Film Studies

Course Overview

LA Code: 
Learning Area: 

Film Studies

Film Studies explores the many aspects of films from the technical to the social and political. The course is essentially project based whereby students are expected to research or explore the ideas or concepts, touched on in the class, in their own time. NCEA assessments may be attempted at any time by individuals who choose to do so and have displayed the skills and learning needed.

Students who are interested in film but who are not interested in pursuing NCEA in this course are also welcome. And students who wish to attend the course when a particular film interests them may also do so.

Some of the films you may study in this course include:

• The Life of Brian
• The World’s Fastest Indian
• Smash Palace
• Raiders of the Lost Ark
• Lincoln

How the Course Works
Students are shown a variety of films intended to increase their awareness of the different genres and to help develop a critical understanding of what makes a film good or less so.

This course will be delivered flexibly. Students should inform the LA of what they would like to achieve from the course. There will be a range of NCEA level one and two English assessments to choose from, according to the needs and interests of the student. See the list below.

Year 1

Term One
The Language of Film/A Chronological Study of Film
In this unit we will take a journey of exploration looking at very early films and consider how technical advances have changed the film industry. Films will include those that have become a part of our cultural heritage. The technical language of film will also be a focus to better enable students.

Term Two
The Art of Monty Python

A study of comedy with a focus on the often surreal (absurdist) work of the Monty Python team as well as some of the individual members. The study may also include television. The unit will also look at how the Python team influenced and shaped humour in more recent times.

Term Three
The Art of Roger Donaldson

Roger Donaldson is an Australian born New Zealander who has been involved in making movies over a number of decades. He’ll be central in this study of the New Zealand film industry that has taken New Zealand to Hollywood and made our country famous for the films it has produced.

Term Four
The Art of Steven Spielberg

Spielberg is perhaps one of the most influential film directors of all time. He is the highest Box office grossing filmmaker with his films making nearly $8 billion internationally. In 2006, Premiere listed him as the most powerful and influential figure in the film industry, whereby Time named him in the '100 Greatest People of the Century'. So his films are probably worthy of a look.

Year 2 (2 year program beginning in 2015)
Term One
The Language of Film/Blockbusters

A study of the top grossing films of all time worldwide from the last three decades. The technical language of film will also be a focus to better enable students.

Term Two

A study of genre. Musicals, westerns, action – a term where the same genre will not be repeated. Films will be taken from the last five decades and we will focus on what genre means and the conventions that make films what they are.

Term Three
British Comedy

A look at how culture shapes what we laugh at. British films strongly influenced the way New Zealanders looked at the world but there influence has been overwhelmed to a large degree by Hollywood. A chance to cringe as we reflect on the often very non-pc world of British comedy, and then compare it to mainstream American comedy.

Term Four

An historical look at the technological changes that have taken place over the past one hundred years of film-making. From men in latex costumes through to CGI animation. We may also try to address this question: Why, after so many years of nuclear power, don’t we have super heroes and giant bunnies?

Assessment Opportunities

There will be a range of NCEA level one and two English assessments for
you to choose from, according to your needs and interests. The following assessments will be available throughout the year:

Level 1
1.4 Up Close and personal
AS90052: 3 credits – creative writing
1.5 Here’s what I think
AS90053: 3 credits – formal writing
1.6 I’ve got something to say
AS90857: 3 credits – speech
1.7 Making music
AS90855: 3 credits – static image
1.11 Close up on film
AS90856: 3 credits – film

Level 2
2.4 Now there’s a novel idea!
AS91101: 6 credits – writing
2.5 Perspectives
AS91102: 3 credits – speech
2.9 Highly recommended
AS91106: 4 credits – reading
2.10 Focus on film
AS91107: 3 credits – film

Courses offered per block.

TitleLA CodeBlockYear
Preparing for NCEA English: ReadingGEOM4.22020
Preparing for NCEA English: WritingGEOM4.22020