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Course Overview

Roll up! Roll up! Take your seats for the ‘Living Picture’ craze! In this course we journey back to the end of the Victorian era; a time of intense modernisation and unprecedented change. Using the BFI’s unique collection of surviving Victorian films we will debate common myths about the period and the materials, as well as examine what the films reveal about the society that produced them

  • Investigate the late Victorian period in Britain. Unravel and discuss common myths about the era, and examine what Victorian films reveal about the society that produced them.
  • Examine how film became a key medium to explore the rapidly-changing Victorian world; both at home and abroad. Discover why a phantom ride isn’t as scary as it sounds, and have the opportunity to make your own to share with peers.
  • Explore the Victorian imagination and learn about what audiences watched and why. Watch and examine a wide variety of films from comedies and trick films to serious dramas and adaptations.
  • Draw parallels with the visual spectacles available in Victorian period and our own multimedia landscape.
  • Programme a dynamic play bill for a Victorian audience and explain your choices.

This course is designed for anyone with a passion for film and Victorian and British history. This includes lecturers, teachers and students of film, media, history or English literature.

By the end of the course you will receive an Ozone certification.  This certification is evidence that you are able to…
  • Recognise different types of the earliest film materials made in the UK between 1895 and 1901.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how myths and stereotypes of the period have developed and explain what viewpoints might be more appropriate.
  • Assess and discuss the origins of film (and film projection) and be able to identify who the key personalities were in its development.
  • Show some comprehension of the period – the tastes and fashions, along with the entertainment industry itself – by creating a curated film programme for a specific audience.