French Film Noir

Course Dates: 14/03/21 - 21/03/21
Time: 10:30 - 13:00
Location: Online

Originating in the poetic realist film movement and the crime literature of writers such as Georges Simenon, French film noir is characterised in ways quite unlike its American counterpart. We will explore French film noir from the 1940s to the1970s and its revised appearance in French cinema since the 1980s, its key directors and stars, and critical accounts of its development and style.

This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.


What is the course about?

The development of French film noir since the 1940s, the films, directors, stars and critical accounts of the style.

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?

• The various phases of French film noir (its origins in the 1930s, the war years, the so-called 'social noir' of the 1940s/1950s, the gangster films of the 1950s, the intersection with the French new wave of the 1960s, post-noir/neo-noir/postmodern noir since the 1980s).
• Key examples of French film noir, e.g., Le Corbeau (1943), Quai des orfèvres (1947), Les Diaboliques (1954), Touchez pas au grisbi (1954), Rififi (1955), Le Doulos (1963), Le Samouraï (1967), Le Cercle Rouge (1970), Diva (1981).
• Key directors, e.g., Henri-Georges Clouzot, Jean Pierre Melville, Claude Chabrol.
• Key stars, e.g., Jean-Paul Belmondo, Lino Ventura, Alain Delon.
• Critical responses to French film noir (Ginette Vincendeau, 'French film noir' and Phil Powrie, 'French neo-noir to hyper-noir', in Andrew Spicer (ed.), European Film Noir, Manchester University Press, 2007).

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

• Describe and evaluate the history and development of French film noir.
• Identify and evaluate key examples of French film noir.
• Identify key directors and evaluate their style and contribution to French film noir.
• Identify key stars and evaluate their roles in French film noir.
• Evaluate critical accounts of French film noir.

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, 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 (see the reading and films mentioned 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.

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

Look for other Film Studies courses at, Culture and Writing/Film Studies.

Tutor Biographies
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.

Book your place

Course Code: HF186

Sun, day, 14 Mar - 21 Mar '21

Duration: 2 sessions (over 2 weeks)

Full fee: £59.00
Senior fee: £47.00
Concession: £36.00

Or call to enrol: 020 7831 7831

Any questions?
or call 020 7492 2652

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.