Hollywood and the History of American Popular Film
*PLEASE NOTE THAT FOR THE 2014/15 SESSION ONLY HISTG068 HOLLYWOOD GENRES WILL BE RUNNING*
30 credits, also available as two 15-credit modules:
HISTG051 American History on Film (not running 14/15)
HISTG068 Hollywood Genres (running 14/15 in term 1)*
*Film Studies students may take this module as HISTG079 Hollywood Genres (30 credits)
Film viewing and seminar: Term 1, Mondays 2-7
The last quarter of a century has seen an enormous expansion in film history. Among the many themes examined by scholars have been the consequences of technological change within the industry, the history of the studios as financial and bureaucratic institutions, the idea of stardom as a conscious cultural creation, the record of film censorship, the relation between the reception accorded films by critics and features of the society into which they were released, the ways in which gender, race, and ethnicity have been represented on film, the development of genres and narrative styles, and the way film theory itself has evolved. All these subjects will be examined in the course.
Each class will be divided into two parts. Discussion in the first part will revolve around a particular film, and will deal with the representation of history on film or the division of groups of films into genres, as well as issues of direction, narrative style, acting, publicity, studio politics, and film finance. The second part of each class will introduce students to more general aspects of film history, such as the coming of sound or the emergence of the studio system.
Assessment: (30 credit) 2 essays totalling 8,000 words; (15 credit) 1 essay of up to 4,000 words
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