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Cinema: Avant-garde (Stromingen 2)


Admission requirements

Enrolled in Film and Literary Studies BA program, or completion of one previous film related course.


This course is the second in the stream of courses within the Film track of the BA Film and Literary Studies and is also a module for the pre-master Film and Photography Studies.

During this course we will connect to and reflect on the continuities and discontinuities between the avant-gardes and experimental film during the 1920s-1980s. The course will combine a historical and theoretical understanding of the phenomenon of avant-garde and experimental film. Following a chronological timeline from the interwar period until today, we will cover movements and experiments with media including the historical avant-gardes, American underground cinema, experimental and independent film, television art, and video art, as well as the complex interactions between these different media practices and industrial cinema, on a local and global scale. We shall consider several film practices that deviate from the standard format of mainstream (commercial) movies and are presented elsewhere than in a regular cinema: in the museum, on the street, and in our living rooms.

We will consider the ways in which technological, political, and social developments influence and cross-pollinate with these aesthetic movements and screen cultures, touching on issues such as technological reproducibility, mass culture, liveness, surveillance, and changing experiences of time and space.

Course objectives

Upon completion of this course, the student will:

  • have acquired knowledge of the most important developments within the avant-garde cinemas of the 1920s-1980s including experimental film, expanded cinema, TV/video art, structuralist film, diary film, found footage film, and feminist film;

  • have gained insight in the interweaving of diverse media practices and image technologies within recent historical and contemporary visual culture;

  • have acquired knowledge of the most important theories in this field of research;

  • be able to identify, describe and interpret the most important forms of filmic avant-garde and multi-media practice since the 1920s;

  • be able to reflect on the above in a comprehensive manner in writing.


The timetables are available through MyTimetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Lecture

  • Seminar

Assessment method


  • Weekly Discussion Board posts

  • Take home exam
    5 Questions, 250 words each except last question.

  • Final paper
    Word count: 1500 words


  • Weekly Discussion Board posts (pass/fail)

  • Take home exam (50%)

  • Final paper (50%)


A resit is not possible for the take home exam.
The resit will involve the same subtest as the first opportunity.

Inspection and feedback

A feedback form will be provided for both. Digital submissions will be required via Turnitin and comments/corrections will be accessible to view for the student. Feedback and final mark will be available two weeks after the final submission date.

Reading list

Literature will be announced on Brightspace before the beginning of the course. Texts will be made available on Brightspace. Literature should be studied before each class.


Enrolment through MyStudyMap is mandatory.
General information about course and exam enrolment is available on the website.


  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office: Arsenaal.