Behind You! British Film Comedy

Ref: C2226789

Prepare to banish those summertime blues with this joyous celebration and exploration of the films that have tickled the British funny bone, and discover what they tell us about the country's psyche! Beginning with the weird and wacky world of early British silent film, this course will discover the extent to which the genre has its roots in pantomime and how music hall stars like George Formby and Will Hay kept the British end up during World War Two. It will then examine the sophisticated satire of the Ealing comedies, the saucy innuendo of the Carry On films, the surrealism of Monty Python and how transferring television comedy to the big screen saved the British film industry during the 1970s. Finally, it will explore recent developments like the Transatlantic romances of Richard Curtis, the comedies aimed at the "Silver Pound" and ask if there are new directions for the British film comedy - or is it just more of the same? This course comes with titters and chuckles guaranteed!

Course aim

To provide an overview of British film comedy and how it reflected changes in society.

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 "key films" of British film comedy.
  • Define the different types of British film comedy.
  • Place the films within a social and political context.
  • Describe the differences between and "Ealing comedy" and a "Carry On" film.
  • Determine the differences - and similarities - when transferring television comedy to the big screen.

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
  • Suggested pre-course viewing: No Limit (1935); Band Waggon (1939); The Goose Steps Out (1942); Passport to Pimlico (1949); Doctor in the House (1954); Carry On Doctor (1968); Monty Python's Life of Brian (1979); A Fish Called Wanda (1988); Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994); Calendar Girls (2003);

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

Download full course information sheet

Behind You! British Film Comedy

Enrolment Conditions

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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