American Gothic Cinema

Course Dates: 25/09/21 - 02/10/21
Time: 10:30 - 13:00
Location: Online
Explore American gothic cinema, past and present, through a range of key films, and discuss issues such as genre (including horror, mystery and melodrama), gender, narrative and film style. In doing so, we will consider the contexts of classical and post-classical Hollywood in which these films were produced, while also thinking about a range of critical accounts of American gothic cinema.
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
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Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £36.00

Course Code: HF182

Sat, day, 25 Sep - 02 Oct '21

Duration: 2 sessions (over 2 weeks)

Or call to enrol:020 7831 7831

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

This online film studies course considers a range of key themes in American gothic cinema, the institutional and formal production contexts of classical and post-classical Hollywood and gothic film style, and critical accounts of the American gothic film.

This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
- Earphones/headphones/speakers.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.

What will we cover?

• Genre and American gothic cinema
• Gender and American gothic cinema
• Narrative and film style in American gothic cinema
• Classical and post-classical Hollywood film style and mode of production
• Critical accounts of American gothic cinema

We will be looking at extracts from a range of films, including the following: The Bride of Frankenstein (1935), Cat People (1942), Gaslight (1944), The Spiral Staircase (1944), The Night of the Hunter (1955), The Haunting (1963), Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? (1964), Rosemary's Baby (1968).

A full list of the films featured on the course will be made available at the start of the course. Please note that prior viewing of films is not required. The tutor will provide reading/notes to accompany the course along with details of further reading.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

• Identify and evaluate key American gothic films
• Assess and discuss the function of genre in American gothic cinema
• Assess and discuss the function of gender in American gothic cinema
• describe narrative and film style in American gothic cinema
• Assess and describe the classical and post-classical Hollywood as production contexts for the gothic film
• Assess and discuss a range of critical accounts of American gothic cinema.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

The course is suitable for all levels and you do not require any particular skills - just an enthusiasm for film and discussing film. The course will provide an introduction to the subject but will also be useful for those wishing to build on existing knowledge in the subject area.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

Screenings of extracts from films, talks by the tutor, reading materials, group discussions. It might also be a good idea to see what you can find out about the subject in advance of the class (see suggested reading, above) but this is not essential.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

You will require a pen and notepad (or laptop/device) but the tutor will provide all other materials. The tutor will show extracts from films and you do not have to obtain them.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

Look for other Film Studies courses under History, Culture and Writing/film studies at

Jon Wisbey

Jon Wisbey teaches film at City Lit and Morley College. He was for many years a committee member and vice-chair of Chelmsford Film Club, screening contemporary and classic world cinema releases. He has an MA in Film Studies from the University of East Anglia. His teaching focuses on classical and post-classical Hollywood, European cinema, British cinema, film noir and horror cinema.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.