Film Studies: Ten Maverick Directors

Ref: C3668674

Radical, ground-breaking, loved and hated by audiences and critics in equal measure. Some directors’ work signals a new dawn and paves the way for others. Some break convention and cause controversy. Some just do their own thing in their own quiet way. And while some gain deserved recognition, others are scorned or overlooked. We explore the work of screen mavericks past and present and consider just what it is which makes their work so very different.

Course aim

This course allows students to explore the varying works of film directors who may be considered as 'different' - increasing their knowledge, understanding and appreciation of film in general.

Who is the course for?

This course of open to anyone, from those with a long standing interest in film to those with the slightest curiosity and wish to discover more in a friendly and accessible environment.

What topics will this course cover

Via examination of the films studied as part of the course students will explore and understand more regarding the analysis of film from both a thematic and technical perspective. From a cultural perspective, re-examination of films both historical and more recent, will explore a range of artistic, cultural and social issues and our ever-changing attitude towards them. Students will study a range of clips and information relating to the films, engage in group analysis, discussion and feedback.

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:

Gain a comprehensive knowledge, fresh appreciation & understanding of what constitutes a work which may be considered 'maverick'/different. Gain the knowledge, understanding and practical skills to be able to analyse, comment on and/or review a film from a specific maverick director. Be able to draw from their own knowledge and experience in expressing their own informed opinions when commenting on a film made by a specific maverick director. Gain a confidence in discussing the subject area and in particular any aspects of a maverick director's which they themselves find important. Develop a motivation & enthusiasm for the work of maverick directors in general and issues rising from it.

How will I know I'm making progress?

Improvement via open questions and answers, opportunity to ask the tutor questions and input regarding any material which they may wish to cover in more detail.

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

No specialist knowledge or equipment is required but a note book and pen may be useful.

Reading and information sources

No pre-reading or viewing is required. Some material covered may vary slightly depending on student discussion and group interest but directors intended to be covered include: Mike Leigh, Alfred Hitchcock (1929-39), Andrea Arnold, Lynne Ramsey, Derek Jarman, Sofia Coppola, John Waters, Woody Allen, Ken Russell, Peter Greenaway, Charles Laughton & breakthrough U.S female director Ida Lupino. Films may also vary slightly depending on group interest but will most likely include: The Hitchhiker (1953), The 39 Steps (1939), Blackmail (1929), Pink Flamingos (1972), Annie Hall (1977), Fish Tank (2009), Lost in Translation (2003), The Devils (1977), The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover (1989), The Rat Catcher (1999), The Last of England (1987), Night of the Hunter (1955) and others...

What could the course lead to?

This course could lead to further study on WEA courses - such as Film Studies: Great Film Adaptations.

Download full course outline

Film Studies: Ten Maverick Directors Course Outline


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2016
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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