Centre for Continuing Education

Movies Now Course: Your Movie Club

Film. Focus on cinema.

Appreciate and learn about film the smart way with Film courses at the University of Sydney.

Learning Aims

This unique and popular movie appreciation course is like having your own private movie club. In its 11th year, Movies Now offers participants ‘private movie premieres’ prior to their commercial release with each featured movie specially selected by the presenter and popular film critic, Andrew L Urban. The featured movies and their titles remain a secret until their screening to ensure that participants approach each film on its own merits, uncompromised by outside opinions.

Following each movie screening, a special guest will join the group for a discussion designed to help explore the background of each film whilst analysing the themes and cinematic elements. Where possible, the special guests will include the filmmakers themselves.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the course, students will be able to appreciate and discuss films with a broader cinematic vocabulary and to recognise the importance of the many elements that make up a film, from the screenplay (story, subtext, context) to casting and performances, the direction, cinematography, design and music.

Course Content

Participants will experience a range of cinematic styles and genres, exploring the whole spectrum of the human condition as conveyed on screen. The movies are chosen to engage and challenge, to stimulate discussion and explore how different filmmakers tell their stories.

A past featured movie

A Perfect Day, directed by Fernando Leon de Arona (Australian release, June 9, 2016). Multi award winning film starring Benicio Del Toro, Tim Robbins, Olga Kurylenko, Melanie Thierry. Somewhere in the Balkans in 1995, a group of aid workers tries to remove a cadaver from a well in an armed conflict zone. The body was thrown into the well to contaminate the water and cut the water supply to the local population. But circumstances soon turn a simple task into an impossible mission. The workers cross the frenzied war landscape like guinea pigs in a maze, and there might be no way out. A war inside another war, in which the only enemy could be irrationality. The crisis they’re trying to solve is humanitarian, but they’re only human. “A haunting, darkly funny work full of surprises and bristling with tension – and superb performances.”

Intended Audience

Participants must be 18 years or over.

Courses in Sydney. Open to the public.

  • Expert trainers
  • Central locations
  • Small class sizes
  • Free, expert advice
  • Course notes – yours to keep
  • Certificate of completion

What others say about this course.

  • The presenter has an appealing and professional manner as the convenor of the movie nights. An enjoyable way to learn and appreciate.

  • Something wonderful. Challenging. Thrilling. Endearing.

  • I enjoyed the course and definitely learned a lot about the elements that go to make up a film.

  • Once again, a fabulous series of movies. The presenter is always knowledgeable and conveys to us the concepts of the movies and what we should be looking for. The guests are always interesting and the discussions at the end of each movie are very enlightening! It is remarkable how 80 people can watch the same movie and yet have such different views about it. I’ll be enrolling again.

  • This has been a most enjoyable six weeks. I looked forward to every session. The movies and the guests were well chosen. The subsequent discussion was well pitched. Hearing the different audience reactions as well as the expert guest response was very interesting. I’ll be back!

  • This course is great fun. I have enrolled in quite a few now, and enjoy it more each time. The movies are thoughtfully chosen and the guest speakers always interesting.

  • I particularly enjoyed this season of ‘Movies Now’. Some great movies and good guests for an informative after movie chat. I looked forward to attending many more!

  • The course is a wonderful experience that broadens ones horizons. The input of industry professionals in the discussions is greatly enriching.

  • A most informative and well-rounded experience. Engaging with top industry professionals made this a truly gripping adventure.

  • I’ve been coming to these courses since their inception, only missing one series through illness. I love them and will continue to attend – they are the highlight of my week!

  • Great course, interesting films and elated informal atmosphere add to enjoyment.

  • Another great ‘Movies Now’ class! Thank you for sharing your connections and insights!

  • Highly enriching, informative, interesting. Wonderful to hear the comments of industry professionals on specific aspects of film making relevant to each film and to participate in the discussions after the films.

  • The value of the guest discussants varied tremendously. The good ones provided really valuable insight. Would love to see more of that. Otherwise an excellent course. Thanks for opening our eyes to a more multi-faceted way to assess and enjoy a film.

  • I really enjoyed the ‘Movies Now’ Course, particularly the calibre of guests we had and the interesting post-film discussions.

  • The course allows me to see high quality movies I would not otherwise be highly aware of. The perceptions gained from discussions with film industry experts enhance the experience immensely.

  • ‘Movies Now’ brightens my week, truly something very special to look forward to. The selection never fails to engage and surprise, and I have enjoyed many hilarious and thought-provoking discussions with the guests. Can’t wait for the next season!

  • Great variety of contrasting films presented. Sessions well chaired by the presenter with good topics raised and with student-centred discussions. Interesting visiting contributors.

  • Another great mix of challenging, entertaining and truly creative cinema combined with knowledgeable guests and a probing interviewer. Love the intimate vibe in the new Dendy theatrette. The bonus movie was a fantastic choice. Thanks!

  • Once again, an outstanding series of movies. This is a fantastic course and I will keep re-enrolling!

  • The discussion after the movie adds a new dimension to movie going. It is like a quiet time to reflect on the experience.

  • I really enjoyed the course and hope to sign up for the next one. A wonderful tutor and I also enjoyed the special guests. It’s a great way to spend a Wednesday night! Thanks.

  • Outstanding organisation! Great to see movies before they are released. The discussions following the movie are very beneficial.

This course has no current classes. Please join the waiting list.