Film studies - Keeley Street

Film Studies Courses
Study online & in London

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 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.

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.

Courses available both in-person and online

We offer a range of long and short courses allowing you to choose between in-person and online learning.

Learn in the centre of London with our in-person courses. Our purpose-built facilities in Covent Garden mean we are ideally located and easy to get to. 

See our guide to online learning for more information about accessing our live online courses.

All our courses are live, interactive, and taught by expert tutors. No matter how you prefer to learn, we've got the class for you.

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  1. Reading images: exploring film studies
    Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 29 May 2024

    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. In its exploration of aspects of film theory as it relates to film aesthetics and film history, the course develops certain ideas with rigour and depth.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £64.00
  2. Robert Altman: The long goodbye to Hollywood
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 1 Jun 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  John Wischmeyer
    Robert Altman served a long apprenticeship in movie-making before his great breakthrough , the Korean War comedy M*A*S*H (1969). It became a huge hit and won the Palme d'Or at Cannes, but also established Altman's inimitable use of sound and image, and his gift for handling a repertory company of actors. The 1970s then became Altman's decade, with a string of masterpieces: McCabe and Mrs Miller (1971 revisionist western), The Long Goodbye (1973 revisionist Raymond Chandler), Thieves Like Us (1974 remake of Nicholas Ray’s 1948 They Live By Night), Nashville (1976 completely and absolutely original widescreen mural of America and Hollywood). In the 1980s Altman struggled to fund his work, but he was restored to prominence in 1992 with The Player, an acerbic take on Hollywood. Short Cuts, an inspired adaptation of Raymond Carver, and the Oscar-winning Gosford Park, (2001), underscored his comeback. (See separate but related courses on Once Upon a Time in New Hollywood, Francis Ford Coppola, David Lynch and the Coen brothers).
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
  3. Ways into advanced film studies: film theory
    Course start date:  Tue 4 Jun 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Paul Sutton
    This advanced level film studies course will introduce you to a range of theoretical approaches to the study of film. It will consider some of the earliest attempts to think about film, studies that borrowed methodologies from other disciplines. As early as 1915, for example, writers were applying psychology to film analysis, exploring the emotional responses of audiences to this still new medium. Early theorists argued for film as a distinct art form, and we will examine a number of their key texts. In the 1960s, film studies began to develop as a specific subject of study in universities in the US and the UK, once again deploying perspectives from other subject areas. We will examine a number of these theories and consider their continued importance for the analysis and understanding of film today.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £64.00
  4. Introduction to film spectatorship
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 8 Jun 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Paul Sutton
    This course will provide a brief introduction to the history of film spectatorship, tracing its origins in the silent era up to the present day. The course will explore a number of films in detail, includingThe Truman Show (Peter Weir 1998 US), Cinema Paradiso (Giuseppe Tornatore 1998 Italy), The Matrix (Wachowskis 1999 US) and others.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
  5. Cultureplex ciné-club taster
    Course start date:  Thu 12 Sep 2024 (and 2 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Paul Sutton
