South East Asia on Film
- Module Code:
- Year of study:
- Year 1
- Taught in:
- Term 2
South East Asia on Film examines the key issues raised by a series of Western films set in various parts of South East Asia (such as Java, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Burma and Vietnam). It looks at the significance of the external, visual perspective on the region, the encounter between Western characters and those of local origin; and the dramatic dilemmas which face the Western traveller/visitor to the region. In doing so it introduces students to a beginner’s study of the theoretical and critical perspectives of orientalism and postcolonialism as well as to the fundamental elements of critical theory with regard to film. Each of the films selected for viewing and discussion will in addition provide scope for the discussion of key issues pertinent to understandings of South East Asia and the most significant events in its political history. As a result the content of this course builds on the introductory lectures provided in Introduction to South East Asia (although it can be taken as a stand alone half unit and is not dependent on the previous course). It further provides a grounding for study in years 2,3 and 4 of thematic modules in South East Asian cinema.
Objectives and learning outcomes of the module
On successful completion of this module a student will be able to:
- understand the nature of the problems and nuances of studying South East Asia from an outside perspective
- be aware of the basic features of orientalism
- understand the impact of colonial and imperial power relations on the construction of an outside cultural perspective on South East Asia
- learn the principal, basic techniques of film theory and film viewing from a critical perspective together with having acquired background knowledge of the political and historical issues raised in Western films set in South East Asia
- extract and process information from cinematic and secondary sources, and to combine the two
- contribute to group discussion of the cinematic texts explored in this course
- learn how to contribute constructively to debates, how to accommodate the views of others in the learning group and how to present their own views with oral fluency and confidence
Total of 10 weeks teaching with 4 hours classroom contact per week consisting of a 1 hour lecture and a 1 hour seminar and a 2 hour film screening.
Method of assessment
Two reaction papers of 500 words each (30%); an essay of 1000 words to be submitted on day 5, week after reading week in the term in which the module is taught (30%); an essay of 1500 words to be submitted on day 5, week 1, in the term after the module is taught (40%).
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