Contemporary cinema: the best films of the year

Course Dates: 08/01/24 - 25/03/24
Time: 18:00 - 19:30
Location: Keeley Street
This course on contemporary/current cinema crucially coincides with the wide variety of films released during Bafta/Oscars awards season. It provides a weekly ‘what’s on’ of new releases. The first session is a wide-ranging discussion and debate about favourite films of the past year, from which emerges a definitive student list of best films, modified as we view and review current films week-by-week. This course is now more timely than ever as we continue to support cinema-going. The course meets in City Lit’s own Cultureplex cinema at Keeley Street.
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Contemporary cinema: the best films of the year
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  • Course Code: HF012
  • Dates: 08/01/24 - 25/03/24
  • Time: 18:00 - 19:30
  • Taught: Mon, Evening
  • Duration: 12 sessions (over 12 weeks)
  • Location: Keeley Street
  • Tutor: John Wischmeyer

Course Code: HF012

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Started Mon, eve, 08 Jan - 25 Mar '24

Duration: 12 sessions (over 12 weeks)

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?

You become the critics as the course provides the means to analyse films through explorations of film technique and style and the stamp of authorship. The class is a forum, an important centre for social networking, news, and film gossip - plus - wonderful films to explore and enjoy—films that you may have missed.

What will we cover?

- What were the best films of the year?
- How does the class list agree with/differ from critics’ choices and awards nominations?
- Do awards have any value?
- Do you prefer mainstream or arthouse films?
- Do you watch in the cinema or online?
- Which films were under the radar - wonderful films you may have missed?

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

- Analyse the current state of the cinema and of cinemas
- Discover common themes or motifs in contemporary films
- Understand how to analyse films
- Feel confident to critique a film, verbally or in writing.

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

This is a course for those who are interested in cinema. No previous experience or film study is necessary but for those who have done previous study it will build on that intermediate knowledge.

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

Brief opening lecture illustrated by film clips followed by small group discussions feeding back to the whole group. No outside work necessary (although going out to the cinema would benefit you, the class and the film industry). Digital handouts for further research.

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

No other costs. Please bring notepad/device for note taking. Recommended (but not required) reading: ‘Contemporary Cinema’ by John Orr: a major study of cinema’s key developments at its centenary. Not exactly contemporary but a good foundation text. Edinburgh University Press 1998.

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

For a wide range of film courses on offer - ranging from one-day weekend courses to term-long courses both in the day and the evening please see our website at, 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.