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Theory and Language of Cinema

Code: 100544 ECTS Credits: 6
Degree Type Year Semester
2500239 Art History OB 2 2
The proposed teaching and assessment methodology that appear in the guide may be subject to changes as a result of the restrictions to face-to-face class attendance imposed by the health authorities.


Maria Rosa Gutiérrez Herranz

Use of Languages

Principal working language:
spanish (spa)
Some groups entirely in English:
Some groups entirely in Catalan:
Some groups entirely in Spanish:


No prerequisites are required

Objectives and Contextualisation

- Learn the basic vocabulary of cinematic language

- Apply this language to the analysis of film

- Know the main theoretical and methodological approaches in film historiography


  • Applying the specific scientific methodologies of the discipline of Art History.
  • Demonstrating they know the history of the artistic ideas and the main theoretical currents that inspired the reflection about art, cinema, its creators and its audience through history.
  • Developing critical thinking and reasoning and communicating them effectively both in your own and other languages.
  • Producing innovative and competitive proposals in research and professional activity.
  • Recognising the fundamental problems, vocabulary and concepts of the Theory of Art and Cinema.
  • Respecting the diversity and plurality of ideas, people and situations.
  • Students must be capable of applying their knowledge to their work or vocation in a professional way and they should have building arguments and problem resolution skills within their area of study.
  • Students must be capable of communicating information, ideas, problems and solutions to both specialised and non-specialised audiences.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Analysing ideas about an artistic phenomenon in a given cultural context.
  2. Analysing ideas about an artistic phenomenon, and its creators and recipients in a given cultural context.
  3. Analysing the creators of an artistic phenomenon in a specific cultural context.
  4. Analysing the recipients of an artistic phenomenon in a specific cultural context.
  5. Applying the iconographic knowledge to the reading of artistic imagery.
  6. Critically analysing basic concepts of artistic and cinematographic theory and its evolution through history.
  7. Demonstrating the knowledge of scientific methodology, sources and Art Theory in the reading, criticism and formal, iconographic and symbolic interpretation of any artistic or cinematographic imagery.
  8. Differentiating artistic theories about an artistic phenomenon, its creators and recipients in a given cultural context.
  9. Efficiently presenting knowledge in oral and written form.
  10. Encouraging creativity and fomenting innovative ideas.
  11. Engaging in debates about historical facts respecting the other participants' opinions.
  12. Identifying the main and secondary ideas and expressing them with linguistic correctness.
  13. Interpreting and communicating the contents of a text about theory of art and cinema.
  14. Using knowledge about aesthetic ideas and art theory to analyse the cinematographic imagery.
  15. Working in teams, respecting the other's points of view and designing collaboration strategies.


I. Film analysis and cinematic language

1. Description: film credits and context

2. Analysis:

   2.1. Mise-en-scene analysis: visual codes, sound codes, pro-filmic elements, syntactic codes

   2.2. Narrative structure analysis: diegesis and narrative, cinematic space and time, narrator and point of view.

   2.3. Contents analysis

3. Interpretation: critical reception and conclusion

II. Theories, approaches and methodologies

1. Formalist aesthetics: Hugo Münsterberg, Rudolf Arnheim and Béla Balázs

2. Phenomenology: Siegfried Kracauer, André Bazin, Edgar Morin, Gilles Deleuze

3. From psychology to semiotics: Jean Mitry and Christian Metz

4. Psychoanalysis, apparatus theory and feminist theory

5. New perspectives. Filmmakers' theory


- Theoretical and practical classes directed by the professor

- Viewing and commentiary of the films of Aula de Cinema cycle (Filmoteca de Catalunya)

- Study, readings and personal work


Title Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Type: Directed      
THEORETICAL AND PRACTICAL CLASSES 24 0.96 6, 3, 4, 1, 2, 5, 7, 8, 10, 13, 14
Type: Supervised      
Type: Autonomous      
READING AND PERSONAL WORK 25 1 6, 3, 4, 1, 2, 5, 7, 8, 10, 14
STUDY OF THE CONTENTS 25 1 6, 3, 4, 1, 2, 5, 7, 8, 10, 12, 13, 14


- Oral presentation: film analysis (35%)

- Exam on film theory (35%)
- Viewing and commentary of the films of Aula de Cinema cycle (Filmoteca de Catalunya) (30%)

- Recovery: Students who have not passed or have not attended to some of the tests will have to recover the suspended part in the recovery. The recovery is exclusively for the suspended or not attended students. In no case may be raised as a means of improving the qualification of the student who has already passed. Suspended students who are not attent to the recovery will have a "non-evaluable" in the final grade; the one that suspends the recovery will have "suspense".

- Plagiarism: In the event of a student committing any irregularity that may lead to a significant variation in the grade awarded to an assessment activity, the student will be given a zero for thisactivity, regardless of any disciplinary process that may take place. In the event of several irregularities in assessment activities of the same subject, the student will be given a zero as the final grade for this subject.

- Virtual teaching: In the event that tests or exams cannot be taken onsite, they will be adapted to an online format made available through the UAB’s virtual tools (original weighting will be maintained). Homework, activities and class participation will be carried out through forums, wikis and/or discussion on Teams, etc. Lecturers will ensure that students are able to access these virtual tools, or will offer them feasible alternatives.

Assessment Activities

Title Weighting Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
EXAM ON FILM THEORY 35% 3 0.12 6, 3, 4, 1, 2, 5, 7, 8, 10, 12, 13
ORAL PRESENTATION: FILM ANALYSIS 35% 9 0.36 3, 4, 1, 5, 7, 10, 13, 9, 15, 14
VIEWING AND COMMENTARY OF THE FILMS OF "AULA DE CINEMA" 30% 6 0.24 3, 4, 1, 2, 5, 7, 10, 12, 13, 11, 9, 14


Film history

- AA.VV., Historia General del Cine (12 vols.), Cátedra, Madrid, 1995-1998

- Gubern, Romà, Historia del cine (2 vols.), Lumen, Barcelona, 1971

Film analysis and cinematic language

- Aumont, Jacques; Marie, Michel, Análisis del film, Paidos, Barcelona, 1993

- Bordwell, David; Thompson, Kristin, El arte cinematográfico, Paidos, Barcelona, 2002

- Magny, Joël, Vocabularios del cine, Paidos, Barcelona, 2005

Film theory

- Arheim, Rudolf, El cine como arte, Paidos, Barcelona, 1996

- Aumont, Jacques, Las teorías de los cineastas, Paidos, Barcelona, 2004

- Bazin, André, ¿Qué es el cine?, RIALP, Madrid, 2004

- Casetti, Francesco, Teorías del cine, Cátedra, Madrid, 1994

- Deleuze, Gilles, La imagen-tiempo, Paidos, Barcelona, 1986

- Deleuze, Gilles, La imagen-movimiento, Paidos, Barcelona, 1984

- Kracauer, Siegfried, Teoría del cine, Paidos, Barcelona, 1999

- Metz, Christian, El significante imaginario, Paidos, Barcelona, 2001

- Mitry, Jean, Estética y psicología del cine, Siglo XXI, Madrid, 2002

- Morin, Edgar, El cine o el hombre imaginario, Paidos, Barcelona, 2001

- Mulvey, Laura, Placer visual y cine narrativo, Universidad de Valencia, Valencia, 1988

- Sorlin, Pierre, Sociología del cine, Fondo de Cultura Económica, México, 1992

- Stam, Robert, Teorías del cine, Paidos, Barcelona, 2001