Juke Box Cinema: Rock and Pop on Film

Ref: C2226750

Blow away those Monday morning cobwebs with this hip and funky exploration of rock and pop music on film! From the early films featuring Bill Haley and Tommy Steele, this course will examine the various types of movies that feature rock and pop, both the hits and misses, asking if different types of music result in different types of film-making. It will explore why The Beatles films are so successful as films in their own right and question if Elvis Presley's cinematic career has been unfairly maligned. It will also look at the issues involved in making "bio-pics" (currently big box-office with the recent successes of "Bohemian Rhapsody" and "Rocketman"), investigate the revelations to be found in "Rockumentaries" like "Don't Look Back", and explain the pomp and excess of "Rock Operas" such as "Tommy". Finally, it will determine how you can film a rock concert and make it interesting. All this and The Rubettes on the back of a truck! This course should be played loud!

Course aim

To provide an introduction to the various depictions of rock and pop music on film, and how these have evolved since the early days of rock'n'roll.

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:

  • Identify the most important rock and pop films.
  • Explain the issues involved in putting rock and pop music on film. How do they different from the traditional Hollywood musical?
  • Describe the tension between accuracy and fabrication found within the "Bio-pic".
  • Discern the film-making techniques utilised when filming a rock concert.
  • Watch rock and pop films 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 is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful
  • Some of films which will be covered on the course are: Jailhouse Rock (1957); The Young Ones (1961); A Hard Day's Night (1964); Don't Look Back (1965); Tommy (1975); The Last Waltz (1978); In Bed with Madonna (1991); 24 Hour Party People (2002); Telstar (2008); Bohemian Rhapsody (2019)

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
  • Access the WEA What Next? booklet here http://www.wea.org.uk/learn-wea/what-can-i-do-next

Download full course information sheet

Juke Box Cinema: Rock and Pop on Film


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 courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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