South Africa: Film Practice as Applied Theory

Details on Motion Picture Production, Research Methodology and Film Theory courses 2009 – 2014.

ist of courses from scripting to productionFILM THEORY

  • National Diploma Year 3: Cinema of the Mavericks. The course in alternative cinema practices, looking at the work of  certain directors from a range of different national sources but whose films have one theme in common – the representaion of the historical moment. Titles therefore inclded The Wrong Man (Hitchcock), Badlands (Malick), Heavens’s Gate (Cimino),  The Battle of Algiers (Pontervorvo), Oktober (Eisenstein) and Reds (Beatty). Linking the former two titles was a special screening of Russian Ark by Sokurov. Student outcomes of the course blended class tests based on selected sequences from the films and a practical film exercise wherein they were to design and produce their own plot point from South African history.

For more details, see

  • National Diploma Year 4 (B-tech): Cinema of the Independents. This course is intended to sharpen student and appreciation of world cinema and attend to core elements in the film making process. Films from a range of countries and directors are screened and analysed within a specific thematic rubic – the Knowing Eye.
  • The curricular tracked the work of the following directors: Hitchcock (Rear Window), Errol Morris (SOP), Antonioni (Blow Up), Coppola (the Conversation), von Honnersmarck (Lives of Others), Roeg (Bad Timing), Kurasawa (Rashomon), Welles (Citizen Kane) and, finally, von Donnersmarck (The Lives of Others). The common emphasis through the films is the pursuit of knowledge by an investigator and the narrative depiction of deductive and inductive thinking.
  • As such the viewing programme was/is designed to compliment the same student’s course in Research Methodology that was titled Rear Window Investigators, see below.

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY – Year 4 Postgrad, towards Disseration Thesis

  • Rear Window Investigators: a one-semester course designed to introduce students to the formal ways and means of researching, designing, writing and delivering a dissertation – in partical fulfillment of their B-tech course. As noted above, essential notions of deductive and inductive thinking were discussed in close reference to films as analysed in Theory classes.


  • National Diploma Year 2: Genre Short, TV Commercial, Festival Short
  • B-tech Post Graduate: CILECT Short, Indi Cinema 2 Docudramas, Graduation Film

A working example of combining theory, practice and research methodology can be found here in this short homage and practical critique of the French New Wave

Please note this page is still in reflective draft stage.

TUT Campus ideal

More here on the Film School


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