Bader International Study Centre


at Herstmonceux Castle, U.K.



at Herstmonceux Castle, U.K.

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FILM 337/3.0 Urban Media and Performance

Instructor: Dr. Robert Hyland

Course Description

This course will be examining the cities of Paris and London as they have appeared in film. The city is a living, vibrant space filled with contradictions. Paris has been portrayed as the City of Lovers and the City of Light but it has also been depicted as a city of violence, prostitution and casual drug use. The spaces of the city are sites of human drama and the city becomes more than merely backdrop, adding to the ideological meaning of the stories being told. This course looks at the contradictory depictions of Paris and London from the Victorian age until the present day. 

Expected Learning Outcomes

This course is designed to look at how the city has become a figure of the popular imagination. Using a combination of critical theoretical approaches to city studies, and looking at the cinematic imagery of several world class cities, this course is designed to promote critical reflection of how contemporary mythmaking indoctrinates us into ideology. This course looks at how the cinematic city came about and explores the imagined relationship between cinema and Tokyo, Shanghai, Paris, London and Berlin.

Field Studies

Field Studies will include walking tours of Paris and London where students will examine first-hand how the cinematic city is constructed. Students will also visit the Tate Modern art gallery, where they will explore concepts of modernity and see how they have been applied to art and architecture.

Primary Research Expectations

Students will be looking at cultural texts, including art, literature, film and the cities themselves.  Research will involve examining how the ‘real’ city compares to that imagined by others, and expressed through their artwork.


The course will be assessed through a combination of research reports, presentations, and a long essay.