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. Television and Streaming's Brave New World: What's on the Box Set?
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 19 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  John Wischmeyer
    Did you binge in lockdown but are now more selective? Where and how do you watch your preferred TV series or movies? With current inflation price rises will you let your subscription lapse? The Culture Secretary wants Channel 4 to be more like Netflix, but that model appears to be faltering and it covers no news. We may lose BBC 4 and Radio 4 Extra, but the new generation of viewers don’t use BBC or even television, so perhaps it’s not a problem for them. Let’s come together to discuss the contemporary small screen, our viewing preferences and our favourite TV series and films to see where we stand on the matter.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £59.00 Concession £38.00
  3. How to Read a Film: A Beginners' Guide to Cinema
    Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 21 Feb 2023 (and 1 other date)

    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
  4. The Golden Age of US Television: 1950s
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 22 Feb 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Paul Rixon
    This course explores what, for many critics, was the first golden age of US television in the 1950s. For the critics the live anthologies drama series which appeared at this time, such as Kraft Theatre, came to offer acclaimed single plays including Marty (1953) and Twelve Angry Men (1954), by writers such as Paddy Chayefsky and Gore Vidal. For critics, these were a form of well-crafted, intense, claustrophobic television dramas. By the early 1960s these dramas had been replaced by filmed series and serials.



    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
  5. Exploring East Asian cinema
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 1 Mar 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Jon Wisbey
    This course introduces you to the cinema of Japan, China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand. We will consider the history and development of cinema in the region, its key films, filmmakers and movements, and a range of representative genres and film styles, while also thinking about its international critical reception and cultural function as both national and transnational cinema.



    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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. Film Studies Taster
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 25 Mar 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Jon Wisbey
    This taster of forthcoming film courses at City Lit in 2023 offers you the chance to think about which ones to take while also providing an opportunity to explore some of the key areas in film studies more generally.



    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 £19.00 Concession £19.00
  11. The other side of Hollywood: 'B' movies and exploitation cinema
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 26 Mar 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Jon Wisbey
    Emerging in the 1930s as a means of extending the theatrical experience, the 'B' movie became an industry staple, only disappearing along with the studio era in the 1950s and the rise of the 'exploitation' film during a period of readjustment. Explore each of these areas of production, their roles as facets of Hollywood's output, and a representative selection of films, filmmakers and genres.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £55.00 Concession £45.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  12. 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
  13. Exploring European cinema
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 26 Apr 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Jon Wisbey
    This class introduces you to a range of themes and issues in European cinema, including art cinema, national cinema, movements, 'moments' and new waves, authorship, popular cinema and genre, along with key developments in European film history from the silent era to the present day, key films, directors and the canon of European cinema, and a range of critical accounts of European cinema.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £169.00 Senior fee £169.00 Concession £110.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  14. Cultureplex Ciné-club
    Course start date:  Thu 12 Jan 2023 (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 (and throughout the rest of 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.
    Full fee £199.00 Senior fee £199.00 Concession £129.00
  15. 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

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