Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo: scene by scene
Time: 10:30 - 13:00
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Course Code: HF019
Duration: 2 sessions (over 2 weeks)
What is the course about?
This online film studies course provides a close analysis of one of Hitchcock's most intriguing works. It explores the film's unusual narrative, structure and apparent rejection of more immediate Hitchcock pleasures to explain its reputation and its more recent re-evaluation by critics. Vertigo came top of Sight and Sound's most recent ten-yearly poll of leading critics in 2012 - it will be interesting to see of it retains that position in 2022.
The course will include a background to Hitchcock's work and style as a whole and its significance for film studies. The course will consider the film's production and its place in Hitchcock's output - in this case as part of his run of films at Paramount. No prior reading is required though you may wish to consider the following:
• Vertigo by Charles Barr (BFI, 2002).
• Hitchcock by François Truffaut (various editions).
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.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
• Vertigo, narrative and structure
• Vertigo and Hitchcock's film style
• Vertigo, 'spectatorship', voyeurism and the audience
• Vertigo and its position in Hitchcock's oeuvre
• Hitchcock and authorship
• Vertigo's critical reputation.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
• Describe Vertigo's narrative and structure
• Describe and evaluate Hitchcock's film style in Vertigo
• Describe how spectatorship and voyeurism function in Vertigo and its significance for the audience
• Describe the production of Vertigo and its position in Hitchcock's oeuvre
• Describe the concept of authorship and evaluate Hitchcock as an auteur
• Evaluate a range of critical accounts of Vertigo.
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?
A screening of Vertigo, talks by the tutor, reading materials, small and large group discussions. It might also be a good idea to see what you can find out about the subject in advance of the class but this is not essential.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
You will require a pen and paper (or laptop/device) but the tutor will provide all other materials such as handouts. The tutor will show extracts from the film and you do not have to obtain it.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Please look for Film Studies courses on our website at www.citylit.ac.uk/ History, Culture and Writing/Film Studies.
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.