Film Studies

The Showroom’s Film Studies programme is open to everybody interested in film, with alternate screenings and discussions led by film lecturers from Sheffield Hallam University every Wednesday. The terms are 8 weeks long, with 4 films and 4 sessions.

£65 / £50 concessions for the full term. Tickets for the whole term can be booked at the Box Office. Tickets are also available for the films individually.  

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Hollywood Be Thy Name!

Hollywood: a place holds the promise of making dreams of stardom come true.

Hollywood: an industry that can turn those dreams and aspirations into the stuff of nightmare.

The perceived narcissism of the Hollywood film industry is most obviously apparent in the fact that it loves to make films about itself. From Billy Wilder's Sunset Blvd. to Robert Altman'sThe Player, Hollywood likes nothing better than to display its darker side. The lure of fame and wealth is shown to encourage the worst aspects of human nature and we, as viewers, always love to watch such things. The payoff always exposes the glitz and glamour of this city of dreams to be nothing but a sham, concealing delusion, disappointment, deceit and often death.

This season of four 'Hollywood on Hollywood' movies amply illustrates this self-excoriating obsession; big budget studio movies that lift the lid on the seamier side of the film industry. Each film uses its protagonist to examine a different Hollywood stereotype, some based on real people, while others are thinly-disguised but easily identifiable Hollywood figures. Taken together, the films present a fascinating interrogation of Hollywood in its golden age during which, as MGM proudly boasted in 1943, it contained 'more stars than there are in heaven'.

The screenwriter is the subject for The Coen Brothers' Barton Fink, specifically Clifford Odets and William Faulkner, two writers lured to Hollywood to be compromised and corrupted; whilst in John Schlesinger's apocalyptic The Day Of The Locust the lower depths of the movie world get their moment of fame. The perils of movie stardom are terrifyingly depicted in Frank Perry'sMommie Dearest, a hysterical biopic of Joan Crawford, once Hollywood's biggest star. The director, as one might expect, gets the best of the deal inSullivan's Travels, an acid but ultimately benign examination of how Hollywood provides the masses with an escape from their humdrum lives.

Be ready for plenty of scandal, gossip and tall tales as we spend our time on the boulevard of broken dreams.

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