This course will survey the economic, cultural, technological, and political contexts that have shaped the history of American cinema as art and commerce, from its origins in the mass culture of the 19th century to its centrality to the global multimedia environment of the 21st. In addition to examining the historical factors that allowed Hollywood to become the dominant global force in the making and mass marketing of movies, we will explore the continuing vitality of independent and experimental filmmaking, shining the spotlight on historically marginalized voices. Some of the topics covered will include the star system, the transition from silents to sound, self-regulation and the ratings system, filmmaking in wartime, women in and out of the industry, the Hollywood Renaissance of the 1970s, African American cinema, blockbusters and spectacle, queer cinema, and Pixar as contemporary franchise. In addition, we will see films by some of the most famous directors in American film history -- as well as some of the most unjustly overlooked. By the end of this course, you will have a detailed knowledge of the history of American cinema, the individuals and institutional processes that have shaped it, the economic, technological, and political forces that have transformed it, and the contemporary debates about its future. Priority given to majors and minors. REQUIRED SCREENING: Wednesdays @ 7 pm.
Course Attributes: EN H; BU Hum; AS HUM; FA HUM; AR HUM; FA CPSC