An archive of the Film Appreciation Close-Ups that have been held during 2015


The Gothic Imagination On Screen

RebeccaVampires, monsters, haunted houses, sinister children and a wealth of characters who just refuse to die… Come and explore the gothic on screen with clips from Dracula, Psycho, Rebecca, Frankenstein, Theatre of Blood, The Innocents and many more.

Film and Fairytale

Film and FairytaleIn this session we will explore the structure of fairytales and peel away the psychological layers via a variety of stunning films including Blanca Nieves (a contemporary Spanish black and white silent film), Cocteau’s gloriously Gothic La Belle et La Bete, Neil Jordan’s vision of Angela Carter’s The Company of Wolves, Charles Laughton’s classic Night of the Hunter featuring Robert Mitchum as a nightmare Bluebeard-cum-Bogeyman figure and, of course, Shrek!

The Films of Orson Welles

The Films of Orson Welles“I always have to be bigger than life.  It’s a fault in my nature.”  Orson Welles was a brilliant director, writer and actor who still divides opinion.  Was he a frustrated genius? A difficult, flawed showman?  A chaotic trickster? He was all of these, of course but Citizen Kane is just the starting point for a beguiling career full of contradictions, where the twinkling boyishness of Harry Lime (The Third Man) meets the monstrous Hank Quinlan (Touch of Evil).  This talk will attempt to unravel Welles’ quixotic career and dispel a myth or two.

Hitchcock, Lynch and the Double

Hitchcock, Lynch and the DoubleAt first glance the films and lives of David Lynch and Alfred Hitchcock seem poles apart but there are strange parallels to be found. Lynch was hugely influenced by Hitchcock, particularly his idea of the double and alter egos. In this session we will explore films such as Blue Velvet, Mulholland Drive and Inland Empire (plus a quick excursion to the world of Twin Peaks) as well as Strangers on a Train, Psycho and Vertigo to enhance our appreciation of these two quirky geniuses.

Classics of French Cinema

Classics of French CinemaDiscover the marvels of French cinema from pre-war classics such as Les Enfants du Paradis and Le Jour se leve to the influential post-war New Wave film-makers Godard and Truffaut and the humour of perennially popular Jacques Tati as well as a consideration of modern classics such as Amelie and Hidden.

The Films of Billy Wilder

The Films of Billy WilderAustrian-born Billy Wilder was one of the many Jewish exiles from Weimar Germany where he began his career as a screenwriter with a charming adaptation of Emil and the Detectives. Arriving in Hollywood in 1933 he quickly made his mark with some stunning films including Double Indemnity, Some Like it Hot, The Apartment and Sunset Boulevard. This session will explore the life and work of this much-loved director.

British Cinema and Crime

British Cinema and CrimeAn exploration of the representation of crime, punishment, and policing in British Cinema between 1945 and 1999 including clips from The Blue Lamp and The League of Gentlemen. Professor Bob Peckitt started his career in medicine and specialized in forensic psychiatry. He is the author of several monographs on crime and literature, including “France in the Blood” and “Colour it Prussian Blue” dealing with the life and works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.


High NoonCelebrating the good, the bad and the ugly with this celebration of the classic Western genre. In this session we will explore how changing American identity is expressed in a range of films before turning to High Noon where Gary Cooper continues his depiction of a strong, silent persona in this role — a principled man standing alone and ready for battle against a deadly enemy. This beautifully shot film where every minute counts is an anti-blacklisting allegory and a fascinating insight into the changing face of America.

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