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MFCO216 New Zealand Cinema

A study of New Zealand film with emphasis placed upon historical and theoretical approaches.

This paper is designed as a study of New Zealand cinema in its institutional and historical context with regard to some key issues. These issues include: the political economy of filmmaking in New Zealand; the socio-historical context of both the subject matter and production environment of several films; problems that arise in trying to articulate precisely what "New Zealand cinema" is and, by extension, what New Zealand is and who New Zealand filmmakers are (and, for that matter, New Zealanders generally). Ultimately, this will lead us to consider discourses of identity pertaining to several overlapping and conflicting forces: national, transnational, ethno-cultural and postcolonial.

Paper title New Zealand Cinema
Paper code MFCO216
Subject Media, Film and Communication
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period Not offered in 2023 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $955.05
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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18 COMS, FIME or MFCO points
FIME 206
Schedule C
Arts and Music
Teaching staff

Convenor and Lecturer: Dr Davinia Thornley

Paper Structure
MFCO 216 is divided into five modules:
  • National identity, political economy and the production of culture
  • Contested histories: Imagining New Zealand's past
  • Postcolonial identities: New Zealand's 'melting pot'?
  • Space and warfare: Land/cityscapes and power
  • In pursuit of New Zealand-ness: Nationalism and transnationalism
  • Short Essay (1,500 words) 20%
  • Long Essay (2,000-2,500 words) 30% (25% plus 5% Hocken attendance)
  • Participation Exercises 15%
  • Evaluation (500 words) 5%
  • Mid-term and Final Tests 30% (15% each)
Teaching Arrangements
Lectures, tutorials, screenings and library visits (Central and Hocken).

Required readings will be available on Blackboard or in the course pack.

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Research, Self-motivation.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete the paper will:

  • Demonstrate in-depth understanding of the central concepts, theories and current areas of debate in the study of Aotearoa New Zealand cinema
  • Expand their viewing range and understanding of Aotearoa New Zealand films

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Not offered in 2023

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system