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 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. Prequels, Sequels and Remakes
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 22 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Paul Sutton
    This year has seen the release of Top Gun: Maverick (Joseph Kosinski 2022 US), Texas Chainsaw Massacre (David Blue Garcia 2022 US), Avatar: The Way of Water (James Cameron 2022 US), and Scream (Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett 2022 US), while next year’s list of forthcoming films includes, John Wick: Chapter 4 (Chad Stahelski 2023 US) and Indiana Jones 5 (James Mangold 2023 US). What is it that keeps these prequels, sequels and remakes coming back for more? Why does Hollywood keep making them, and why do we continue to watch them? This one-day course will try to answer some of these questions and consider those that you hadn’t perhaps even thought of asking. We will look at the lengthy history of prequels, sequels and remakes and consider them as both industrial products and cultural artefacts. We will think about the role of national cinemas in the production of prequels, sequels and remakes, in particular, and we will reflect on questions of aesthetics and visual style. We will examine a number of filmic examples in detail throughout the day in order to try to make sense of this fascinating cinematic phenomenon.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
  2. Masters of Cinema: Bergman and Bresson - Existential Cinema
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 30 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  John Wischmeyer
    Stanley Kubrick considered Swedish director Ingmar Bergman “the greatest, most influential filmmaker of the 20th century’”. Summer With Monica (1953) was his breakthrough and a huge influence on the French New Wave. Robert Bresson is among the most highly regarded filmmakers of all time. Jean-Luc Godard wrote: “He is French cinema, as Dostoevsky is the Russian novel and Mozart is German music.” Both Bergman and Bresson explored a certain kind of existentialism in the most profoundly personal films. Bergman’s Seventh Seal (1957) is an interior journey of the soul, while Bresson’s minimalism evokes the wildest spirits in Pickpocket (1959), directly influencing Taxi Driver (1976). Unlike mainstream cinema’s dominant psychological realism, the transcendental style expresses a spiritual state through austere camerawork, acting devoid of self-consciousness, and editing that avoids editorial comment.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
  3. Ways into Advanced Film Studies: Film Aesthetics
    Course start date:  Tue 1 Nov 2022

    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 £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £64.00
  4. An introduction to Japanese Anime: history, genres and authors
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 27 Nov 2022

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Cristina Massaccesi
    What is anime? What are the artistic and narrative features that make these films so instantly recognizable? This one-day film course will provide an overview of the history of Japanese animation cinema, its inextricable links with manga and its multi-faceted and varied productions that range from children’s films to genres such as cyberpunk and yaoi. During the course, we will watch and discuss clips from a variety of production companies and directors, such as Haya Miyazaki, the Studio Ghibli and Katsuhiro Otomo.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
  5. Ways into Advanced Film Studies: Film History
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 10 Jan 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Paul Sutton
    The history of the cinema is a rich, rewarding and dynamic area of study. Cinema, because it is both an art form and an industrial product, can be studied from several different historical perspectives. These have included investigations into the history of technological development associated with cinema’s origins and its subsequent development, but historians have also explored its evolution into an art form. They have written about important individual figures or influential groups and have examined specific films in great detail. Historians have also examined the national, cultural, political and social contexts that might offer insight into the cinema at a given historical moment. They have examined the changing demographic and viewing habits of spectators and explored the mutability of cinemas themselves. With so much to consider and so many different approaches to take, the history of cinema continues to evolve. As such this advanced level film studies course will explore what it means to study film history, examine the various methodologies that one might take, while at the same time looking at relevant filmic and cinematic examples.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £64.00
  6. 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
  7. An Introduction to Psychoanalysis and Film
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 25 Mar 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Mary Wild
    A guide to contemporary films directed by women, examined through a psychoanalytic lens. An opportunity to discuss the ways in which cinema can continue to evolve to more authentically depict female desire, fears and subjectivity.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
  8. Masters of cinema: Agnes Varda
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 1 Apr 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Paul Sutton
    2019 was marked by the death of a true mistress of world cinema, Agne`s Varda. We will introduce you to her oeuvre, from La pointe courte (1955) to her final work, Varda par Agnes (2019), exploring her status as a ‘feminist’ icon. The digital was central to her later career, making her, perhaps, a multi-media artist rather than just a film director.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
  9. Italian cinema: From Neorealism to the Genre Film
    Evening
    Course start date:  Fri 28 Apr 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Cristina Massaccesi
    This cinema course focuses on Italian cinema in the years between 1945 and 1980. It will provide you with an overview of the main historical, cultural and social aspects of Italian filmmaking in Italy by looking at the work of some of its most influential author/directors.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £64.00
  10. Masters of Cinema: Clint Eastwood - Directing the West
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 7 May 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Graham Rinaldi
    “The Western brought me a certain notoriety” – Clint Eastwood the last of the Western Film Directors. This course will look at Eastwood’s body of work set in the American Wild West from High Plains Drifter to Cry Macho. We will explore his themes, storytelling, influences and techniques in creating a truly American art form.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
  11. Ways into Advanced Film Studies: Film theory
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 30 May 2023

    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
  12. Reading Images: Exploring Film studies
    Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 31 May 2023

    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
  13. 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
  14. Introduction to Film Spectatorship
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 10 Jun 2023

    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
  15. The compulsion to repeat in cinema: From Groundhog Day to Memento
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 1 Jul 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Paul Sutton
    There are a surprising number of films that make use of repetition as a motif or as a structuring device for their narratives. Two particularly celebrated examples are Groundhog Day (Harold Ramis 1993 US) and Memento (Christopher Nolan 2000 UK/US). This course will explore this phenomenon, by referencing psychoanalytic film theory and the idea of the repetition compulsion, but also through the detailed analysis of both of these films.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00

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