The Exorcist at 50

Course Dates: 18/02/23 - 25/02/23
Time: 10:30 - 13:00
Location: Online
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.
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Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00

Course Code: HF019

Sat, day, 18 Feb - 25 Feb '23

Duration: 2 sessions (over 2 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?

This online film studies course looks at The Exorcist as a cinematic and cultural phenomenon, one which raised the status of the horror film while simultaneously raising the bar in terms of content. We will consider the film as a key work in modern American horror cinema, its production in the context of the 'new' Hollywood, its status as a blockbuster and event film, both its critical and popular reception, and its cinematic and cultural impact.

In looking at the film we will explore its key themes, such as faith, the failure of faith, and the family, and the way in which these are presented as sites of institutional, social and familial decay in the modern world, while also thinking about its function as a horror film and as popular entertainment more generally.

The tutor will provide notes for the course and advise on further reading and viewing.

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 production, release and reception of The Exorcist
• Key themes in The Exorcist
• Modern American horror cinema
• Genre - horror/demonic possession films
• The 'new' Hollywood
• Sequels and prequels
• Critical accounts of the film.

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

• Evaluate the film's production, release and reception
• Evaluate the film's key themes
• Evaluate the film as a product of modern American horror cinema
• Evaluate the film in terms of genre
• Evaluate 'new' Hollywood as the film's production context
• Evaluate the film within a critical framework.

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

The course is suitable for all levels and you do not require any particular skills - just an enthusiasm for film and discussing film. The course will provide an introduction to the subject but will also be useful for those wishing to build on existing knowledge in the subject area.

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

Screenings of extracts from films, talks by the tutor, reading materials, small and large group discussions. It might also be a good idea to see what you can find out about the subject in advance of the class but this is not essential.

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

You will require a pen and paper (or laptop/device) but the tutor will provide all other materials such as handouts. The tutor will show extracts from the film and you do not have to obtain it.

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

Please look for Film Studies courses on our website at History, Culture and Writing/Film Studies.

Jon Wisbey

Jon Wisbey teaches film at City Lit and Morley College. He was for many years a committee member and vice-chair of Chelmsford Film Club, screening contemporary and classic world cinema releases. He has an MA in Film Studies from the University of East Anglia. His teaching focuses on classical and post-classical Hollywood, European cinema, British cinema, film noir and horror cinema.

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.