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Over onsFaculteit der LetterenOrganisatieBestuur, afdelingen en medewerkersAfdelingenDepartment of Arts, Culture and Media

Specialization Film Studies - Arts, Culture and Media - |MA Arts and Culture

One-Year specilalization With Focus on Film Studies
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Film Today: Stories, Emotions, Technologies

The department of Arts, Culture, and Media at the University of Groningen offers a one-year international Master’s degree programme with a specialization in Film Studies. The specialization Film Today: Stories, Emotions, Technologies (60 ETCS) allows students to focus exclusively on recent and current developments in film and moving-image culture. Five courses corresponding with the expertise of our international film staff are open to the participants. These courses deal with: a) new types of storytelling in film and television, b) recent forays into viewer emotions and experiences, c) current research on new media technologies, d) new formats and changing aesthetics in documentary filmmaking and e) the history, theory and practice of art criticism, including film criticism.

1.) Narrative Complexity in Contemporary Film and Television : In recent years one of the most striking developments in audiovisual storytelling has been the emergence of complex films of directors like Christopher Nolan, David Lynch or Shane Carruth and television series such as The Wire or Lost. But what makes forking-path, multiple-draft, multi-linear, puzzle or impossible puzzle films complex? What difficulties do these movies pose? And what is engaging about their challenges? One key assumption is that appropriate answers to these questions should include an investigation on viewers’ cognitive experience and meaning-making processes.

2.) Emotions and Experiences: Over the last two decades film studies has devoted increasing attention to the viewer’s emotions and experiences. Film scholars ask questions like: What is the difference in experience between a fiction film, a documentary and a home movie? What experiences do horror films, melodrama or pornography enable? How do cinematic emotions like disgust, fear and being moved to tears feel? And do viewers experience films differently when they watch it with others or alone, in a crowded cinema with anonymous co-viewers or in front of the television?

3.) New Film Technologies : Not only has the cinema been saturated with hardware from early on, but people in the film industry have also been quick to understand that new technological inventions demanded a skilful and artful use. Hence technological innovation has played a major role in the history of filmmaking and film viewing practices up to this day. Questions regarding the use and impact of (new) moving image technologies have now moved to the forefront of Film and Media Studies. In our Film Studies track we therefore assess the implications of digitisation and innovation, also for exhibiting, archiving, and curating practices.

4.) Documentary Now! New formats and Changing Aesthetics: In our current, heavily mediated world a variety of new formats and aesthetic practices are developing that reject traditional ideas of the documentary film. These include experimental uses of digital technologies, stylistic innovations and narrative styles as well as new collaborative working methods and viewing platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo. These recent developments have stimulated the documentary’s transformation from a somewhat marginal practice into a vital, innovative field. New media have stimulated the changing boundaries between professional (film-)art worlds, the private sphere of amateur creative practice and various forms of journalism and popular culture, that interact in ways previously inconceivable. We will map this rich new field from not only a historical-theoretical but also from a more technological and practical hands on perspective. How do these new formats change traditional story telling? What kind of topics are explored in relation to these new formats? And what are the consequences in terms of social and economical relations and political agency?  

5.) Art Criticism: What is the purpose of reviewing films? What is the place of the critic today? How do the various art disciplines differ in judging and evaluating art? Who are the major proponents of criticism in the various art forms and what makes their critical activity stand out from others? And: What are the criteria for a good review? These are important questions students can focus on in a course that deals with the history, theory as well as the practice of art criticism, including a heavy emphasis on film criticism.

All courses are taught in English. Some of them will allow for more creative and practice-based course work, such as producing an audiovisual essay. Our professional network provides numerous opportunities for internships and exchange programs with other universities (e.g., the Sorbonne in Paris, the Free University Berlin, the University of Pretoria in South Africa). Film students have access to the university’s historic Film Archive for hands-on education and research. According to the International Student Barometer the University of Groningen is currently ranked no.1 in the Netherlands. And last but not least, Groningen is a lively and international student city with thriving performance and exhibition platforms, multiple (art house) cinemas and major cultural festivals.


For further information please contact Annie van den Oever
or Julian Hanich .

See here for more information about application and admission.

Film Staff

Dr. S.I. (Susan) Aasman - Film and media history, home movies, documentary

Dr. J. (Julian) Hanich - Film phenomenology, emotion studies, film aesthetics, film style, genre studies

Dr. M. (Miklós) Kiss - Narrative and cognitive approaches to film, embodied cognition, contemporary complex cinema, film analysis, videographic film studies (audiovisual essay), visualization (narrative mapping), 3D cinema

Dr. A. (Annelies) van Noortwijk - Documentary studies, avant-garde film, film and questions of ethics, engagement and resistance

Prof. Dr. A.M.A. (Annie) van den Oever - Film and media theory, philosophy, and aesthetics. Program director of disciplinary film masters at the Dept. of Arts, Culture, and Media Studies. Director of the Faculty Minor Film in Culture. Head of the Film Archive

A. (Ari) Purnama - Ma. PhD candidate. Poetics of Asian Cinemas, particularly East and Southeast Asian cinemas

T. (Tom) Slootweg - Ma. PhD candidate. Media history and memory, amateur film

S. (Steven) Willemsen - Ma. PhD candidate. On the Cognitive & Hermeneutic Dynamics of Complex Film Narratives

Laatst gewijzigd:04 oktober 2017 16:08