The Living Picture Craze: An Introduction to Victorian Film

FutureLearn The Living Picture Craze: An Introduction to Victorian Film

The British Film Institute (BFI)
3 hours/week
3 weeks
Paid Certificate Available
Course Link
Explore the birth of film and the end of Queen Victoria’s epic reign
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.

We will be your expert guides to this incredible content, leading you through the many spectacles and curiosities made during film’s formative years, 1895-1901.

What topics will you cover?
  • In Week 1 we will investigate the late Victorian period in Britain. We’ll unravel and discuss common myths about the era, and examine what Victorian films reveal about the society that produced them.

  • In Week 2 we take a trip around the Victorian world. We’ll examine how film became a key medium to explore this rapidly-changing world, both at home and abroad. You’ll also discover why a phantom ride isn’t as scary as it sounds, and have the opportunity to make your own to share with your peers.

  • In Week 3 we take a trip into the Victorian mind. What did audiences watch and why? What made them laugh and cry? We’ll examine a wide variety of films from comedies and trick films to serious dramas and adaptations.
Innovation, invention and dynamism characterise these filmic spectacles and you’ll be asked to draw parallels to our own multimedia landscape. We’ll conclude the course with a programming exercise that will bring together all that you’ve learnt during the last three weeks.

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.

Taught by
Mark Reid and Team
First release
Last update
0.00 star(s) 0 ratings