Film 4960

American Film History II

Summer 2006

Lecture, Tuesdays & Thursdays

10:55am to 1:40pm

204 Aderhold Learning Center

Screening Lab, Fridays

11am to 1pm

406 Arts and Humanities

 

Mr. Bryan Cardinale-Powell

Room 729, One Park Place

(404) 651-0468

joubcp@langate.gsu.edu

 

Office Hours: Tuesdays & Thursdays, 10 to 10:50 am, or by appointment

 

Course Description:

The history of American film is traditionally divided between the Classical Hollywood studio era and everything that came after.  In this class, students will explore issues surrounding the development of a historical understanding of American film after the demise of the studio system.  We will discuss an array of readings and films that foreground a range of social, economic, political, technological, and aesthetic forces at play in the historical development of the New Hollywood (or whatever we want to call it).

 

Required Text:

Coursepack, available for purchase at The Printshop.

 

Coursepack contents:

 

“Theses on the philosophy of Hollywood history,” by Murray Smith.  Contemporary Hollywood Cinema.  New York: Routledge, 1998.  pp. 3-20.

 

“’Nobody knows everything’: Post-classical historiographies and consolidated entertainment,” by Richard Maltby.  Contemporary Hollywood Cinema.  New York: Routledge, 1998.  pp. 21-44.

 

“Hollywood corporate business practice and periodizing contemporary film history,” by Douglas Gomery.  Contemporary Hollywood Cinema.  New York: Routledge, 1998.  pp. 47-57.

 

“New Hollywood, version 1: The Hollywood Renaissance,” by Geoff King.  New Hollywood Cinema.  New York: Columbia University, 2002.  pp. 11-48

 

“A quick look at censorship in the New Hollywood,” by Jon Lewis.  Hollywood v. Hard Core. New York: New York University, 2000.  pp. 267-299.

 

“Intensified continuity: Visual style in contemporary American Film,” by David Bordwell.  Film Quarterly.  55:3 (2002).  pp. 16-28.

 

“Modern Classicism,” by Kristin Thompson.  Storytelling in the New Hollywood.  Cambridge: Harvard University, 1999.  pp. 1-49.

 

“Home video: The early years,” by Frederick Wasser.  Veni, vidi, video: The Hollywood empire and the VCR.  Austin: University of Texas, 2001.  pp. 76-103.

 

“The years of independence: 1981-1986,” by Frederick Wasser.  Veni, vidi, video: The Hollywood empire and the VCR.  Austin: University of Texas, 2001.   pp. 104-130.

 

 “Talkin’ ‘bout a revolution: Home video,” by Janet Wasko.  Hollywood in the Information Age.  Austin: University of Texas, 1994.  pp. 113-170.

 

“The Silver Screen: Theatrical exhibition in the Information Age,” by Janet Wasko.  Hollywood in the Information Age.  Austin: University of Texas, 1994.  pp. 171-185.

 

“The Left and Right cycles,” by Robert Ray.  A certain tendency of the Hollywood cinema, 1930-1980.  Princeton: Princeton University, 1985.  pp. 296-325.

 

“Papering the cracks: Fantasy and ideology in the Reagan Era,” by Robin Wood.  Hollywood from Vietnam to Reagan…and beyond.  New York: Columbia University, 2003.  pp. 144-167.

 

“Teens, parties, and roller coasters,” by Robin Wood.  Hollywood from Vietnam to Reagan…and beyond.  New York: Columbia University, 2003.  pp. 309-332

 

“Of dinosaurs and ships: Steven Spielberg, large things, and the digital mise-en-scene,” by Robert Kolker.  A Cinema of Loneliness.  New York: Oxford University, 2000.  pp. 247-328.

 

The Color Purple:Black women as cultural readers,” by Jacqueline Bobo.  The Audience Studies Reader.  New York: Routledge, 2003.  pp. 304-314.

 

 “The oppositional gaze: black female spectators,” by bell hooks.  Reel to real: race, sex and class at the movies.  New York: Routledge, 1996.  pp. 197-213

 

“Form,” by Geoff King.  American Independent Cinema.  Bloomington: Indiana University, 2005.  pp. 105-164.

 

 “Freedom from styles and styles of freedom,” by Ray Carney.  American Dreaming: The films of John Cassavetes and the American Experience.   Berkeley: University of California, 1985.  pp. 8-19.

 

Readings assigned for this course were carefully selected to complement class activities and screenings.  Therefore, reading assignments should be completed before attending class.

