The whole story of cinema

Course Dates: 26/09/22 - 12/12/22
Time: 12:30 - 14:30
Location: Keeley Street
If you love cinema and want to know more about it, look no further. Here is a course for all those who love watching and reading about films, and who want to understand more about the evolution of the art of cinema, as told through the most innovative films from any country in any period. From film’s origins to modern day streaming, and through many cinematic golden ages, this course will examine those moments in time when a range of national cinemas surfed the wave of creative originality, achieved through a mix of social, technical, and historical factors. The exploration of key films and genres will reveal insights into the world of film-making, from cinematography, lighting, and sound, to editing and acting styles, enabling you to better interpret the meaning of world-famous movies.
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Full fee £259.00 Senior fee £207.00 Concession £168.00

This course has now started

Course Code: HF004

Available start dates 

Started Mon, day, 26 Sep - 12 Dec '22

Duration: 12 sessions (over 12 weeks)

Or call to enrol:020 7831 7831

Lines open Monday-Friday 12:00-18:00

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?

Organised chronologically, the course traces the evolution of cinematic development, from the earliest days of film projection to modern multiscreens and domestic streaming platforms. From the simple tricks of the first films to the groundbreaking digital effects of the 21st century, the course will illustrate every genre of cinema, from silent dramas to epic action blockbusters. The course will highlight significant influences, movements and events across the decades of film history, charting the global story of how cinema developed: its key works, time periods, and genres. It places the burgeoning world of cinema in the context of social and cultural developments that have taken place since its moment of origin.

What will we cover?

Insights into the world of film-making, exploring everything from camera and lighting to acting styles, will enable you to interpret the full meaning of world-famous movies. Discover what makes a star, and what makes a film a success – or an expensive disaster!
Charting the history of cinema, the course will begin in France, move to Italy, and then on to Germany and Russia. It will detail how two world wars saw Hollywood gain global dominance of the film industry, and then outline how resurgent new waves in France, Italy, Japan and Britain offered a counter, of sorts, to Hollywood’s supremacy. The course will conclude by considering the international nature of cinema, reflected in some of the recent Oscar nominations for best picture, which have included Korea, Japan, and Mexico among others.

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

- Distinguish key national film movements and cycles, such as Italian Neorealism or the French New Wave
- Identify historically significant films that have proved especially influential
- Offer a perspective on the current status of cinema in the 21st century in contrast to earlier periods in its history.

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

This is a course for those who are interested in cinema. No previous experience or film study is necessary but those who have done previous study will find it well-informed and genuinely educational.

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

Opening lecture illustrated by film clips followed by group discussions and screenings. No outside work necessary (although going out to the cinema would benefit you, the class and the film industry).

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

There are no other costs. The tutor will show extracts of films or supply links to online viewing. Please bring pad or device to take notes during lectures.
Recommended reading, but purely optional: "The Story of Film” by Mark Cousins.

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

For other Film Studies courses look under History, Culture and Writing/Film Studies at

John Wischmeyer

John Wischmeyer (MA in Film Theory) set up, ran and programmed his own cinema in West London and has since taught film studies at the former Gainsborough studio, the BFI and City Lit since 1999, Hitchcock’s centenary year. John has covered a wide range film topics under the banner ‘Cinema Investigates America’ and has a particular interest in and considerable knowledge of Hitchcock, Hollywood studios, American independent cinema and film noir, film technique and style.

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.