The Films of the New American Cinema (of the 1970s)

Ref: C2226596

Have you wanted to explore and further understand what the achievements of a number of essential American films of the 1970s are ? This course examines key films, from across a range of genres, that demonstrate how dynamic and engaging genre cinema can be and how the work of a number of filmmakers informed the evolution of American cinema in terms of filmmaker as 'film author'. The course will explore visual style, directorial signature and the ways in which the movies were received upon original release and what their legacies have been. Each session will provide the opportunity for you to engage with the language and terminology of Film Studies (which the tutor will support you with) and to make connections between a film and broader cultural debate.

Additional information about this course

Half term break on 29/10/2019

Course aim

The purpose is to consider how a number of American films of the 1970s demonstrate high achievements in film craft and art. Cultural context is also discussed. Each session is supported by handout indicating further reading and viewing.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • You will need your own personal email address so that you’re able to login to the WEA’s digital learning platform: WEA Canvas. You will need to be able to understand how to follow URL links to pages on the internet. If you want to understand more about Canvas please visit:
  • 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 what constitutes the concept of New American cinema.
  • Discuss the relationship between genre and ideology.
  • Utilise some of the vocabulary of film analysis in the discussion of a film.
  • Relate a specific film to the broader cultural debate.
  • Identify how representation (of race,gender and other subjects) is expressed in cinema.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA’s digital learning platform, Canvas will be used to provide resources or to support lessons, enable assessment, provide learner feedback and for other activities for individuals away from the course. If you want to understand more about our digital learning platform please visit:
  • In each session there will be value placed on group discussion in response to themes and issues that will arise. The sessions will not be only lecture format in presentation.

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?

  • Your tutor will place reading resources online to support the course. If you do not have access to online response, the tutor will happily provide a hard copy document(s) for your reference.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required

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
  • Based on the experience and work of the tutor for this course, if you wished to discuss Higher Education as a potential next step , the tutor is ready and able to advise (in concert with the WEA).

Download full course information sheet

The Films of the New American Cinema (of the 1970s)

Is this course right for me? Request more information

This course has been cancelled.


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

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