Learning About Films 1

Ref: C3669275

We’ll show how the director Alfred Hitchcock's early silents, thrillers (e.g. The 39 Steps) and American classics (e.g. Psycho; Vertigo) have influenced other films – Carrie; Rififi; Jaws; Gone Girl; Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy etc.

Course aim

The course aims in a socially congenial environment to help sharpen our critical and analytical faculties by learning more about movie-making and increasing our range of knowledge of cinema.

Who is the course for?

Anyone who is interested in movies and wants to talk about them. No previous experience, qualification or level of fitness required to participate in the course.

What topics will this course cover

In the films of Alfred Hitchcock and those who strive to emulate him we'll consider surprise and suspense; wrongful accusation and guilt; misdirection and revelation; storyboarding and narrative; camerawork; locations; soundtrack; cool blondes; suave villains and other aspects characteristic of Hitchcockian movies.

What will it be like?

WEA classes are friendly and supportive. You will be encouraged to work together with your fellow students and tutor. You will be asked to share your ideas and views in the class and work with the group to give and accept feedback in a supportive environment. The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you to be actively involved in your learning. You may be asked to undertake work to support your course outside of your class.

By the end of the course I should be able to:

Distinguish between surprise and suspense in films, naming examples of both, Explain how narratives of wrongful accusation and guilt are handled, Identify the interplay of misdirection and revelation; Appreciate the deployment of camerawork; locations; soundtrack etc. and Have acquired a number of critical tools for judging films in general.

How will I know I'm making progress?

Lots of feedback from the tutor plus guidance in self-assessment will enable students to progress.

What else do I need to know, do or bring?

Look out for Hitchcock movies on television or DVD/Blu-ray or even YouTube. Bring a notebook and pen to classes. Keep notes.

Reading and information sources

Nothing is essential but enquiring minds will doubtless do some research on the topics we shall be covering this term. Try finding a book or article online about Alfred Hitchcock e.g. Francois Truffaut's HITCHCOCK interviews.

What could the course lead to?

A few students undertake further studies at local universities. Others find paid or voluntary work in film societies and cinemas. Most start reading books on the subjects under discussion and sourcing films by or about those we have been studying.

Download full course outline

Learning About Films 1 Course Outline


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