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 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. The Exorcist at 50
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 18 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Jon Wisbey
    A landmark film, The Exorcist brought a new level of terror to the big screen; nothing like it had been seen before in mainstream cinema - and nor has it since. This course offers a detailed analysis of the film and its key themes, its production, critical and popular reception, and its influence on the development of the demonic possession film, and horror cinema and popular culture in general.



    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
  2. A Star is Born: The birth of Hollywood stardom
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 4 Mar 2023

    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
  3. An Introduction to American Film Criticism
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 11 Mar 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Mick McAloon
    Why do we read film critics? What makes a great film critic? Is film criticism an art form in itself?



    This online film studies course explores the work of two of America’s greatest film critics - Manny Farber and Pauline Kael – and provides an overview of American film criticism, its history and rich literary tradition, and shows how film critics wrote about the medium of cinema as it evolved in the 20th century.



    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
  4. Film studies taster
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 20 Mar 2023 (and 1 other date)

    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 – upcoming film courses at City Lit (April - December 2023).



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £10.00 Senior fee £10.00 Concession £7.00
  5. 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
  6. 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
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  7. Strange tales and dark dreams: Fantasy, horror and surrealism in European cinema
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 29 Apr 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Jon Wisbey
    Explore a selection of films from the early days of European cinema, and later, that draw on a range of key genre traditions, but which have also acquired significant critical reputations, with their memorable visual qualities and unsettling narratives lending them an enduring place in both cinema and popular culture. Strange tales and dark dreams to fascinate, horrify and astound you.



    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
  8. 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
  9. Masterworks of Japanese Horror cinema
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 20 May 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Jon Wisbey
    Ring (1998) established a 'J' horror phenomenon but the genre really began with Gojira/Godzilla (1954) and evolved through a series of popular, cult, and art house works featuring monsters, evil spirits, haunted videotapes and psychological terrors. This course explores a selection of key works in Japanese horror cinema, past and present, their critical reputation and impact on the horror 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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

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