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Film studies at Ormiston Bushfield Academy

Course description

"No art passes our conscience in the way film does, and goes directly to our feelings, deep down into the dark rooms of our souls."

                                                                                   - Ingmar Bergman

Film studies is an academic discipline that deals with the various theoretical, historical and critical approaches to film, alongside the development of practical story-telling skills. On this course you will work creatively and critically with the major art form of the 20th century; exploring the new modes of expression and exhibition that continually shape contemporary cinema.

Course content

Within the first year, in a comparison of British and American cinema, you will study the film industry and the interrelationship between audiences and producers. You will explore the representation of 1960s British culture and society by preparing detailed case studies on the films Billy Liar (Schlesinger, UK, 1963) Up The Junction (Collinson, UK, 1968) Darling (Schlesinger, UK, 1965) and If (Anderson, UK, 1968), and complete a comparative study of the two American gangster films, Angels With Dirty Faces (Curtiz, US, 1938) and Goodfellas (Scorsese, US, 1990).

In the second year the final synoptic components require you to: study aspects of national Iranian cinema, extending your knowledge of the diversity of film and its effects; explore key developments of film language and spectatorship within early cinema and consider how and why the film form developed as it did; undertake a critical study of Vertigo (Hitchcock, US, 1958) by discussing how film language, genre, narrative and representation construct meaning and provoke emotional responses.

Your study of cinema takes place alongside your own production and investigative work. This aspect of the course develops your technical skills and ability to conduct informative academic research through a wide range of sources. It prepares you to tackle the theoretical, cultural and ethical debates that film studies advances. In the first year you will produce a written analysis of a film sequence of your choice and write, produce and direct a three to five minute film sequence.

In the second year you will complete an independent research project into one of the following aspects of film; genre, narrative, institution, stars and performers, auteur, gender issues, ethnicity, technology or social, political and cultural issues. Using the knowledge and skills you have developed throughout the course, it is expected that you will produce a film sequence which reaches “directly to our feelings, deep down into the dark rooms of our souls”.

Entry requirements

5 GCSEs A* - C Including English language/literature

Future opportunities

Although by no means a vocational qualification, the practical work on this course is a major component (45%), and provides skills for confident individual engagement with the creative industries of the future. Equally, the emphasis on personal response and research within more theoretical debates and frameworks is an excellent preparation for university level academic work. Most of our film studies students have continued their education at university studying subjects such as film, animation, media production, fine art, film and history, and English at some of the countries best universities. Also, some of our students have moved directly into apprenticeships. Holly for example now has a full time position with Mediacom, one of the worlds leading leading media agencies.

Further information

Film Studies offers you an opportunity to work on what is for many people the principal source of imaginative and aesthetic pleasure in contemporary culture, and as a result, this course complements other advanced level subjects such as English, history, politics, sociology and psychology.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Ormiston Bushfield Academy directly.

Last updated date: 08 October 2015
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 1 year (AS), 2 years (A-level)