British Cinema and Society in the 1980s and 1990s
- (Special Subject, Year 3, Semester 1)
- Credits: 20
- Convenor Dr S Dux
- Course code: HA3482
This module will look specifically at films that relate to the social and political changes that Britain was experiencing during the 1980s and 1990s. From the Thatcherite policies advocated by the then Prim Minister Margaret Thatcher, which dominated the 1980s, to the more consensual leadership promoted by John Major in the 1990s with his 'classless society', and the return to a Labour Government under Tony Blair in 1997 with 'New Labour', the module will cover a range of genres that reflect both the political climate and the new creative advances that were emerging in cinema.
We will look at the work of a number of directors, including Stephen Frears, James Ivory, John Boorman, Mike Newell, Ken Loach, Danny Boyle and Shekhar Kapur. The course will cover a range of genres/cycles including the heritage film, the social realist film, political drama, literary adaptation, the comedy. Within these films several themes will be explored such as national identity, class, race, gender and sexuality, and youth culture. The emphasis of this module will be to position the films in their historical and cultural contexts, and to show how British cinema was both informed and responded to the changes of the time.
Learning and Teaching
The teaching for this module will be through screenings and tutorials.
By the end of this module you should have achieved the following learning outcomes:
- a knowledge and understanding of the key issues and debates affecting British cinema during the 1980s and 1990s
- an appreciation of British cinema during the 1980s and 1990s as both a social practice and an art form
- the ability to analyse key films of the period in relation to their historical contexts of production and reception.
The scheme will be assessed by one coursework essay of 2,000-3,000 words (50% of the module mark) and a three-hour examination (50% of the module mark).
This module is only available to students who took Film Studies as their first-year Option