SMC354Y: Celtic Cinema

Instructor: Natalie Harrower

*Note: this website provides a snapshot of the 2006-7 course, offered at the University of Toronto.






Detailed Outline


Screening Schedule







Celtic Cinema students:
Thanks for a fantastic year! ~NH


Note: You can download a printer-friendly version of the complete syllabus on the Handouts page

Jump to Term 2

Week 1: September 14
Introduction: The Study of Celtic Cinema
No Screening
Kolker, Robert. Film, form, and culture. 2nd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2001. Ch 2: “Formal Structures: How Films Tell Their Stories,” pp. 18-63.


Week  2: September 20 & 21[Download Outline]
Early Cinematic Representations 1: Wales
Screening: How Green Was My Valley (John Ford, 1941)
*Submit Mini Analysis
Richards, Jeffrey. Films and British National Identity: from Dickens to Dad’s army. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1997. Chapter 8: Wales and Ireland, pp. 212-251.


Week 3: September 27 & 28 [Download Outline]
Early Cinematic Representations 2: Scotland
Screenings: Basic Film Terms: A Visual Dictionary (Sheldon Renan, 1970)
Whisky Galore! (Alexander Mackendrick, 1949)
* Discussion of the Robert Kolker chapter.
McArthur, Colin. "Scotland and Cinema: The Iniquity of Fathers," pp.40-69 in Colin McArthur, ed. Scotch Reels. London: British Film Institute, 1982.

Petrie, Duncan. Screening Scotland. London: BFI Pub., 2000. Introduction (pp. 1-12) and pp. 42-47.


Week 4:  October 4 & 5 [Download Outline]
Subverting Scottish Stereotypes? The Case of Local Hero
Screening: Local Hero (Bill Forsyth, 1983)
Petrie, Screening Scotland. Chapter 7: A Scottish Art Cinema, pp. 148-171.

Brown, John. "Land beyond Brigadoon," Sight & Sound Winter 1983-84. Vol. 53 iss. 1 pp.40-46.


Week 5: October 12 [Download Outline]
Formal Challenges in New Scottish Cinema 1
Screening: Orphans (Peter Mullan, 1997)  Note: this screening will take place as part of the “Speaking Across the Frame: Language and Culture in European Cinema” film festival. Details TBA. Consequently, there will be no screening on Wed. October 11.
Martin-Jones, David, “Orphans, a work of minor cinema from post-devolutionary Scotland”,
Journal of British Cinema and Television, Vol. 1 Issue 2. 2005


Week 6: October 18 & 19 [Download Outline]
Early Cinematic Representations 3: Romanticising Ireland
Screening: The Quiet Man (John Ford, 1952)
Kennedy, Harlan. "Shamrocks and Shillelaghs: Idyll and Ideology in Irish Cinema," in James
MacKillop, ed. Contemporary Irish cinema: from The quiet man to Dancing at
Lughnasa. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1999, pp.1-10.

McLoone, Martin. Irish film: the emergence of a contemporary cinema. London: British Film Institute, 2000. Chapter 2: Traditions of Representation: Romanticism and Landscape, pp. 33-59.


Week  7: October 25 & 26 [Download Outline]
Early Cinematic Representations 4: Documenting Ireland
Screening: Man of Aran (Robert Flaherty, 1934)
* Submit Mini Analysis
Gibbons, Luke. From Chapter 7, “Romanticism, Realism and Irish Cinema,” in Rockett, Kevin, Luke Gibbons, and John Hill. Cinema and Ireland.  London: Croom Helm, pp. 194-203.

McLoone, Martin. “Man of Aran,” in McFarlane, Brian (ed.) The Cinema of Britain and Ireland. London: Wallflower, 2005.


Week  8: November 1 & 2 [Download Outline]
The Heritage Industry: Landscape, Tradition and Modernity
Screening: The Field (Jim Sheridan, 1990)
Pettitt, Lance. Screening Ireland: film and television representation. New York: St. Martin's Press, 2000. Chapter 6: Between Heritage and Hollywood, 1988-1992, pp. 114-136.

