Film and audiovisual research methodologies I and II (Master in Film and Screen Studies)

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Program details
Subject: Film and audiovisual research methodologies
Course: First
Semester: 1 and 2
Modality: Compulsory
Professors: Josep Lambies, Mario Barranco


The purpose of this course is to identify, analyse, present, discuss and develop research practices in the field of film and audiovisuals.

A practice is defined here fundamentally as a set of systematised actions, i.e. connected to each other in a complex and dynamic system to fulfil a specific function. For a practice to be a research practice, it must specify an epistemic/cognitive function in relation to a research topic or focus.

Furthermore, practices can be systemically connected to each other by configuring methods. In this sense, this course is a methodological course, i.e. it pursues a reflection on methods through an enquiry into the practices that shape them.


A first aim of this course is to clearly delineate research practices on and through film/audiovisual, i.e. to determine the actions and their systemic relations, the specific epistemic/cognitive functions, technologies and resulting artefact forms that constitute research practices on and through film/audiovisual.

The second aim of the course is to develop new research practices on and through film/audiovisual making and the third is to enable students to incorporate the practices described as well as the new practices to be developed into their research processes. An immediate possibility to be considered is the application of some of these practices in the process of TFMs.

The research practices to be discussed come from multiple sources: among others, the work of filmmakers, visual artists, film theorists and philosophers.


The research practices that will be thematised in this course refer, first of all, to two types of research foci. On the one hand, films and audiovisual artefacts, as well as their production process, can serve as a research focus. In this case, the practices at stake will be considered as film/audiovisual research practices. On the other hand, the research focus will be different from film, audiovisual artefacts and their production processes. In this case, the thematic practices will be understood as research practice through film/audiovisual. Film/audiovisual production will be considered in this case as the medium in which the practices take place.

Secondly, a further differentiation between practices refers to the predominant type of action that shapes a practice. In a non-categorical way, a distinction is made here between conceptual and perceptual practices. Conceptual research practices are predominantly based on language-based logical operations; perceptual research practices are primarily realised through aesthetic/aesthetic operations.

These two distinctions overlap in a matrix that can be applied to all research practices:


About cinema ——— + ———Through cinema



The contents are structured in 4-hour sessions.

  • First Session – Presentation of the course.
    • Clarification of the main concepts we will be working with. Strategies for studying the different research practices and clarification of the matrix.
  • Sessions 2-19 – Presentation of different research practices:
    • Harum Farocki: the film essay
    • Claudio Zulian: Films and Installations as Artistic Research
    • Frederik Wiseman: Critique of Representation (1)
    • James Benning: Criticism of Representation (2)
    • Heinz Hemighol: critique of representation (3), film as architectural research
    • Bill Viola: Audiovisual Installations as Immersive Devices
    • Phenomenological research practices (2 sessions)
    • Alex Arteaga: Aesthetic Practices of Very Slow Observation (2 sessions)
    • Rossellini and television. Television practice as a means of research and education. The search for the lost innocence of the image and the utopia of pure simplicity. The image as a vehicle of humanist culture.
    • Philosophy goes to the cinema. Deleuze and images(-): Cinema as a concept in philosophical research.
    • The Abecedaire and the filmed philosopher: incarnation of thought. Claire Denis and Jean-Luc Nancy: L’intrus, Vers Mathilde. Filmic practice as a practice of thought: thinking through film; cinematographic thought; filming through thought.
    • The anthropological cinema of Jean Rouch. The filmmaker as a man of science. Cinema as a mirror of the human: humanity through the looking glass.
    • Godard/Benjamin/Warburg. The Mnemosyne Atlas, The Book of Passages and Histoire(s) du cinéma. Constructive Historiography: Images as Historical Artefacts.
    • The Soft-cinema Project by Lev Manovich and Andreas Kratky. The image in a universe of data. From and beyond the hypertextual form.
    • The problem of the sign-image. The myth of filmic language. Hieroglyphs in Lindsay, Eisenstein and Epstein. Christian Metz and cinema as semiological research.
    • Philosophical filmmakers: Tarr, Grandrieux, Malick, Cronenberg. What are their practices? Authorship as a research activity.
    • Beyond entertainment: video games and interactivity as educational, sociological and psychological research practices.
    • No trespassing. Concepts as images: echoes and correspondences. The white puzzle. Suicidal thinking. Cinema and its distances: the between.
  • Sessions 20-25: Presentations by students of their own research practice proposals.


Each student will be required to actively participate in each session.

Each student is also required to formally present his/her research internship in a two-hour session structured and guided by him/her.

In addition, each student is required to submit a comprehensive written description of one of his/her internships.

On this basis, the grading structure for each student will consist of an assessment of his/her participation in the course (20%), an assessment of his/her presentation (50%) and an assessment of his/her written description of his/her practice (30%).


