Masters of cinema: Steve McQueen

Course Dates: 02/04/22 - 09/04/22
Time: 10:30 - 13:00
Location: KS - Keeley Street
This course will explore the work of the Turner prize winning artist and filmmaker Steve McQueen. Awarded an Oscar in 2014 for his film, 12 Years a Slave, McQueen has been producing politically and racially committed artworks and films since the early 1990s. His most recent project, the five film Small Axe (2020) was broadcast on the BBC amid increasing recognition that racial prejudice for Britain’s ethnic minorities remains as prevalent today as it was half a century ago. This course will examine McQueen’s work as a response to and an engagement with these experiences.
This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
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Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £36.00

Course Code: HF239

Sat, day, 02 Apr - 09 Apr '22

Duration: 2 sessions (over 2 weeks)

Or call to enrol:020 7831 7831

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

This online film course will introduce you to the work of the celebrated artist and filmmaker Steve McQueen. It will explore his origins as a fine artist and the importance that film played in his artistic practice. As his career developed, he moved increasingly towards mainstream film, directing his first feature, Hunger, in 2008. This powerful, award-winning film explored the IRA hunger strikes in the Maze prison in the early 1980s, focussing on the individual experience of Bobby Sands. Subsequent films have built on this success with 12 Years a Slave (2014) winning an Oscar for Best Picture. McQueen has continued to make culturally resonant films that engage with issues around race, gender, identity and politics. The course will explore a series of representative films in depth, and it will use a selection of clips to illustrate McQueen’s visual artistry alongside his commitment to a racially, politically and gender inflected cinema.

What will we cover?

After introducing you to some of the issues at stake in McQueen’s work – questions of nationhood, postcolonialism, cultural identity, gender and history – this course will look at films from the earliest period of his career through to the present day. You will look at some of his gallery films, including the Turner Prize winning Bear (1993) before moving on to consider his key feature films, Hunger (2008), Shame (2011), 12 Years a Slave (2014), and Widows (2018). You will also look at McQueen’s most recent work, his series of five films, screened on British television under the collective title Small Axe (2020). This immensely powerful collection has resonated with UK viewers in the Black Lives Matter era, and it has made a significant intervention in debates around race and cultural identity.

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

• appreciate formally McQueen’s artist films.
• understand McQueen’s films (shorts and features) in their historical, political and cultural context.
• make connections between aesthetics, textual analysis and political and cultural context.
• explore and understand matters of race, culture, gender and identity as they relate to the work of Steve McQueen
and beyond.

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

This course is an introductory course and as such does not presuppose any prior expertise in film history or film analysis. The skills required to explore the topics and the films will be discussed in class.

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

The course will be delivered by the tutor with small and large group discussions. Short film extracts will be screened
throughout. Reading relevant to the course will be made available in Google Classroom. All PowerPoint presentations will be placed into Google Classroom after each class so that you can follow up afterwards. Where possible links to films online will be provided.

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

There no other costs. Bring a pen and paper or other suitable note taking device. Clips will be shown extensively throughout the course. Where possible links to online sources will be made available.

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

Look for other Film Studies courses on our website at under History, Culture and Writing/film studies.

Paul Sutton

Dr. Paul Sutton is an independent film scholar who has taught Film Studies in UK higher education for over 25 years. His research covers psychoanalytic and film theory as well as Italian and French cinema and critical theory. He has published articles in journals such as Screen, French Studies and the Journal for Cultural Research. He is currently writing a psychoanalytic book on film spectatorship, Afterwardsness in Film, and has recently published work on television as a form of palliative care, and an assessment of the films of the Italian experimental filmmaker Ugo Nespolo.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.