O'Toole, Fintan. "Tourists in Our Own Land," in Fintan O'Toole, Black hole, green card: the
disappearance of Ireland. Dublin: New Island Books, 1994, pp.33-50.

–––––Short Film Analysis due November 9 –––––


Week 9: November 8 & 9 [Download Outline]
Towards a Scottish National Cinema?
Screening: Trainspotting (Danny Boyle, 1996)
Petrie, Screening Scotland. Chapter 8: The New Scottish Cinema: Institutions, pp. 172-190.

Street, Sarah. “Trainspotting,” in Forbes, Jill and Sarah Street, European cinema: an introduction. New York: Palgrave, 2000, pp. 182-193.


Week 10: November 15 & 16 [Download Outline]
Welsh History 1: Language and Poetics
Screening: Hedd Wyn (Paul Turner, 1992)
No Readings
*Submit Mini Analysis


Week 11: November 22 & 23 [Download Outline]
Welsh History 2: Language and Ethnicity
Screening: Solomon and Gaenor (Paul Morrison, 1999)
Short reviews


Week 12: November 29 & 30 [Download Outline]
Short Films: Industry and Aesthetics (and review for midterm)
Screening: Selected shorts funded by the Irish Film Board
McLoone, Irish film. Chapter 7: Short Films and Plural Visions, pp. 151-162


Week 13: December 6 & 7
No Screening/Readings


–––––Term Two –––––

Week 14: January 10 & 11
Screening the Troubles 1: Issues and Approaches [Download Outline]
No Screenings
McLoone, Irish film. Chapter 3: Traditions of Representation: Political Violence and the Myth of Atavism, pp. 60-84.

McIlroy, Brian. Shooting to kill: filmmaking and the 'troubles' in Northern Ireland. Trowbridge: Flicks Books, 1998. Chapter 4: Troubled Fictions: Contemporary Irish Film, pp. 70-90.


Week 15: January 17 & 18
Screening the Troubles 2: Style and Authenticity
Screening: Bloody Sunday (Paul Greengrass, 2002) [Download Outline]
Barton, Ruth. Irish National Cinema. London: New York: Routledge, 2004. Chapter 10: Northern Ireland, pp. 157-178.


Week 16: January 24 & 25
Screening the Troubles 3: Gender and Genre [Download Outline]
Screening: The Crying Game (Neil Jordan, 1992)
Pramaggiore, Maria. “‘I Kinda Liked You as a Girl’ Masculinity, Postcolonial Queens, and the ‘Nature’ of Terrorism” in MacKillop, James, ed. Contemporary Irish Cinema: From the Quiet Man to Dancing at Lughnasa. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1999, pp. 85-97.

Kotsopoulos, Apasia and Josephine Mills, “Gender, genre and 'postfeminism'” Jump Cut June 1994. Vol. Iss. 39 pp.15-24.


Week 17: January 31 & February 1
Screening the Troubles 4: Postmodern Irony [Download Outline]
Screening: Divorcing Jack (David Caffrey, 1998)
McIlroy, Brian. Shooting to kill: filmmaking and the 'troubles' in Northern Ireland. Trowbridge: Flicks Books, 1998. Chapter 7: Visioning the Other: Representing the Protestants in Fiction Film, pp. 113-124.

Hill, John. "Divorcing Jack” in McFarlane, Brian. The Cinema of Britain and Ireland. London: Wallflower Press, 2005, pp. 227-236.


Week 18: February 7 & 8
Controversies in Representing History 1: Mel [Download Outline]
Screening: Braveheart (Mel Gibson, 1995)
McArthur, Colin. Brigadoon, Braveheart and the Scots: Distortions of Scotland in Hollywood Cinema. London: I.B. Tauris, 2003.
Chapter 5: Scotland and the Braveheart Effect, pp. 123-136;
Chapter 8: ‘That’s Show Business!: The ‘What’ and ‘Why’ of Braveheart’s Historical Distortions, pp. 178-193;
Chapter 9: It Takes One to Know One: Braveheart’s Appeal to the Proto-Fascist Psyche, pp. 192-208.

