Seminal films of the 1980s

Course Dates: 10/06/22 - 29/07/22
Time: 14:45 - 16:45
Location: Online
In the 1980s, as Hollywood rejected the auteur-driven movies of the 1970s in favour of “high-concept” action films (Top Gun, Days of Thunder) there were still filmmakers – Martin Scorsese, Agnès Varda, Jane Campion and Spike Lee – who continued to expand the art form. Drawing from Europe, Britain, New Zealand and America, this course explores some of the defining films of a much-maligned decade.
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Book your place
In stock
Full fee £159.00 Senior fee £127.00 Concession £97.00

This course has now started

Course Code: HF211

Started Fri, day, 10 Jun - 29 Jul '22

Duration: 8 sessions (over 8 weeks)

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?

The great films of the 1980s speak beyond the decade in which they were made. But they are also inescapably of their time and as such reveal the concerns not only of the filmmakers but society at large. This course is about those filmmakers, whose work—personal and often political—gave us something new and nuanced, in contrast to the era’s otherwise shiny MTV aesthetics and pumped-up action heroes. Bookended by Raging Bull (1980) and Do the Right Thing (1989), the course goes beyond the decade’s shallow surface.

This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
- Earphones/headphones/speakers.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.

What will we cover?

- The demise of “the new Hollywood” and the ensuing dominance of “high concept” action films.
- A new generation of British talent (Stephen Frears, Mike Leigh, Daniel Day Lewis, Gary Oldman) that emerged from television and theatre (BBC, Film 4).
- Startling, radical films by Lizzie Borden, Agnès Varda, and Jane Campion.
- The glamour and the gloss of “Cinéma du look”.
- The influence of Robert Redford’s Sundance Festival on American film and the emergence of a new generation of American independent filmmakers (The Coen Brothers, Jim Jarmusch, Spike Lee).

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

- Identify some of the key films of the 1980s within a larger context.
- Broaden your knowledge of international cinema during this decade.
- Have an understanding and critical appreciation of the featured filmmakers and their chief artistic collaborators.

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

The course is open to anyone with an interest in cinema and film history and for those who enjoy viewing and discussing films and are interested in sharing ideas and listening to the views of others.

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

The course will be delivered in 1 hour & 45 minute sessions over eight weeks.
Each class will feature a short lecture and film clips followed by an interactive discussion.
There will be weekly recommendations for further watching or reading around the subject for those that are interested.
There is no work outside of class except for some related reading / film viewing.

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

There are no other costs. Bring a pen and paper or tablet / device for note taking.
Links to recommended reading and viewing will be provided.
Film to include: Raging Bull (1980), Born in Flames (1983), Paris Texas (1984), My Beautiful Laundrette (1985), Vagabond (1985), Chocolat (1988), Sweetie (1989), Do the Right Thing (1989).
Films are subject to change.

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

Look for other film studies courses at, culture & writing/film studies.

Mick McAloon

Mick McAloon has 18 years’ experience in cinema exhibition – running cinemas, programming events and film series. His writing has appeared in numerous publications including the books Movie Star Chronicles and 1001 Movies. Previously he was a Visiting Lecturer at Kingston University on the Media & Communications degree.

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.