    Come and join us for a taste of what happens at the Cultureplex Ciné-Club. For one day only, and during a compressed hour and a half, we will watch and discuss a short film replicating the structure of the upcoming Cine-Club course, where we watch and discuss full-length feature films. The Cultureplex Ciné-Club course takes its cue from the famous Parisian Ciné-club set up by the celebrated critic and writer, André Bazin, however, this incarnation of the film club will offer an opportunity not only to have a taste of what the full Cine-Club course (running throughout next year) has to offer, but it will also allow for the viewing of a short film, followed by detailed discussion and debate. The film will be introduced, placed in both its cinematic, cultural and historic context as well as being situated within the director’s body of work. In sharing our viewing in City Lit’s premier screening room, the Cultureplex, we will approximate the experience of watching film in the cinema, one that is intense and fully focussed in a way that other modes of viewing often are not. After the screening we will devote the rest of the class to a collective exploration of the film, led by the tutor, but involving everyone in a participatory discussion that will allow all to express their responses, their views, their thoughts on the film screened.
    Full fee £10.00 Senior fee £8.00 Concession £7.00
  6. Full fee £10.00 Senior fee £10.00 Concession £10.00
  7. How to read a film: a beginners' guide to cinema
    Course start date:  Mon 13 May 2024 (and 2 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    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.
    Full fee £149.00 Senior fee £119.00 Concession £97.00
    Rating:
    87% of 100
  8. Cult TV: the Avengers and the swinging 60s
    Course start date:  Wed 18 Sep 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Paul Sutton
    An ‘offbeat, tongue-in-cheek, British, “pop spy” fantasy TV series’, The Avengers has variously been described as ‘one of British TV’s greatest successes’, the ‘highest pinnacle of spy/secret agent television’, ‘constantly kinky’, and ‘part of “swinging London”, along with the King’s Road, Carnaby Street, Twiggy, George Best, Mary Quant and other such icons’. Join us for a course that celebrates this quirky, cult TV serial as we revisit iconic episodes and explore what made The Avengers such an enduring slice of British popular culture.
    Full fee £119.00 Senior fee £95.00 Concession £77.00
  9. 50 films from the 50s: Hollywood's last stand
    Course start date:  Mon 23 Sep 2024 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  John Wischmeyer
    The 1950s was the beginning of the end for the Hollywood studio era, a golden age in place since the 1920s. The fifties are more difficult to pin down than the 1930/40s due to explosive diversity in both subject matter and cinematic technology, the profound influence of WWII, the development of European neorealism and the first signs of the French New Wave. An emphasis on teen culture emerged, represented by the brief career of James Dean. Film stars became anti-heroes. The moguls who founded Hollywood began to disappear. The studio business model was doomed. Hollywood reacted both defensively and creatively, going for broke—and producing some of the finest and most enduring films in its history, films that transformed the culture, from Sunset Blvd. (1950) to Some Like It Hot (1959)—both by Billy Wilder. From The Asphalt Jungle (1950) to The Misfits (1961)— Marilyn Monroe’s first and final films, both directed by John Huston. From Here To Eternity (1953 Fred Zinnemann) to A Place in the Sun (1951 George Stevens, part of his American trilogy). Fifties’ films reflected a darkening America. (See related courses on Fifties Musicals, Melodrama and Film Noir).
    Full fee £289.00 Senior fee £231.00 Concession £188.00
  10. Cultureplex ciné-club 2
    Evening
    Course start date:  Thu 25 Apr 2024 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Paul Sutton
    Come and join us at the Cultureplex Ciné-Club 2, where once a week, for 12 weeks (and throughout the academic



