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


Course Goals: by the end of this course, you will have...

  • A solid grasp of historical and current issues in Celtic cinema
  • A better critical understanding of how films operate on both a stylistic and a narrative level
  • An enriched knowledge of Celtic culture and Celtic cultural products
  • A healthy scepticism about the category 'Celtic Cinema'
  • The ability to dazzle your pals with a new smarty-pants film vocabulary, and to really impress them by analysing film style and how it relates to cultural representation.

    e.g. “The movie changes in a really cool way when they leave the field and go to the city and the picture does that wonky angle thingy” will gradually transform into: “The director uses a canted angle, along with a cluttered and washed-out mise-en-scène, to emphasise a shift away from conventions established by the pastoral genre,” or other such brainy gems...

Assignments & Evaluation

All assignments are due at the beginning of the relevant lecture, and all references must be assiduously documented.

Short Film Analysis - 20%
Midterm Test - 15%
Essay - 30%
Final Test - 25%
Participation - 10%

Note: A late penalty of 2% per weekday will be applied, unless the assignment is accompanied by a doctor's note. See the Assignments page for details, and the Resources page for links to writing resources.

Reading and Lectures

Readings listed under "Optional" are for deepening your knowledge, but are not mandatory to your preparation for a given lecture. I have put a number of books on reserve at the Short Term Loan room, Robarts Library. These books will be helpful in preparation for the essay in the second term. See Resources on this website for a link to the University of Toronto library site.

"Formal Structures: How Films Tell Their Stories" by Robert Kolker is noted as background reading about film form. The article summarises aspects of stylistic analysis and narration, defines common terms that will appear in subsequent readings, and will prove useful in preparing for the first assignment. Students should read it as early as possible, and will have a chance to discuss it explicitly in the class on October 5th.

A 'mini-analysis' sheet is provided near the beginning of the reader, and also here. I encourage everyone to use it after every screening, to record critical impressions about the films you see in class. It will be helpful for tracking your own learning in the course, will prepare you for the main assignments, and will provide a good starting point for exam studying. While you are encouraged to fill out the log after every screening, you must hand it in to me on three occasions, as noted on the outline.

A Note on Academic Integrity and Expectations.

Stress can arise around assignments and deadlines and the use of academic formats, so I think it is important to make the 'rules' clear, so we can understand them, but not dwell on them. When submitting work for a course, ALL references, whether explicit or implicit, directly quoted or paraphrased, must be accurately documented, both in the body of the essay (e.g. footnotes) and in a bibliography at the end of the paper. For further information, carefully read "How Not to Plagiarize," which you can find on the Resources page.

As for deadlines, I do think it is in everyone's best interest to just get work in on time. For late work, a penalty of 2% per weekday will be applied, up to a maximum of 20% (two weeks late). Assignments more than two weeks late may not be accepted. However, I will generally grant extensions if students email me early enough - that is, if you demonstrate planning, as opposed to last-minute panic. An extension can be considered granted only if you receive an email confirmation from me. You must then print out and staple this confirmation to the essay when you hand it in. Following these procedures is your responsibility.

Contact   Office Hours   Meetings

Site updated:
May 18, 2007

Thursdays 3-4 PM
(or by appointment)

Odette Hall Room 024 (OH)
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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