Film studies

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.

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 online and in-person learning. 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. See our guide to online learning for more information about accessing our live online courses.

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  1. 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
  2. Introduction to Film Spectatorship
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 10 Jun 2023 (and 1 other date)

    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
  3. 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
    Rating:
    93% of 100
  4. Film studies taster
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 16 Sep 2023 (and 7 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    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 (September - December 2023).
    Full fee £10.00
  5. From page to screen: Sherlock Holmes and Philip Marlowe
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 7 Oct 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Ellen Cheshire
    This course explores film adaptations of two great detectives of fiction: Sherlock Holmes and Philip Marlowe. By focusing on one of their most famous novels we will compare the literary and various cinematic versions, analysing themes and characters and discuss how the films adapt the novels to fit the medium of cinema.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £59.00
  6. The vampire in 21st century film and television
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 4 Nov 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Stacey Abbott
    Are you a fan of Dracula? Buffy? Blade? Carmilla? Do you like your vampires to be monstrous or romantic? This day event will look at how 21st century film and television has fostered a global fascination with the undead, reinventing the genre for new audiences and in response to changing understandings of life, death, gender, sex, and disease. This day course will unpack these issues and explore the allure of the vampire while also reflecting on its more monstrous qualities.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
  7. Early cinema and the spectator
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 25 Nov 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Jon Wisbey
    Explore cinema before sound, from its beginnings to the late 1920s and its relationship with the spectator. We will view and discuss early, short films, such as A Trip to the Moon (1902) and Rescued by Rover (1905), and later feature films, including The General (1926) and Sunrise (1927), while considering the impact of narrative and the development of cinema during the period more generally.



    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
  8. Christmas at the cinema: holiday favourites
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 9 Dec 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  John Wischmeyer
    A Christmas cracker filled with seasonal films, from It’s a Wonderful Life to Die Hard, a carefully-curated cornucopia celebrating the genre of the Christmas film with classic clips and hidden gems: Scrooge as a film noir, Covent Garden market in the fifties, and a grown man dressed as an Elf. 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 £29.00 Senior fee £23.00 Concession £19.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  9. Sherlock Junior at 100
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 27 Jan 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Graham Rinaldi
    Buster Keaton’s virtuoso silent comedy Sherlock Jr celebrates 100 years. In this heroic masterpiece, Keaton displays his film-making skills with gags, stunts, ground-breaking special effects and importantly his love affair with the magic of the moving image.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
  10. Quatermass: from television to the big screen
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 17 Feb 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Jon Wisbey
    BBC TV's Quatermass series was a major sensation, one repeated by Hammer's adaptations for the big screen a few years later. Explore Quatermass on TV and the big screen through a range of key scenes and themes such as genre and national identity, while also considering the relationship between the TV series and the films, and between these and British science fiction TV and cinema more generally.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £59.00
  11. A star is born: the birth of Hollywood stardom
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 2 Mar 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Ann-Marie Fleming
    Once cinema began to develop, Hollywood began to promote stardom. Starting with Florence Lawrence, the industry began to capitalise on star personalities and encourage fandom. This course will examine how the Hollywood star system began and evolved. The course will begin by examining the ‘picture personality’ in 1912 through to the collapse of the traditional star system in the 1960s.



    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
  12. Shrinks on screen: psychologists on TV and Film
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 23 Mar 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Mary Wild
    In this course, we will look at examples of ‘shrinks on screen’—portrayals of mental health professionals (psychiatrists, social workers, psychoanalysts, etc.) in cinema and TV. We will critically examine ‘head doctors’ tropes, and identify iconic psychotherapy sessions in movies and television that convincingly represent the challenges and effectiveness of the so-called ‘talking cure’.







    Mary Wild is a film lecturer and podcaster with an academic background in psychoanalytic theory. Her research interests include cinematic representation of the unconscious, surrealism, mental illness, feminine subjectivity, the horror genre, and auteur studies. In addition to teaching at City Lit, she is a regular speaker at Freud Museum London.
    Full fee £59.00
  13. Universal horror: classic horror cinema from Universal Studios
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 27 Apr 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Jon Wisbey
    Universal had its greatest successes of the classical era with a series of horror films with which it will forever be associated. It's classic horror figures define the golden age of horror cinema, while the memorable performances of stars such as Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi established them as horror legends. Explore and enjoy these classic horror films and their lasting legacy for the genre.



    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
  14. Women behind the camera: in Hollywood and beyond
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 11 May 2024

    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
  15. Hammer Horror: classic horror cinema from Hammer Studios
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 18 May 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Jon Wisbey
    Hammer's vivid, full-bloodied horror films were met with popular acclaim and critical disapproval but are now recognised as constituting a major area in British popular cinema. Explore the films, their popular and critical reception, Hammer's distinctive approach to style, and the way in which the films offer an alternative to other, more restrained and respectable modes of British cinema.



    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
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