German Expressionism, Auteur Theory and Postmodern Cinema | Alison

Diploma in German Expressionism, Auteur Theory and Postmodern Cinema

Immerse yourself in German expressionism, Japanese masters, auteur theory, postmodernism and more in this free course.

Media and Journalism
Free Course
Expressionism in German filmmaking, auteur theory and postmodern cinema are the central thrusts of this free online course. You will also delve into the classic works of the Italian and Japanese masters and the major filmmakers of New Hollywood (referred to as American New Wave or the Hollywood Renaissance). Study how different genres in film came about and the emergence of the western as a complete cinematic genre of its own.
  • Duration

    10-15 Hours
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In this free online course on German expressionism, auteur theory and postmodern cinema, you will study the key features of expressionism in German cinema, including its origins and the historical background of film noir. You will look at how film noir developed from the 1940s and 1950s onwards and how it was characterized by a downbeat atmosphere and graphic violence. You will then study radical culture phenomena and breakthroughs that happened around that period and just after, including the civil rights movement from the mid-1950s, the Stonewall riots for gay rights in the late 1960s and the Woodstock music festival in 1969.

This course will also describe the movement of neorealism in Italian cinema and how it became a vehicle for filmmakers interested in the vivid description of history and society. You will learn about Italian and Japanese cinema and the masters who created its canonical films. Next, study auteur theory in Hollywood and how ‘auteurs’ (or directors who are so influential that they essentially become the sole creators of the movie, which is actually a collaborative piece of art) make use of mise en scene to tell a story (the arrangement of all the elements that appear on the screen, from the set and lighting to the production design and film texture). In addition, you will learn about the concept of ‘genres’ and different categories of genres, such as poetry, drama and fiction. Finally, you will study a brief overview of postmodernism in cinema and its essential features.

This course is aimed at meeting the interests and needs of career professionals who want to develop a deeper understanding of German expressionism, auteur theory and postmodern cinema and for students who wish improve their theoretical knowledge of the global film industry. If you start the course now, you can improve your knowledge of film studies today.

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Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this course you will be able to:

  • Describe German expressionism and the historical background of film noir
  • Identify the relationship between film noir and German expressionism in detail
  • Explain Italian neorealism with a brief background of Italian cinema
  • Discuss auteur theory in Hollywood
  • Explain how auteurs make use of mise en scene to create their signature style
  • Analyze the work of screenwriter Paul Schrader and director Martin Scorsese in Hollywood cinema
  • Explain the concept of genres in cinema
  • Describe the work of American film theorist Dudley Andrews
  • Discuss postmodernism in cinema and its features
  • Explain the western as a classic American genre in detail


All Alison courses are free to enrol, study and complete. To successfully complete this Diploma course and become an Alison Graduate, you need to achieve 80% or higher in each course assessment. Once you have completed this Diploma course, you have the option to acquire an official Diploma, which is a great way to share your achievement with the world. Your Alison Diploma is:

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