Film studies

Film Studies Courses in London and Online

Explore our exciting range of Film courses, from How to Read a Film to our Masters of Cinema specialist courses. We offer introductory and in-depth courses to suit all levels of interest and experience, where you can revisit classic films and make cinematic discoveries from the UK and internationally.

Study online from the comfort of home, with classes that allow you to view film and participate in discussions with fellow adult students, sharing your passion for cinema as part of a learning community. We offer daytime, evening and weekend courses, both short and long. For more information, please see our guide to online learning.

Our tutors are experts in their fields and experienced educators; many also teach in universities or share their expertise in the media. Tutors share their knowledge and passion for film studies through viewings, presentations, readings, interactive discussion, analysis, and other activities.

Many students return to take more courses, telling us they enjoy being part of our City Lit film community.

Our popular courses often sell out quickly, so we invite you to browse and book your place online now.

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  1. Film Spectatorship: from Plato’s Myth of the Cave to the Present Day
    Course Date:  Fri 25 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    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. Plato’s myth or allegory of the cave has been a useful starting point for a number of theorists of film spectatorship and the course will examine the continuing relevance of Plato’s text for the cinematic experience. The course will explore a number of films in detail, including Il Conformista/The Conformist (Bernardo Bertolucci 1970 Italy), The Truman Show (Peter Weir 1998 US), Cinema Paradiso (Giuseppe Tornatore 1998 Italy), The Matrix (Wachowskis 1999 US) and others.

    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 £15.00 Concession £12.00
  2. Classic Italian actors of cinema: from Anna Magnani to Toni Servillo
    Course Date:  Mon 28 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    In this course we combine biography and film extracts to examine the impact of ten Italian actors who shaped the history of Italian Cinema and became international stars by creating powerful screen personae.

    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 £79.00 Concession £60.00
  3. Reading Images: an introduction to film
    Course Date:  Wed 21 Jul 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Develop your critical understanding of cinema through a range of themes and concepts in the study of film and explore film history through its key moments of development.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £79.00 Senior fee £63.00 Concession £48.00
  4. Film Noir to Neo Noir: the long hot summer
    Evening
    Course Date:  Mon 2 Aug 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    'Body Heat', 'Chinatown', 'The Long Goodbye'. Three films, two sessions, one topic: neo-Noir.

    Film noir first appeared in Hollywood in the early 1940s then vanished in the late 50's. Neo-noir was the 70's revival of film noir, updating the themes of political corruption and darkness at the top. Raymond Chandler’s Marlowe would not feel out of place in Chinatown or southern Florida’s 'Body Heat'. A dark and deadly dream of a nightmare vision for a post-Watergate America.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £49.00 Senior fee £49.00 Concession £30.00
  5. Film studies taster
    Evening
    Course Date:  Thu 16 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Learn how to evaluate and discuss films while enjoying a working example of a City Lit film studies class.

    We will view clips from a wide variety of films, exploring themes and technique in British cinema and modern American cinema. There will be a chance to review term one film courses at City Lit (September - December 2021).

    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 £6.00
  6. New Hollywood, New Wave
    Course Date:  Mon 20 Sep 2021 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    The film world was breathless with excitement by 1963 but Hollywood had fallen behind the rest of the world and everyone was going to the latest French or Italian films. Exactly four years later Time magazine’s cover story was “The New Hollywood.” How this happened, how Hollywood suddenly went from losing millions on bloated spectacles like Cleopatra to producing smart, talked-about pictures like The Graduate, Badlands and Bonnie and Clyde — how Old Hollywood became the New Hollywood — is the subject of this course.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £239.00 Senior fee £191.00 Concession £146.00
  7. How to read a film: a beginners' guide to cinema
    Course Date:  Mon 10 May 2021 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    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 £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £60.00
    Rating:
    85% of 100
  8. Murder, Romance and Suspense: the films of Alfred Hitchcock
    Evening
    Course Date:  Wed 22 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Explore the work of the 'master of suspense' from innovative early films, including The Lodger, Blackmail and The 39 Steps, to late masterpieces, including Rear Window, Vertigo and Psycho. We will consider each phase of Hitchcock's career, his approach to filmmaking, the structure and style of his films, their major themes, and a range of key critical accounts of his career and films.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £159.00 Senior fee £159.00 Concession £97.00
  9. Masters of Cinema: the directors
    Evening
    Course Date:  Thu 23 Sep 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This online Film Studies course explores the work of a select group of filmmakers, past and present: from European auteurs to the personal visions of a new generation of independent filmmakers. It considers themes of influence and innovation, and how all of the filmmakers featured have used the medium not only as a means of personal expression but as a way to take cinema in new directions.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £159.00 Senior fee £159.00 Concession £97.00
  10. Japan at the Pictures
    Evening
    Course Date:  Wed 20 Oct 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This course will introduce you to the cinema of Japan, one of the world’s most important national cinemas. It will introduce you to films by major Japanese directors, such as Kurosawa, Ozu, Mizoguchi and Kitano. It will also explore the aesthetics of these films, situating them within their broader historical, cultural, critical and industrial contexts. It will also look at the functioning of genre and the peculiarities of the star system within Japanese filmmaking.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £149.00 Senior fee £149.00 Concession £91.00
  11. How to read a film: a beginner’s guide to cinema
    Evening
    Course Date:  Tue 2 Nov 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    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 £99.00 Senior fee £99.00 Concession £60.00
  12. Movies about the movies
    Evening
    Course Date:  Wed 3 Nov 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    In this online Film Studies course we will have a peek behind the curtain, and have a look at how the film industry has depicted itself onscreen. We will look at films which both celebrate and critique one of the most dominant entertainment industries and art forms of the 20th and 21st century.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £89.00 Senior fee £89.00 Concession £54.00
  13. Seminal films of the 1970s
    Course Date:  Fri 11 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    This course looks at some of the ground-breaking films of the 1970s, considering them not only as important works of cinema, but as part of the wider cultural and political shifts taking place in society. Drawing from Europe, Britain, Africa, Australia and America, it shows how filmmakers of the 1970s continued the explorations—aesthetic, political, personal—that took root in the previous decade.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £159.00 Senior fee £127.00 Concession £97.00
  14. Representations of femininity in contemporary Independent American cinema
    Evening
    Course Date:  Tue 15 Jun 2021

    Location on this date:  Online

    Mainstream cinema is dominated by male directors and protagonists. American independent cinema, with new ways to produce and distribute film, has increased the female voice in cinema. This course will examine what cinema looks like from a female point of view and how indie cinema has become so important in representing women.

    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 £60.00

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