Arteaga, Alex, Aesthetic practices of very slow observation as phenomenological practices: steps to an ecology of cognitive practices, in: Ruukku, 14, 2020,

Bellour, Raymond, Entre-imágenes. Foto. Cine. Vídeo, Buenos Aires, Colihue, 2009.

Benjamin, Walter, Libro de los pasajes, Madrid, Akal, 2005

Benson, Thomas W and Anderson, Carolyn, Reality Fictions: The Films of Frederick Wiseman, Carbondale IL, Southern Illinois University Press, 2002

Burch, Noël, El tragaluz del infinito, Madrid, Cátedra, 1999, traducción de Francisco Llinas.

Checa Bañuz, Christian, No trespassing: De los cuerpos del cine a la conspiración contemporánea, Valencia, Shangrila Textos Aparte, 2018

Delbanco, Andrew, Willian T. Vollman et al., Frederick Wiseman, New York NY, The Museum of Modern Art, 2010

Deleuze, Gilles, La imagen-movimiento: Estudios sobre cine 1, Barcelona, Paidós, 1984

Deleuze, Gilles, La imagen-tiempo: Estudios sobre cine 2, Barcelona, Paidós, 1986

Deleuze, Gilles, Francis Bacon. Lógica de la sensación, Madrid, Arena Libros, 2002

Deleuze, Gilles, Cine I: Bergson y las imágenes, Buenos Aires, Cactus, 2009.

Deleuze, Gilles, Cine 2: Los signos del movimiento y del tiempo, Buenos Aires, Cactus, 2011

Didi-Huberman, Georges, Cuando las imágenes toman posición, Madrid, Visor, 2008

Didi-Huberman, Georges, La imagen superviviente, Madrid, Abada, 2009

Didi-Huberman, Georges, Atlas. ¿Cómo llevar el mundo a cuestas?, Madrid, TF,

Editores/Museo Reina Sofía, 2010

Guarner, Jose Luis, Roberto Rossellini, Madrid, Fundamentos, 1973

Eisenstein, Sergei M., La forma del cine, Méjico, Siglo XXI, 2003

Eisenstein, Sergei M., El sentido del cine, Méjico, Siglo XXI, 1997

Elsaesser, Thomas, Harun Farocki: Working on the Sightlines, Amsterdam, Amsterdam University Press,2004

Epstein, Jean, El cine del diablo, Buenos Aires, Cactus, 2014

Grant, Barry, Voyages of Discovery: The Cinema of Frederick Wiseman, Champaign IL, University of Illinois Press, 1992

Hanhardt, John, I Do Not Know What It Is I Am Like: The Art of Bill Viola, Philadelphia PA, Barnes Foundation, 2019

Lindsay, Vachel, The art of the moving picture, Norwood, Macmillan, 1916

Metz, Christian, Ensayos sobre la significación en el cine, Barcelona, Paidós, 2002.

Metz, Christian, Lenguaje y cine, Barcelona, Editorial Planeta, 1973

Nancy, Jean-Luc, Corpus, Madrid, Arena, 2003

Nancy, Jean-Luc, El intruso, Buenos Aires, Amorrortu, 2006

Philippe, Claude-Jean, Rossellini, Roberto, Diálogos casi socráticos con Roberto Rossellini, Barcelona : Anagrama, 1972

Rancière, Jacques, Las distancias del cine, Pontevedra, Ellago, 2012

Rodowick, David, What Philosophy Wants from Images, Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 2018.

Rossellini, Roberto, Un espíritu libre no debe aprender como esclavo: escritos sobre cine y educación, Barcelona, GG, 1979.

Rossellini, Roberto, El cine revelado, Barcelona, Paidós, 2000

Saussure, Ferdinand De, Curso de lingüística general, Buenos Aires, Losada, 2008

Smith, Joel, Experiencing Phenomenology, London, Routledge, 2016

Suárez, Juan Antonio, “Vachel Lindsay: el cine y los jeroglíficos de la Modernidad.”, en Archivos de la filmoteca, nº 50, Junio 2005

van Manen, Max, Phenomenology of Practice, London, Routledge, 2014

Warburg, Aby, Atlas Mnemosyne, Madrid, Akal, 2010

Zizek, Slavoj, Lacrimae rerum: ensayos sobre cine moderno y ciberespacio, Madrid, Debate, 2006.

Zizek, Slavoj, Todo lo que usted siempre quiso saber sobre Lacan y nunca se atrevió a preguntarle a Hitchcock, Buenos Aires, Manantial, 1994.

Zulian, Claudio, Images and vertigoes of the real. Interview to Claudio Zulian by Enric Berenguer. [Video file] Recovered from, 2014

Zulian, Claudio, Translocaciones. Interview to Claudio Zulian. [Video file] Recovered from, 2015