Contemporary cinema: the best films of the year

Course Dates: 09/01/23 - 13/03/23
Time: 12:30 - 14:30
Location: Keeley Street
A crucial course on contemporary/current cinema which coincides with the wide range of films released immediately before the Bafta/Oscar awards season. A weekly ‘what’s on’ previews these films and reviews films seen in the previous weeks. The first session is the drawing up of a definitive student list of the best films of the past year. This course is now more timely than ever as we continue return to cinemas and to the classroom at Keeley Street.
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Full fee £219.00 Senior fee £175.00 Concession £142.00

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Course Code: HF057

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Started Mon, day, 09 Jan - 13 Mar '23

Duration: 10 sessions (over 10 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?

This course participates in film history as it is being made by viewing and discussing the artistry behind current releases regardless of awards. The students are the critics and the student list a guide to the current state of contemporary cinema. This is a forum, an important centre for social networking, news, and film gossip plus wonderful films to explore and enjoy that you may have missed.

What will we cover?

How does the class list agree with/differ from critics’ reviews and awards choices?
What were the best films of the year in the context of the history of the cinema?
Do awards have any value?
Did you prefer mainstream or arthouse?
Did you watch in the cinema or online?
Which films were under the radar - wonderful films you may have missed if not alerted by this course?

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
- Begin to understand how to analyse films
- Discover common themes or motifs in contemporary films
- Feel confident to critique a film, verbally or in writing.

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

Suitable for all levels, this course requires only an enthusiasm to learn more about the value of cinema, to discuss films, share ideas and listen to the views of others. It provides an introduction to the subject but will also be valuable for those wishing to build on existing knowledge.

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

Opening lecture, viewing film extracts throughout with tutor-led discussion in the whole group and in small groups/breakout rooms. No homework, no prior preparation necessary. Digital handouts for further research.

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

No other costs. Please bring pad or device for note taking.
Recommended (but not required) reading:
Contemporary Cinema by John Orr is a major study of key developments in the cinema over the last thirty years. Edinburgh University Press 1998. It may not be immediately current but it’s a good read.

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.