History of the Cinema


At the end of this UC, the student will be able to:
1. Know how to question the relationship between cinema, reality and history;
2. Understand the evolution of scientific, technical and artistic innovations in the advent of cinema;
3. Contextualize the relationship between cinema, industry and other arts;
4. Understand the evolutionary theories of montage;
5. Question the relationship between aesthetics, ethics and politics, with a special focus on cases of Soviet and German cinematography in the 1920s and 1930s;
6. Question the conventions and structuring patterns of classic Hollywood cinema;
7. Understand the major aesthetic ruptures and mutations after the Second World War, with a special focus on cases of the Italian Neo-Realism and the French Nouvelle Vague ;
8. Understand the origin and scope of new forms of cinematographic expression in the second half of the century. XX;
9. Analyze particular cases of Portuguese cinema;
10. Think and speculate about the future of cinema.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Pedro Miguel Ferreira Florêncio


Weekly - 4

Total - 168

Teaching language





BORDWELL, David (1997). On the History of Film Style. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.

BRAUDY, Leo & COHEN, Marshall (1985). Film Theory and Criticism: Introductory Readings. Nex York: Oxford University Press

MONACO, James (2000). How to read a film: the world of movies, media and multimedia: art, technology, language, history, theory. New York: Oxford University Press.

MUSSER, Charles & BOWSER, Eileen (1994). "The Emergence of Cinema" (cap. 11-15) / "The Transformation of Cinema" (cap. 4, 6, 14 e 15). In History of the American Cinema, Vol. I e II. Berkeley: University of California Press

SCHATZ, Thomas (1981). Hollywood Genres: Formulas, Filmmaking, and the Studio System. New York: Random House

THOMPSON, Kristin & BORDWELL, David (2003). Film History: an introduction. Boston: McGraw Hill Higher Education.

Teaching method

Throughout the sessions, through an oral presentation made by the teacher and viewing of film extracts, the syllabus will be framed, with spaces for debate with students, based on the recommended bibliography for each specific content.

Evaluation method

Evaluation Methodologies - Group work (mid-semester): Programming of a film cycle dedicated to Hollywood genres. Each member of the group must be responsible, at least, for writing 1 paper sheet about one film of the cycle. Each group will make an oral presentation of 10 minutes, in class, justifying the criteria used in the programmed cycle. The presentations will be followed by a debate.(40%), Individual practical work: Making of a 1-minute film, with a paragraph written to justify the pertinence and intention of the film. (10%) Attendance and Participation (10%)(20%), Individual written work: Response to a set of questions formulated from the viewing of a film (surprise) in the penultimate class of the semester(40%)

Subject matter

The following topics will be discussed on a weekly basis:

1. What is cinema? Questioning the real and history
2. The Problem of invention. Cinema at the end of the 19th century: combination of technologies, incorporation of languages and experimentation
3. Cinema: birth of an industry and relationship with other arts
4. The evolution of editing: the case of Soviet cinema
5. From Caligari to Hitler: a brief tour of German cinema from the 1920s
6. From the splendor to the implosion of Hollywood
7. Mutations and ruptures in the middle of the 20th century: issues of production, narrativity and representation in the post-classical period.
8. Modern Cinema and the emergence of other modernisms
9. Case study: Portuguese cinema
10. When is cinema? Questioning the notion of cinematic experience