LIT260 : Post-War British Realist Cinema

Convener(s): Dr David Forrest:


General Information

This module represents a journey through British realist cinema from the post-war period to the present day, covering key thematic and textual trends and providing a thorough exploration of relevant social and cultural contexts in the process. You will explore the immediate post war period in British cinema, examining the formative influence of wartime fiction films and documentaries on realism, before moving to the work of key filmmakers and film cycles, such as: the social problem film (It Always Rains on Sunday [Robert Hamer, 1947]); the British New Wave (The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner [Tony Richardson, 1962]); Ken Loach (Raining Stones [1993]); Mike Leigh (Secrets and Lies [1995]); Black British Cinema (Pressure [Horace Ove, 1976]); the films of Stephen Frears and Hanif Kureishi (My Beautiful Laundrette [1985]); the ‘Brit Grit’ and post-industrial realist cycles of the 90s (Brassed Off [Mark Herman, 1996]); the work of Shane Meadows (Dead Man’s Shoes [2004]); and recent examples of contemporary British realism (Weekend [Andrew Haigh, 2011]). The module will examine how British filmmakers have explored the changing political and social landscape of post-war Britain, with a particular focus on issues of class, race, gender and sexuality.


Teaching will be delivered via one weekly 2 hour seminar, accompanied by one weekly film screening (up to two hours). The seminars will provide an introduction to the topics associated with the film selected for screening, and will be a combination of verbal and audio-visual exhibition (informal lecture) and group discussion. Set texts and further reading/viewing will be specified to provide a basis for seminar discussion and assessment.


You will be assessed via a learning journal and a research essay. The journal will provide you with an opportunity to reflect on what you have learned each week, and will offer you a space to illustrate your understanding of the issues raised in the lectures and seminars. The research essay will be a 2500-3000 word piece to be delivered at the end of the module. You will set the essay topic (in consultation with the tutor). In doing this, you will be encouraged to explore the areas of research that have interested you most over the course of the module.

Contact Details

0114 22228493

Information last changed: Tuesday 21st of March 2017 :: 08:34:10 AM (GMT)

Please note: This module may or may not run in any individual session. Please check with the course convener.


The University of Sheffield, Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TN, UK