Semester: Wintersemester 2014/2015

3.02.112 Ü Written English: Writing about Film Noir


  • Donnerstag: 12:00 - 14:00, wöchentlich


“How I detest the dawn. The grass looks as though it’s been left out all night”
The Dark Corner (1946).

The beautiful, seductive and dangerous femme fatale, the private eye, the anti-hero, chiaroscuro, low-key lighting, high-angle shots, rain-washed streets, scuttling footsteps fading into the distance, crime, corruption, death, suffering, paranoia, tragedy, unhappiness and existential despair are all characteristics of film noir, a genre of the 1940s and 1950s with its roots in German Expressionism.

This course takes the example of film noir as a way of exploring evaluative and analytical film writing. Whilst websites such as Rotten Tomatoes tend to publish opinion-based reviews, academic film writing, like that found in the journal Sight & Sound, is based on a viewer’s “reading” of a film, which is supplemented by critical, technical analysis and argumentation. This course aims to develop your writing in both directions, enabling you to move from having an opinion on a film to augmenting your own “reading” of it with technical, genre-specific knowledge, subject-specific vocabulary and in-depth analysis.

This Written English course forms one half of the compulsory module ang311: Integrated Language Skills. The module is assessed via a portfolio and the assessment requirements here are a take-home essay and a 90 minute written language test. The grade will be added to the result from Spoken English. Homework assignments as required by the lecturer will count towards active participation.



  • ang311 Advanced Language Skills


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