    year), we will watch and discuss film. Taking its cue from the famous Parisian ciné-club set up by the celebrated critic and writer, André Bazin, ‘the single thinker most responsible for bestowing on cinema the prestige both of an artform and of an object of knowledge’, and the man who foresaw the emergence of film studies as a legitimate discipline of academic study, our contemporary incarnation of the film club will offer a curated series of films for detailed study, discussion and debate. Each film will be introduced, placed in both its cinematic, cultural and historic context. In sharing our viewing in City Lit’s premier screening room, the Cultureplex, we will approximate the experience of watching film in the cinema, one that is intense and fully focussed in a way that other modes of viewing often are not. After the screening we will devote the rest of the class to a collective exploration of the film, led by the tutor, but involving everyone in a participatory discussion that will allow all to express their responses, their views, their thoughts on the film screened.







    Please note that this course will screen a new and different set of films to HF211 Cultureplex Cine-Club, which will run with the same films screened last year. If you took the Cultureplex Cine-Club course last year (2023-4), please ensure that you take the Cultureplex Cine-Club 2 courses this year.
    Full fee £199.00 Senior fee £199.00 Concession £129.00
  11. Cultureplex ciné-club
    Course start date:  Thu 25 Apr 2024 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Paul Sutton
    Come and join us at the Cultureplex Ciné-Club, where once a week, for 12 weeks, we will watch and discuss film. Taking its cue from the famous Parisian ciné-club set up by the celebrated critic and writer, André Bazin, ‘the single thinker most responsible for bestowing on cinema the prestige both of an artform and of an object of knowledge’, and the man who foresaw the emergence of film studies as a legitimate discipline of academic study, our contemporary incarnation of the film club will offer a curated series of films for detailed study, discussion and debate. Each film will be introduced, placed in both its cinematic, cultural and historic context. In sharing our viewing in City Lit’s premier screening room, the Cultureplex, we will approximate the experience of watching film in the cinema, one that is intense and fully focussed in a way that other modes of viewing often are not. After the screening we will devote the rest of the class to a collective exploration of the film, led by the tutor, but involving everyone in a participatory discussion that will allow all to express their responses, their views, their thoughts on the film screened.
    Full fee £199.00 Senior fee £159.00 Concession £129.00
  12. Cultureplex ciné-club 3
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 29 Sep 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Graham Rinaldi
    Come and join us at the Cultureplex Ciné-Club, where once a week, for 10 weeks, we will watch and discuss film. Each film will be introduced, placed in both its cinematic, cultural and historic context. In sharing our viewing in City Lit’s premier screening room, the Cultureplex, we will approximate the experience of watching film in the cinema, one that is intense and fully focussed in a way that other modes of viewing often are not. After the screening we will devote the rest of the class to a collective exploration of the film, led by the tutor, but involving everyone in a participatory discussion that will allow all to express their responses, their views, their thoughts on the film screened.
    Full fee £249.00 Senior fee £199.00 Concession £162.00
  13. Fifties Musicals
    Course start date:  Wed 16 Oct 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  John Wischmeyer
    “The more beautiful everything is, the more it will hurt without you”—Gene Kelly as An American in Paris (1951) singing to Leslie Caron. Happy endings are hard won in fifties’ musicals and The End is where they were heading. MGM was the studio of musicals in the 1950s. During this decade other studios presented only occasional musicals. The musical was big business for Hollywood in the 1950s and so was the western, so bringing them together made sense. Annie Get Your Gun had been a big success for MGM so Warner Bros. decided to get a piece of the action with Calamity Jane (1953 David Butler with Doris Day). Judy Garland was sacked by MGM in 1951, then followed Joan Crawford to Warner Brothers where she staged a big comeback in, fittingly, A Star is Born (1954 George Cukor). Oklahoma (1955 Fred Zinnemann) and Carousel (1956 Henry King) from 20th Century Fox introduced Shirley Jones. And don’t forget Leonard Bernstein’s score for On the Waterfront (1954) that anticipated West Side Story (1961). (See related courses on Fifties Melodrama and Film Noir and 50 Films From the ‘50s: Hollywood’s Last Stand).
    Full fee £169.00 Senior fee £135.00 Concession £110.00
  14. Fifties film noir: Kiss me Deadly
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 26 Oct 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  John Wischmeyer
    Film Noir was the term coined by French critics to describe a distinctive style in American cinema during the decade after the war. In the transitional 1950s, genres that had been Hollywood staples began to change, evolve, or fade away. Film Noir evolved because it was too vital, too useful, and just too enjoyable to fade away. Just as John Huston’s Maltese Falcon (1941) kick-started film noir in the forties, his Asphalt Jungle (1950) introduced a darker fifties’ noir. Or did noir begin and end with Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane (1941) and Touch of Evil (1958)? ((See related courses on Fifties Melodrama and Musicals and 50 Films From the ‘50s: Hollywood’s Last Stand).
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £55.00 Concession £45.00
  15. Ways into advanced film studies: film aesthetics
    Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 30 Oct 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Paul Sutton
    Have you wondered why a film might have moved you so powerfully or why it looked so stunningly beautiful? Have you wanted to know quite how a film was able to communicate its story to you so effectively? If so, then this advanced level film studies course is for you. It aims to explore in depth the language of cinema, the way in which film connects with its spectators at the level of film form, in other words, film aesthetics. Writers and critics have long asked similar questions, as have filmmakers themselves, and we will follow some of the most celebrated in their quest for answers. We will look briefly at how films are made and at the importance of cinematography, editing, mise en scène and sound, before exploring in depth film’s aesthetic qualities. We will think about the importance of history for the development of film form and we will analyse clips and sequences from individual films so as to better approach and understand film aesthetics.
    Full fee £119.00 Senior fee £119.00 Concession £77.00
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