 

Additional readings may be assigned and distributed over the term, depending on developments in the class.

 

Course Requirements:

Student requirements include the following:

 

         • Attendance and Participation in classroom discussions

         • Completion of two (2) exams

         • Screening Previews

         • Screening responses

 

Exams: Both exams for the class will require students to respond in short essay form to a series of questions derived from class readings and screenings. 

 

Screening previews: At the end of class each Thursday, a group of students will provide the class with a preview of that week’s screening.  This preview should include copies of at least three (3) reviews of the film contemporary with its original release as well as background information on the director, production, and distribution of the film.  Each student will participate in one group.

 

Screening responses: Tuesday classes will open with a discussion of the week’s screening.  To supplement this discussion, students should submit to the insturctor, via email, a one to two page response to each film no later than 6 p.m. Monday following the screening.

 

No cheating and/or academic dishonesty in any form will be tolerated in this course.  Please refer to the Policy on Academic Honesty explained in the online student handbook available at http://www2.gsu.edu/%7Ewwwdos/codeofconduct_conpol.html for further details.

 

Make-up exams and grades of Incomplete (I) are reserved solely for verifiable hardships.

 

Grading:

The grading scale is consistent with the scale administered by the University:

 

 

90-100

A

 

 

80-89

B

 

 

70-79

C

 

 

60-69

D

 

 

0-59

F

 

 

Students will earn final grades based on the following formula:

 

         30%  Exam 1

         40%  Exam 2

         10%  Screening preview

         10%  Screening responses

         10%  Attendance/Participation

 

July 3rd is the last day students can withdraw from this class and receive a grade of W.  If you choose to withdraw from this course, please be sure to follow the Registrar’s procedure to make sure your withdrawal is official before the deadline, otherwise you will receive an F for the course. 

 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at any time during the semester to discuss your classroom performance.  They’re your grades.  You earn them.


 

 

Tentative Class Schedule

Changes may be necessary due to unforeseen circumstances

 

WEEK 1

JUNE 13

 

15

 

 

 

 

 

16

 

Course introduction

 

Thinking Hollywood history

READ:  Smith, “Theses on the philosophy of Hollywood        

                       History”

           Maltby, “’Nobody knows everything’ Post-classical   

                       historiographies and consolidated entertainment”

 

FRIDAY SCREENING: The Exorcist

 

WEEK 2

20

 

 

 

 

22

 

 

23

 

Thinking Hollywood history (again)

READ:  Gomery, “Hollywood corporate business practice and

                         periodizing contemporary film history”

           King, “New Hollywood, version 1”

 

Censorship and movie ratings

READ:  Lewis, “A quick look at censorship in the New Hollywood”

 

FRIDAY SCREENING: South Park: Bigger, Louder, and Uncut

 

WEEK 3

27

 

 

 

29

 

30

 

New Hollywood aesthetics (?)

READ:  Bordwell, “Intensified continuity”

           Thompson, “Modern classicism”

 

READ:  McKee, excerpts from Story

 

FRIDAY SCREENING: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

 

WEEK 4

JULY 4

 

6

 

7

 

*** NO CLASS – 4th of JULY HOLIDAY ***

 

EXAM 1

 

FRIDAY SCREENING: Adaptation

 


 

WEEK 5

11

 

 

 

13

 

 

 

14

 

Home video and the Hollywood response

READ:  Wasser, “Home video: the early years”

           Wasser, “The years of independence, 1981-1986”

 

READ:  Wasko, “Talkin’ ’bout a revolution: home video”

           Wasko, “The silver screen: theatrical exhibition in the

                        information age”

 

FRIDAY SCREENING: Bubble

 

WEEK 6

18

 

 

20

 

 

21

 

Cultural perspectives on Hollywood films

READ: Ray, “The left and right cycles”

 

READ: Wood, “Papering the cracks”

          Wood, “Teens, parties, and roller coasters”

 

FRIDAY SCREENING: Wall Street

 

WEEK 7

25

 

 

 

 

 

27

 

 

 

28

 

31

 

 

Steven Spielberg, blockbuster

READ: Kolker, “Of dinosaurs and ships”

          Hooks, “The oppositional gaze”

          Bobo, “’The Color Purple’: Black women as cultural

                      readers”

 

American Independent cinema

READ: King, “Form”

          Carney, “Freedom from styles and styles of freedom”

 

FRIDAY SCREENING: Dead Man

         

Wrap-up and review

 

AUGUST 3

 

FINAL EXAM

*** Thursday August 3rd at 10:15am ***