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Film studies

Enjoy a fresh look at big screen classics, ground-breaking titles and cult favourites featuring a cast of iconic names, former stars and the men and women who called the shots.

Check out our blog post on our new Cultureplex Ciné-Club, where once a week, for 12 weeks (and throughout the academic year in terms 2 and 3), we will watch and discuss film.

Courses available both in-person and online

We offer a range of courses allowing you to choose between online and in-person learning. All our courses are live, interactive, and taught by expert tutors. No matter how you prefer to learn, you’ll receive the same great City Lit experience. See our guide to online learning for more information about accessing our live online courses.

Study in-person, or online from the comfort of home, with classes that allow you to participate in discussions with fellow adult students and share your passion for Film as part of a learning community. We offer daytime, evening and weekend courses, both short and long. Our tutors are experts in their fields and experienced educators. Tutors share their knowledge and passion for Film through presentations, screenings, interactive discussion, analysis, and other activities.

Many students return to take more courses, telling us they enjoy being part of our City Lit literary community. Our popular courses often sell out quickly, so we invite you to browse and book your place now.

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  1. Film Studies Taster
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 3 Dec 2022 (and 4 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street (other locations are available)

    Tutors:  Paul Sutton
    Learn how to evaluate and discuss films while enjoying a working example of a City Lit Film Studies class. In this class we will view and explore clips from a number of films, including popular remakes, enabling us to consider and compare themes and techniques from differing filmmaking countries. There will be a chance to review – in brief – film courses at City Lit (January - July 2023).
    Full fee £10.00 Senior fee £10.00 Concession £10.00
  2. Christmas at the cinema: holiday favourites
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 10 Dec 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  John Wischmeyer
    A Christmas cracker filled with seasonal films, a carefully-curated cornucopia celebrating the genre and style of the Christmas movie with clips of classics and hidden gems: Scrooge as a film noir, the old Covent Garden open Every Day Except Christmas; and a grown man dressed as an Elf (Jon Favreau 2003). 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.
    Full fee £19.00 Senior fee £15.00 Concession £12.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  3. Contemporary cinema: the best films of the year
    Course start date:  Mon 9 Jan 2023 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  John Wischmeyer
    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.
    Full fee £219.00 Senior fee £175.00 Concession £142.00
    Rating:
    96% of 100
  4. Reading Images: Exploring Film Studies
    Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 11 Jan 2023 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Cristina Massaccesi
    This comprehensive introductory course provides an overview of the main historical, technical and theoretical aspects of filmmaking and film analysis.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £64.00
  5. Powerful women of the cinema
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 28 Jan 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Graham Rinaldi
    How is film stardom created? Who creates it and what for? These are the underlying questions behind reading the images of film stars – especially stars who happen to be female. This course examines the working lives of four women who exemplified the notion of screen stardom and acting.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
  6. From families and fantasy to Independents and franchises: Hollywood cinema since 1980
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 29 Jan 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Jon Wisbey
    Explore Hollywood cinema since 1980, an era marked by the industry's consolidation of its strength and a focus on sequels, series and franchise films featuring adventure, fantasy and comedy themes aimed at younger audiences and families. We will also consider new technologies and exhibition platforms, and the role of the independent sector in catering for both specialist and wider audiences.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
  7. British Independent Film Directors
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 2 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  John Wischmeyer
    Ken Loach came from television, Mike Leigh and Terence Davies from film school. Lindsay Anderson left the Royal Court Theatre to become a leading voice in the British New Wave with its gritty social commentary and heightened realism. Stephen Frears crewed on Anderson’s If… in 1968 and then started directing in the 1970s. A new wave of women directors emerged with Andrea Arnold’s Fish Tank in 2010 and continued with Sarah Gavron winning a BIFA (British Independent Film Award) for Rocks in 2021 just after Rose Glass won best debut director. This course will explore a number of significant British independent film directors looking at where they came from and the contribution that they made, and continue to make, to British filmmaking culture.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £139.00 Senior fee £139.00 Concession £90.00
  8. Exploring Film Studies: A Beginner's Guide
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 4 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Jon Wisbey
    Develop your critical understanding of cinema through a range of concepts and critical approaches in the study of film, including narrative, genre, spectatorship, authorship and directors, popular cinema, art cinema, national cinema, early and silent film, along with technological developments including the transition to sound, while we view and discuss a range of key films as examples.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
    Rating:
    90% of 100
  9. How to Read a Film: A Beginners' Guide to Cinema
    Course start date:  Tue 21 Feb 2023 (and 2 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online (other locations are available)

    Tutors:  Paul Sutton
    This course will develop your critical appreciation of the cinema by teaching you how to read and understand film texts. We will look at the elements that underpin film form – narrative, mise en scène, cinematography, editing and sound – alongside its historical development. We will consider film style by exploring classical, post-classical and art cinema and we will examine influential critical modes of analysis, such as genre, authorship and spectatorship.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £109.00 Senior fee £109.00 Concession £71.00
    Rating:
    87% of 100
  10. Don't Look Now and The Wicker Man at 50
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 12 Mar 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Jon Wisbey
    Explore two landmark British horror films, originally released together as a double bill, one a gothic psychological work, the other a key example of British 'folk horror' cinema. Looking at a range of key scenes from each of the films, we will assess their critical reception and status in British horror cinema, while considering their enduring popularity with both critics and audiences alike.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
  11. How to Read a Film: A Brief Beginners' Guide to Cinema
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 18 Mar 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Ellen Cheshire
    In this online ‘study day’ split over two Saturday mornings you will be introduced to new ways of looking at film, focusing on a close reading of film form as a way of exploring the production of meaning in films.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
    Rating:
    87% of 100
  12. From Caligari to Touch of Evil: Expressionism in the Cinema
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Fri 5 May 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Jon Wisbey
    Characterised by chiaroscuro, or high contrast lighting, and similarly stylised narratives, the expressionist film informs German cinema of the 1920s, French poetic realism of the 1930s, and the American and European film noir of the 1940s and 1950s. This course explores a range of key examples of expressionist cinema drawn from these contexts and asks why the style continues to fascinate us.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £64.00
  13. Women behind the camera: in Hollywood and beyond
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 13 May 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Ellen Cheshire
    Did you know that the first fiction film was directed by a woman? That there were more women working behind the camera in the first 30 years of cinema, than in the last 30? That only one woman has won the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival? In this Study Day we will explore the careers of women directors from the past, those working today, and those whose careers are in their early stages.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  14. German Expressionism: From Horror to Film Noir
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 3 Jun 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  John Wischmeyer
    German Expressionism influenced Hollywood horror after itself being influenced by early Swedish Nordic noir. Along with F.W. Murnau and Robert Wiene, Fritz Lang was one of the key figures of German Expressionist cinema. Their influence crossed borders and is alive today in cinema tropes, camera techniques and narrative themes still used by filmmakers, game designers and artists. Their films changed moviemaking forever as directors and set designers created a nightmare environment of unnatural perspectives and distorted images in early films such as Nosferatu (1922 F.W. Murnau), The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1919 Robert Weine), and Metropolis (1927 Fritz Lang) which led to Dracula (1931 Tod Browning), Spellbound (1945 Alfred Hitchcock) and Blade Runner (1982 Ridley Scott). American pulp fiction shaded this into film noir in The Killers (1946 Robert Siodmak) and Double Indemnity (1944 Billy Wilder), films created by directors who had fled the land of German Expression. It had come full circle.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100

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