Script Analysis 1

Display Schedule

Code Completion Credits Range Language Instruction Semester
311SA1 Z 3 2T English winter and summer

Subject guarantor


Name of lecturer(s)


Learning outcomes of the course unit

Students should become familiar with structure, narrative and story element, such as character, theme, setup, main tension, central dramatic question, antagonist, conflict, the three act structure and its development as well as its functional deviations; techniques and specific issues of film writing and narration, difference between dramatic and literary storytelling etc. Dialogue, the dramatic use of props and costumes, staging and the creation of atmosphere as employed in the screenplay as well as realization are also covered.

Students will be expected to recognize these dramatic and narrative elements and to present a cogent analysis for a final paper.

Mode of study

Screening + lecture and discussion. Each film is screened in full length, accompanied by close analysis by the lecturer, while students are also encouraged to provide their input.

Prerequisites and co-requisites


Course contents

The purpose of this course is to study films from a dramaturgical perspective, to demonstrate diverse narrative techniques, dramatic structures and genre forms, and to closely examine the craft of screenwriting, with special attention given to characters’ dynamics and development.

The course is open to all FAMU students including visiting programs.


Course outline /calendar:

(please note, each film screening and lecture is split in two sessions)

Class 1 + 2 : October 1 and October 8: Taxi Driver (USA, 1976, dir. Martin Scorsese, written by Paul Schrader)

Class 3 + 4 : October 15 and October 22: The Graduate (USA, 1967, dir. Mike Nichols, written by Calder Willingham and Buck Henry, based on the eponymous book by Charles Webb)

Class 5 + 6 : October 29 + November 5: The Full Monty (UK, 1997, dir. Peter Cattaneo, written by Simon Beaufoy)

Class 7 + 8 : November 12 + November 19: The Crying Game (Ireland, UK, Japan, 1992, written and directed by Neil Jordan)

Class 9 + 10 : November 26 + December 3: The Hunt (Jagten, Denmark, 2012, dir. Thomas Vinteberg, written by Tobias Lindholm and Thomas Vinterberg)

Class 11 + 12 : December 10 + December 17: Breaking Bad – Pilot Episode (USA, 2008, written and directed by Vince Gilligan)

Recommended or required reading

General reading:

Aristotle. Poetics. Translated by Gerald Else. University of Michigan Press, 1967.

Aronson, Linda: The 21st Century Screenplay: A Comprehensive Guide to Writing Tomorrow's Films. Silman-James Press, 2011.

Bordwell, David. Narration in Fiction Film. University of Wisconsin Press, 1985.

Field, Syd. Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting. Dell Publishing, 1994.

Thompson, Kristin. Storytelling in the New Hollywood: Understanding Classical Narrative Technique. Harvard University Press, 1999.

In addition, SCREENPLAYS (if available) for the films screened in classes will be provided to students and it is strongly recommended that they familiarize themselves with the scripts BEFORE the corresponding class.

You can find the available screenplays as well as Thompson’s book in .pdf in the shared dropbox folder:

Assessment methods and criteria

Attendance 25%

Final Paper 75%

For the Final Paper, the student selects one of the films screened during the semester and chooses a scene or sequence to analyse in detail with particular focus on its role in the overall structure of the film (narrative as well as in terms of character development). Please note, solely describing the scene does not substitute an analysis!

2 pages in length, to be delivered to the lecturer ( on the date of the final class via email in .pdf titled STUDENT’SSURNAMEFILMTITLESA1.pdf – DEADLINE December 17 2019.

It is not possible to get the credit for the course without the final paper.



Further information

This course is an elective for all students of this school

Schedule for winter semester 2019/2020:

room 107
Room No. 1

(Lažanský palác)
(lecture parallel1)
Date Day Time Tutor Location Notes No. of paralel
Tue 12:20–13:55 Lucia KAJÁNKOVÁ Room No. 1
Lažanský palác
lecture parallel1

Schedule for summer semester 2019/2020:

The schedule has not yet been prepared

The subject is a part of the following study plans