––––– Research Proposal due Feb 15 –––––


Week 19: February 14 & 15 [Download Outline]
Controversies in Representing History 2: Mick
Screening: Michael Collins (Neil Jordan, 1996)
Barton, Ruth. Irish National Cinema. Chapter 8: Another Country: The Representation of History and the Past, pp. 130-147.

Crowdus, Gary. “The Screenwriting of Irish History: Neil Jordan’s Michael Collins,” Cineaste, Vol 22, No. 4, 1997, pp. 14-19.

Landy, Marcia. "The International Cast of Irish Cinema: The Case of Michael Collins." Boundary 2: An International Journal of Literature and Culture 27.2 (2000), pp. 21-44.

––––– Reading Week Feb 19-23 –––––

Week 20: February 28 & March 1 [Download Outline]
New Welsh Cinema 1: Audience Response
Screening: Twin Town (Kevin Allen, 1997)
Woodward, Kate. “Small Nation—Big Screen: Film in Wales during the 1990s” in Gifford, James and Gabrielle Zezulka-Mailloux, Culture and the State: Nationalisms, 2003, pp. 189-197.

Plus: A selection of reviews


Week 21: March 7 & 8 [Download Outline]
New Welsh Cinema 2: The American Dream
Screening: House of America (Marc Evans, 1997)
No Readings

––––– Research Essay due March 15 –––––

Week 22: March 14 & 15 [Download Outline]
Irish Independents 1: Landscape and Language
Screenings: Fluent Dysphasia (Daniel O'Hara, 2004); Poitin (Bob Quinn, 1978)
White, Jerry. “The Films of Bob Quinn: Towards an Irish Third Cinema,” Cineaction 37 (June 1995), p. 3-10

Barton, Ruth. Irish National Cinema. Chapter 5: Irish Independents: The emergence of a critical, independent cinema in the 1970s and 1980s, pp. 85-103.


Week  23: March 21 & 22 [Download Outline]
Irish Independents 2: America and Emigration
Screening: Korea (Cathal Black, 1996)
McLoone, Irish Film. Chapter 9: Cultural Identity: The American Friend and the European
Neighbour, pp. 184-200

Roach, Joseph. "Flickless in Dublin." Yale Journal of Criticism: Interpretation in the Humanities 15.1 (2002): 217-19.

O’Toole, Fintan. “The Ex-Isle of Erin: Emigration and Irish Culture” in Mac Laughlin, Jim, ed. Location and Dislocation in Contemporary Irish Society : Emigration and Irish Identities. Cork: Cork University Press, 1997, pp. 158-178.


Week 24: March 28 & 29 [Download Outline]
Formal Challenges in New Scottish Cinema 2
Screenings:     Films by Lynne Ramsay (Two shorts and a feature)
                        1. Small Deaths (1995)
                        2. Gasman (1997)
                        3. Ratcatcher (1999)
Petrie, Screening Scotland. Chapter 9: The New Scottish Cinema: Themes and Issues,
pp. 191-221.   

Week 25: April 4 & 5 [Download Outline]
Revisiting the Idea of a “Celtic Cinema”: The Future as ‘anywhere-but’?
Screening: Goldfish Memory (Liz Gill, 2002)
McLoone, Martin. "Challenging colonial traditions: British cinema in the Celtic fringe" Cineaste Sept 2001. Vol. Xxvi Iss. 4 pp.51-54.

Jackson, Ellen-Raissa. "Dislocating the Nation: Political Devolution and Cultural Identity on Stage and Screen” in Eleanor Bell and Gavin Miller, Scotland in Theory: Reflections on Culture & Literature. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2004. 107-119.


Week 26: April 12
Final Test in class

Contact   Office Hours   Meetings

Site updated:
May 18, 2007

Thursdays 3-4 PM
(or by appointment)

Odette Hall Room 024 (OH)
Click here for Directions


Wednesdays 12-3 PM
Media Commons at Robarts Library, 3rd floor, Room 2 (RL)

Thursdays 4-6 PM
Carr Hall Room 406 (CR)
Click here for Map