Christmas at the cinema: holiday favourites

Course Dates: 09/12/23
Time: 10:30 - 13:00
Location: Online
A Christmas cracker filled with seasonal films, from It’s a Wonderful Life to Die Hard, a carefully-curated cornucopia celebrating the genre of the Christmas film with classic clips and hidden gems: Scrooge as a film noir, Covent Garden market in the fifties, and a grown man dressed as an Elf. Full of delights, discussions and a quiz or two.
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 £29.00 Senior fee £23.00 Concession £19.00

Course Code: HF222

Sat, day, 09 Dec - 09 Dec '23

Duration: 1 session

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?

A seasonal film course revealing storytelling secrets in the most perennial of genres, the Christmas movie - often a film we watch at Christmas but not the rest of the year. Does it hold up as a proper film? View clips from classics and some hidden gems (e.g.The Night Before Christmas as you’ve never seen it). Make a case for other films to become classics including some deliciously dark winter tales. A great Christmas movie does more than simply set its story in the festive season. It captures something magical - the Christmas spirit.

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?

We will ask, can a Christmas film be enjoyable but darker than it has any right to be? Or cynical, and pessimistic? Try The Apartment (Billy Wilder 1960), or Scrooge (Henry Edwards 1935; Ronald Neame 1970): the main character is in a film noir: bitter, alone, having lost his chance for love.
We will consider what makes a classic Christmas film? Our exploration will take us to a range of historical periods and through the Christmas film traditions of numerous nations.

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

- Identify the genre traits associated with the Christmas film
- Analyse the narrative components and the visual style of the Christmas film
- View critically and enjoy a full range of films to continue to watch in the twelve days before (and after) Christmas.

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

All levels. For those who enjoy viewing films, discussing them and sharing ideas, and listening to the views of others.

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

There will be a short introductory talk followed by a viewing of a variety of Christmas film clips for discussion and analysis.

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

No other costs. The tutor will provide links to the online film clips for further viewing.

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

See our range of Film Studies courses by visiting and looking under History, Culture and Writing/Film Studies.

John Wischmeyer

John Wischmeyer (MA in Film Theory) set up, ran and programmed his own cinema in West London and has since taught film studies at the former Gainsborough studio, the BFI and City Lit since 1999, Hitchcock’s centenary year. John has covered a wide range film topics under the banner ‘Cinema Investigates America’ and has a particular interest in and considerable knowledge of Hitchcock, Hollywood studios, American independent cinema and film noir, film technique and style.

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.