How to read a film

Course Dates: 17/09/19 - 22/10/19
Time: 19:45 - 21:45
Location: KS - Keeley Street
Jeeshan Gazi

Through the analysis of images and clips from films of different eras and countries you will learn how different film elements – cinematography, mise-en-scène, editing, sound design, and performance – combine to create meaning in movies.


What is the course about?

This course introduces you to the key elements of film analysis: cinematography, mise-en-scène, editing, sound design, and performance through the analysis of clips and still images from films across the history of cinema. Movies discussed range from the visceral Reservoir Dogs to the abstract Meshes of the Afternoon, allowing you to both expand your knowledge of cinema as well as applying your understanding as to how films create meaning.

What will we cover?

We will examine the effects created by the following film elements on the story being told and the ideas being communicated in the movie.

Mise-en-scène: The arrangement of everything within the frame (setting, performer, costume, props, etc.).

Cinematography: Framing, colouring, and camera movements.

Editing: The dynamic nature of image sequencing, types of montage.

Sound design: Non/diegetic sound, contrapuntal and parallel sound.

Performance: How different acting styles complement or subvert the mood or genre of the film.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

Read any film in a substantial way, breaking down how its different elements combine to communicate thematic ideas and narrative to the audience.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

This course is an introduction to film analysis and so you do not need any particular skills beforehand.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

The sessions will be interactive and discussion based, requiring you to analyse clips and images in class and feed them back to the other class members. There is no work outside the class.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

A pen and paper is always useful for making notes.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

Please see our other film courses under Film Studies, History, Culture and Writing at

General information and advice on courses at City Lit is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details

Tutor Biographies
We’re sorry. We don’t have a bio ready for the tutor of this class at the moment, but we’re working on it! Watch this space.

Book your place

Course Code: HF152

Tue, eve, 17 Sep - 22 Oct '19

Duration: 6 sessions (over 6 weeks)

Full fee: £119.00
Senior fee: £119.00
Concession: £52.00

Or call to enrol: 020 7831 7831

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Any questions?
or call 020 7492 2652

Please note: we offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. For more information visit our online Help Center. You can also visit the Information, Advice and Guidance drop-in service, open from 12 – 6.45, Monday to Friday.