematic allusion discussion, RB vs Mother!


  • Who is the writer of the film? Has the screenplay been adapted from another work? (adaptation)
  • Who is the director? (auteur studies)
  • Who produced it? (independent or Hollywood, ideology)
  • Who’s the target audience?
  • What do promotional materials say about the film?
  • Is the film part of any larger movement?
  • When was the film made? (historical/political/cultural perspective)
  • What genre/s is it? (iconography)
  • How important is casting? (star studies)
  • Formal qualities: mise-en-scene, soundtrack, colour, narrative, narration, lighting key (look for patterns, repetitions, recurring motifs, linear story, chronological order, open-ended, ambiguity, omniscient narration vs restricted narration)
  • Which scenes are crucial for your analysis and support your argument? Exposition? Climax?