British Cinema
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British Cinema: From Hitchcock to Morvern Callar.

London Term, Fall 2007

Steve Macek, Instructor

Though it is today enjoying a tremendous renaissance, the British film industry has long been overshadowed by Hollywood and by the more prolific, better-funded national cinemas of France, Italy and Germany. Yet, despite this, British cinema remains a central fixture of British popular culture and individual British films and directors have enjoyed considerable international prestige over the years.

This course will take a critical look at the tumultuous history of British cinema from its early years to the present (with a particular focus on the post-WWII period). It will introduce students to the significant movements, styles, writers, directors, actors, films and studios that helped to shape that history. It will also explore the economic organization of the UK’s film industry and the role government policy has played in promoting film production. Special emphasis will be placed on various ways films produced in the UK have both reflected and commented upon changes in postwar British society, politics and culture.

In addition to learning about British cinema through the course readings, lectures and required film screening, we will take group field trips to some of London’s many film festivals as well as to the BBC and the British Film Institute. 

Students will write several short film reviews, will complete one medium-length director (or studio) profile (10-12 pages) and will take a midterm and a final exam.