Insegnamento a.a. 2023-2024


Department of Social and Political Sciences

Course taught in English

Class timetable
Exam timetable
Go to class group/s: 31
CLEACC (6 credits - II sem. - OBS  |  L-ART/06)
Course Director:

Classes: 31 (II sem.)

Synchronous Blended: Lezioni erogate in modalità sincrona in aula (max 1 ora per credito online sincrona)

Suggested background knowledge

There are no formal prerequisites for this course. You may or may not already be a cinema follower. Anyone can take this course. This is an introductory course both for those already cinema followers as well as those who have not followed cinema before. This course introduces you to the basic elements of cinema production. All films will be shown either in English or with English sub-titles. No previous knowledge of social theory is necessary.

Mission & Content Summary


The role of cinema in our society is a complex one starting with the factor of entertainment as popular expression. On a deeper analysis, cinema represents the expression of social mores, collective anxieties and cultural paradigms. The course has four principal objectives: - Provide the students with a comprehensive understanding of how cinema works both technically and culturally. - Help the student develop a personal understanding of major social theories as well as the capacity for expressing and analyzing cinematic narrative. - Teach structural, cultural, semiotic and linguistic theories which help the student identify significant social-cultural themes within cinematic narrative. - Encourage students to understand the field of cinema production and its role in changing public opinion.


This course offers the student a complex understanding of cinema, its structure and its meaning.

  • Analysis of the cinematic language and its relation to social theories and Consumer Culture Theory.
  • Theoretical basis of the cultural questions represented through cinema and their relationship to social and psychological needs.
  • How story structure guides our emotional response and therefore how structuring a story can lead to social change.
  • The vision of key films or streaming episodes in order to understand their lingustic development and social significance as well as their productive complexities, such as cinematography, production and mis-en-scene.

The course is based on the vision and subsequent in-class or on-line discussion of specific films or streaming episodes which have attracted the public's attention for various motives. The technical as well as stylistic elements of a film will be discussed in order to render the student capable of analysing story, production and the commercial value of a script.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)


At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Analyze the semiotic meaning of any scene in any film.
  • Understand the social theories at the basis of a film's narrative and the protagonist's relation to society.
  • Identify the cinematographic elements utilzed in a film's narration.
  • Understand how story structure is translated into cinematic narration.
  • Appreciate various genres of film from various cultures.
  • Distinguish the anthropological as well as cultural values expressed in a film's narrative.


At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Evaluate the sociological and psychological basis for a films cultural appeal.
  • Understand and evaluate the professional roles connected to the production of a film.
  • Relate a film's theme to a larger understanding of contemporary culture and social theory.
  • Recognize a story's potential appeal relating to the psychological and social treatment of the protagonist.

Teaching methods

  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Online lectures
  • Guest speaker's talks (in class or in distance)
  • Individual assignments
  • Interactive class activities on campus/online (role playing, business game, simulation, online forum, instant polls)


  • The in-class or on-line vision of films or episodes followed by group discussion on the intrinsic connection between technical, cultural and psychological elements in any scene .
  • In-class and on-line lectures.
  • Flash quizzes asking to relate cinematographic themes to social theories. 
  • An analysis of a Musical Video Clip as a mid-term exercise.

Assessment methods

  Continuous assessment Partial exams General exam
  • Written individual exam (traditional/online)
  • Individual assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)
  • Active class participation (virtual, attendance)
  x x


The assessment methods are identical for both attending and non attending students. Those attending will have more elements graded and their final grade will be a sum of those elements (mid-term paper, final exam) whereas non-attending students will be graded only on their final exam. 


The assessment is based on how well you analyse a film or a scene semiotically and cinematographically, how well you integrate an understanding of social theory in your film analysis and how you relate themes and character development into both the cultural understanding of the film as well as its cinmatographic narration. 

Teaching materials


Cod. 30475 Class Dispensa: Cinema & Social Theory, edited by Edward Rozzo - Pelican Editions, EGEA

Introducing Social Theory, Third Edition, Pip Jones and Liz Bradbury, Polity Press

Into the Woods, John Yorke, Penguin Press

Last change 11/12/2023 15:48