Masters of Cinema: Fritz Lang
Time: 10:30 - 13:00
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Course Code: HF054
Duration: 2 sessions (over 2 weeks)
What is the course about?
The first part of this course looks at Lang’s German films, made before his departure for the United States in the early 1930s, and their exploration of history, myth and contemporary German society, together with their approach to film style (e.g., expressionism). In doing so, we will also be thinking about their production context – the German national cinema of the 1920s and early 1930s, along with the social and political climate of the period.
The second part looks at Lang’s American films. It will consider their approach to key aspects of Hollywood cinema, genre and realism (crime/film noir) and realism and their exploration of American of society. The following are some of the films featured though a full list of films will be provided at the start of the course: Destiny (1921), Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler (1922), Die Nibelungen (1924), Metropolis (1926), M (1931), The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (1933), Fury (1936), You Only Live Once (1937), The Woman in the Window (1944), Scarlet Street (1945), The Big Heat (1953), The tutor will provide notes for each session and no prior reading is required though you may wish to consider the following: The Films of Fritz Lang: Allegories of Vision and Modernity by Tom Gunning (BFI, 2000).
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.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
• Themes and style in Lang's German films
• Critical accounts of Lang's German films
• German cinema of the 1920s/early 1930s
• Themes and style in Lang's American films
• Genre and realism in Lang's American films (e.g., crime/film noir)
• Critical accounts of Lang's American films (e.g., Lang as auteur)
• Classical Hollywood.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
• Identify and assess Lang's themes and approach to film style in his German and American films
• Evaluate a range of critical accounts of Lang's work in both his German and American films
• Assess the context of German cinema of the 1920s and early 1930s and of Hollywood in the period 1930 to 1960
• Evaluate Lang's American films in terms of their reflection of genre and realism
• Evaluate critical accounts of Lang's cinema.
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 (see the reading and films mentioned above) 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 films and you do not have to obtain them.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Please look for other Film Studies courses at www.citylit.ac.uk/culture, history & writing/film studies.
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.