Movie Milestones: the Films that Transformed Cinema

Ref: C2225383

A complete bluffer’s guide to the history of cinema! This course is a journey through the most important films ever made, the background to their making, and how they changed the medium of cinema forever. For instance, discover how the appliance of saliva created an editing revolution; find out how a small British B-movie company helped shape modern cinema; and query why so many of Hollywood’s early, ground-breaking classics rarely get shown today. Featuring films both familiar and forgotten from all four corners of the world, here is the opportunity to explore some of the most innovative, inspiring and controversial films put on the silver screen and why they deserve the title of “Movie Milestones”.

Course aim

To provide an introduction to the history of film by focusing on the most important movies ever made and how they changed the medium of cinema forever, with the aim of enabling the student to have a greater appreciation of film as an art form.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

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

  • Identify the most important films in the history of cinema.
  • Describe why these films are so important.
  • Recognise and list some of the technical innovations that make these films so important.
  • Identify how these films influenced other movies.
  • To watch films with greater insight and enjoyment.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre course work is required, although if you wish, you could watch any of the following films: Birth of a Nation (1915); Battleship Potemkin (1925); The Jazz Singer (1927); Rome, Open City (1945); A Bout de Souffle (1959); Easy Rider (1969).

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member
  • Become involved as a volunteer for a WEA partner or another organisation
  • You could progress to Higher Education courses. Follow link to the PEARL website for information
  • Access the WEA What Next? booklet here
  • Join a film discussion group.

Download full course information sheet

Movie Milestones: the Films that Transformed Cinema


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2018
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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