France on Screen: From Lumière to Godard

Please note: this is archived course information from 2022 for FRENCH 339.


An introduction to the major artistic and historical developments in French film, particularly as it relates to French culture, politics, history and society, as well as to major trends in World cinema, American cinema in particular. We begin with the birth of cinema, continue with a range of topics including the surrealist avant-garde of the 1920s, French poetic realism and film noir, and end with a detailed study of the French New Wave.

The course is open to students of both French and Film Studies and all lectures will be recorded and given in English. (Recorded audio-lectures in French are available for French Majors.) All films are subtitled and no knowledge of French is required of Film Studies majors. Conversely, no previous knowledge of film studies is supposed for French major students who will attend a separate discussion class in French, however it will be a definite advantage for French majors to have completed FRENCH 269.

The course will introduce and refine analytical tools for the appreciation of film, ie, the terminology and principles of film grammar and basic aspects of film theory.

Note: French major students must complete all assessments in French.


Coursework + exam

Availability 2022

Not taught in 2022


Coordinator(s) Associate Professor Deborah Walker-Morrison

Recommended Reading

Alan Williams, Republic of images.


Coursework + exam


FRENCH 339: 15 points


FRENCH 304, or 30 points at Stage II in Media, Film and Television


FRENCH 239, 739