What's on at Hackney Picturehouse - Film Course
- Monday 1st Oct
2018, 120 mins
Six weeks on Mondays from 1 Oct , 7–9pm The course will take place in the Education Room at Hackney Picturehouse Lecturer: Dr Katie Da Cunha Lewin In this course, we will explore the lives of four stars of Hollywood: Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, Bette Davis and Barbara Stanwyck. We will delve into their lives and careers and track how they became some of Hollywood’s favourite actresses. At the same time, we will put their lives in context within the management and aesthetic of Hollywood during its Golden Age. By looking at the studio system and star contracts, as well as gossip columnists and entertainment reporting, we see how these actresses were created and shaped by Hollywood in order to sell dreams, ideas and, of course, tickets. We will consider some of their most iconic films and look at their acting styles, their presence and their image discussing the roles of women both on and off screen. In our study we will also look at film criticism by key theorists such as Richard Dyer and Laura Mulvey to consider the way in which we look at women on screen, and how cinema encodes particular ways of looking at women into our viewing. Week one: The beginnings of Hollywood and star theory In the first session we will consider the context of Hollywood in the 1930s 40s and 50s. We will look at the organisation of film production in Hollywood through contracts and studios and the effect that this had on how actors worked. Key to this is the formation of a “Star System”. Richard Dyer’s star theory will inform this discussion. Suggested viewing: The Women (1939) Week two: Norma Shearer: From silent films to talkies Through the life and work of Norma Shearer we will explore how she was typecast in pre-code films and how she became one of the most influential players in the studio system. Suggested viewing: A Free Soul (1930), Marie Antoinette (1938) Week Three: Joan Crawford: The image of a star During this week we will learn about the life and career of Joan Crawford. We will think about her unique acting style and how she created the image of a star. Suggested Viewing: A Woman’s Face (1941), Mildred Pierce (1945) Week four: Bette Davis: Fighting for actresses in Hollywood We will discuss Davis’s life and work, explore some of her key performances and consider how she helped paved the way for equal pay. We will also think about the tumultuous relationship between her and Crawford. Suggested Viewing: Jezebel (1938), All About Eve (1950) Week Five: Barbara Stanwyck: Showgirl to femme fatale This week we will focus on the life of one of Hollywood’s most popular actresses, and plot her career from showgirl to femme fatale. We will contrast her acting style with the styles of the other actresses we have looked at and consider her in relation to genre film. Suggested viewing: Lady Eve (1941), Double indemnity (1944) Week Six: The legacy of the star in contemporary Hollywood How did these four actresses lay the foundations for how we think about stardom and how stars are reported in Hollywood today? What has changed in the structures of film production and what are the benefits and challenges for actresses working in this changed landscape? Suggested viewing: Whatever Happened to Baby Jane (1966), Mulholland Drive (2001) Tickets are £70 for the full six-week course (£65 concession / £60 Picturehouse Members).
- Wednesday 31st Oct
2018, 120 mins
Six Weeks on Wednesdays from 31st Oct, 7-9pm The course will take place in the Education Room at Hackney Picturehouse Lecturer: Keith Shiri This course will introduce students to the history of African cinema, its politics and aesthetics and offers an opportunity to study Africa through the cinematic output of different countries. You will be introduced to the most significant pioneers of African cinema including Ousmane Sembene, Lionel Ngakane and Jean-Pierre Dikongue Pipa. We will consider African films within the social/historical context in which they were made considering themes such as regional experiences of colonialism, the role played by film in nation building and anti- colonial liberation and recent discussions of sexuality and gender. The classes will be in a seminar style and will feature the screening of selected clips and trailers of films spanning a little more than 50 years. Week one: An Historical Overview of African Cinema This week will look at the pioneering work by Ousmane Sembene a major figure in postcolonial African cinema. His film Black Girl a searing account of racism and isolation of a young black girl transported from Senegal to work as a maid was the first feature film directed and produced by an African. Suggested Viewing: Black Girl, dir. Ousmane Sembene (Senegal) Week two: The Look of Africa: Aesthetics of African Film Week 2 will compare and contrast creative styles of 2 celebrated films by filmmakers of different generations so as to build an understanding of visual style in African Cinema. We will examine films by Senegalese director Djibril Diop Mambety such as Touki Bouki and Mauritanian director Abderrahmane Sissako’s film Timbuktu. These films will inform a discussion on the particular aesthetics of African film. Suggested Viewing: Timbuktu, Dir. Abderrahmane Sissako Week Three: Film as a Tool of Anti-Colonial Liberation This week will consider the politics of representation. We will look at how Africans have been portrayed in the colonial period and the ways that film was taken up in Africa as a tool of cultural and political liberation. Suggested viewing: Darwin’s Nightmare dir. Hubert Sauper Africa Addios. Dir. Gualtiero Jacopeti and Franco Prosperi. A controversial, racist film that violently slanders Africa. Mama Colonel dir. Dieudo Hamadi (DRC) Week four: Cinema in the fight against apartheid In this week we will look at how cinema became an important tool of resistance against apartheid in South Africa. Suggested viewing: Dry White Season dir. Euzhan Palcy (Martinique). Adapted from South African writer André Brink’s novel, A Dry White Season focused on the politics of South African apartheid. It was such a compelling project brought Marlon Brando out of retirement to fulfil the project’s vision. Week Five: Nollywood: Building new African identities. Nollywood is a colloquial name given to Nigerian film industry. This week we look at the creative energy young Africans have brought to drama by embracing digital technology and their dynamic approach to dramatized film and TV. Suggested viewing: Fifty dir. Biyi Bendele (Nigeria): A riveting exploration of love and lust, power and rivalry, and seduction and infidelity, set in Africa’s most populous city, Lagos. Week Six: Gender and Sexuality We will discuss issues of gender and sexuality by drawing attention to the current debates on homoeroticism in African Cinema. Suggested viewing: The Wound, dir. John Trengove (South Africa): The Wound is a tender and intimate film that explores sexuality, masculinity and cultural identity against the backdrop of the Xhosa initiation ceremony. Tickets are £70 for the full six week course (£65 concession / £60 Picturehouse Members).