Film Director Greats

Ref: C2226748

An opportunity to explore some of the most exciting and innovative films ever made! Just who are the most important directors in the history of cinema, and how did they transform the medium of film? This course will look at those "auteurs" or "great directors" who, through their distinctive styles and themes combined with technical innovation, changed what film could achieve and how they influenced other filmmakers. Each session will focus on two particular directors, looking at their backgrounds, examining their most important film and discussing why it is so significant. Among the directors being explored are such familiar names as Alfred Hitchcock, Federico Fellini and Jean-Luc Godard, along with lesser-known but equally important filmmakers like Dorothy Arzner and Ousmane Sembene. There will also be space for students to nominate any obvious omissions. The perfect course for both people who know nothing about cinema and film buffs alike!

Course aim

The aim of this course is to introduce students to the most important directors in the history of cinema and examine how they transformed the medium of film.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

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

  • Define the term "auteur" in the context of cinema.
  • Identify the most important directors in the history of cinema.
  • Explain the reasons why these directors are so important.
  • Evaluate how these directors relate to their national, social or industrial context.
  • Watch films by these great directors with greater insight.

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
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required
  • Although there is no pre-course reading, here is a list of suggested viewing: Dance, Girl, Dance (Arzner, 1940); Breathless (Godard, 1960); Psycho (Hitchcock, 1960); Fellini's Eight and a Half (Fellini, 1963); Borom Sarret (Sembene, 1963); Mean Streets (Martin Scorsese, 1973).

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

Download full course information sheet

Film Director Greats


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 2019
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact

Visa Credit payments supported by RBS WorldPay Visa Debit payments supported by RBS WorldPay Visa Electron payments supported by RBS WorldPay Mastercard payments supported by RBS WorldPay Maestro payments supported by RBS WorldPay JCB payments supported by RBS WorldPay Solo payments supported by RBS WorldPay
RBS WorldPay Payments Processing