In an increasingly digital age, old-fashioned libraries are an unusual experience for many young people. However, last week the Upper Sixth Film Studies students enjoyed a visit to the Reuben Library at the BFI, in order to undertake independent research for their coursework projects.
This year students have chosen research topics that reflect a wide range of interests including the representation of Chinese mythology in Hollywood blockbusters, the cinematography of Roger Deakins, the representation of women in 1930s screwball comedies, and the editing style of Sergei Eisenstein. The conventions of research libraries were a new experience for students, who had to learn how to submit requests for books and journals be ordered from storage.
Harry Woodfin said, “It was good to be able to dip into a large number of texts and just read one chapter before deciding which would be useful. And I loved the architecture of the BFI and National Theatre.”
Tom Stopford also noted that although some of the material was aimed at university students and therefore too academically challenging for A level, nevertheless “it was useful not just for the specific information I read but the way it helped me to think more broadly about my topic”.