globe
  1. Week 1 8 items
    1. Lecture 1 item
      1. Adorno's critique of Hollywood as mass culture

    2. Screening 1 item
      1. Blonde bombshell - Victor Fleming, Jean Harlow, Franchot Tone, Frank Morgan 1996

        Audio-visual document 

    3. Seminar 1 item
      1. Hollywood cinema as the epitome of capitalist culture. A discussion of the ways in which Blonde Bombshell displays its marketing tie-ins and constructs its star, Jean Harlow, as a commodity. 

    4. Additional Reading 5 items
      1. Dialectic of enlightenment - Theodor W. Adorno, Max Horkheimer 1997

        Book further reading chapter 'The Culture industry: enlightenment as mass deception ' pp.120 - 167 Adorno, Theodor W.; Horkheimer, Max

      2. The culture industry: selected essays on mass culture - Theodor W. Adorno 1991

        Book further reading chapter 'the Culture industry revisited' Adorno, Theodor W.

      3. The culture industry: selected essays on mass culture - Theodor W. Adorno 1991

        Book further reading 'Introduction ' Bernstein, J M

      4. Britton on film: the complete film criticism of Andrew Britton - Andrew Britton, Barry Keith Grant c2009

        Book further reading Chapter 'Consuming culture' pp 497 - 511 Britton Andrew

      5. Uncommon cultures: popular culture and post-modernism - Jim Collins 1989

        Book further reading

  2. Week 2 12 items
    1. Lecture 1 item
      1. The studio era as 'the classical'.

    2. Screening 2 items
      1. Gilda (1946) Sunday, 12 Dec 2010

        Audio-visual document recommended

      2. Gilda - Charles Vidor, Marion Parsonnet, E. A. Ellington, Jo Eisinger c1999 (videorecording)

        Audio-visual document recommended

    3. Essential Reading 2 items
      1. The classical Hollywood cinema: film style & mode of production to 1960 - David Bordwell, Janet Staiger, Kristin Thompson 1985

        Book essential Please read "The Classical Hollywood Style, 1917-60" pp.3-84

      2. The classical Hollywood cinema: film style & mode of production to 1960 - David Bordwell, Janet Staiger, Kristin Thompson 1985

        Book essential Please read "The Classical Hollywood Style, 1917-60" pp.3-84

    4. Seminar 1 item
      1. A consideration of the ways in which Gilda conforms to the model of the classical, focusing on narrative, character motivation and editing. A discussion of the ways in which it achieves a complexity of characterisation and motivation that might go beyond this model.

    5. Additional Reading 6 items
      1. The culture of queers - Richard Dyer 2002

        Book further reading Please read: Dyer, R. ‘Queer Noir’, pp. 90-115.

      2. The Hollywood studio system: a history - Douglas Gomery 2005

        Book further reading

      3. Hollywood cinema - Richard Maltby 2003

        Book further reading

      4. Bordwell and Hollywood - Douglas Pye 1989

        Article further reading

      5. The genius of the system: Hollywood filmmaking in the studio era - Thomas Schatz 1989

        Book further reading

  3. Week 3 12 items
    1. Lecture 1 item
      1. The 'Hollywood Renaissance' 

    2. Screening 2 items
      1. Bonnie and Clyde (1967) Thursday, 3 Jan 2013

        Audio-visual document 

      2. Bonnie and Clyde - Arthur Penn, David Newman, Robert Benton, Warren Beatty 1998 (videorecording)

        Audio-visual document 

    3. Essential Reading 2 items
    4. Seminar 1 item
      1. A discussion of the issues arising from the take up of the terminology of the Renaissance. Bonnie and Clyde as an example of the 'Hollywood Renaissance'.

    5. Additional reading 6 items
      1. Easy riders, raging bulls: how the sex 'n' drugs 'n' rock 'n' roll generation saved Hollywood - Peter Biskind 1998

        Book further reading

      2. Lost illusions: American cinema in the shadow of Watergate and Vietnam, 1970-1979 - David A. Cook 2002

        Book further reading

      3. The new Hollywood - Jim Hillier 1993

        Book further reading

      4. The movie brats: how the film generation took over Hollywood - Michael Pye, Lynda Myles 1979

        Book further reading

      5. Genre and contemporary Hollywood - Stephen Neale, British Film Institute 2002

        Book further reading Hall, S. ‘Tall Revenue Features: The Genealogy of the Modern Blockbuster’, pp. 11-26.

  4. Week 4 10 items
    1. Lecture 1 item
      1. New Hollywood or the post-classical. 

    2. Screening 2 items
      1. Mission: Impossible (1996) Saturday, 27 May 2017

        Audio-visual document 

      2. Mission Impossible, Brian de Palma, 1996.

    3. Essential Reading 2 items
    4. Seminar 1 item
      1. An analysis of the ways in which Mission Impossible exemplifies the economic and aesthetic strategies of the blockbuster. A consideration of the reflexive aesthetic strategies of Mission Impossible.  

    5. Recommended Reading 4 items
      1. Contemporary Hollywood cinema - Stephen Neale, Murray Smith 1998

        Book further reading

      2. A new pot of gold: Hollywood under the electronic rainbow, 1980-1989 - Stephen Prince 2002, c2000

        Book further reading

  5. Week 5 9 items
    1. Lecture 1 item
      1. Postmodern Hollywood. 

    2. Screening 1 item
      1. Hail, Caesar! - Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Joel Coen, Ethan Coen 2016

        Audio-visual document 

    3. Essential Reading 2 items
      1. Postmodernism and film: rethinking Hollywood's aesthetics - Catherine Constable 2015

        Book essential Please read: C. Constable, ‘Chapter 1; Classical, Post-classical, Postmodern’, pp. 5-38.

    4. Additional reading 5 items
      1. Postmodern after-images: a reader in film, television and video - Peter Brooker, Will Brooker 1997

        Book further reading

      2. Postmodern Hollywood: what's new in film and why it makes us feel so strange - M. Keith Booker 2007

        Book further reading

      3. Postmodernism in the cinema - Cristina Degli-Esposti 1998

        Book further reading The introduction is helpful.

  6. Week 6 1 item
    1. Reading week. 

  7. Section 2: Genre Study: The Musical (weeks 7-10) 68 items
    Taught by José Arroyo and Matt Denny.
    1. In this block we will explore genre theory, the evolution of the musical genre during the 'classic' period and the status of the musical genre as almost synonymous with Hollywood cinema for much of the middle of the last century. Is the genre an exception to Bordwell, Staiger and Thompson's redefinition of 'the classical'? How do we understand and study a form in which plot and dialogue are often subsidiary to music, dance, rhythm, choreography and colour?; in which the contributions of a a producer (Arthur Freed) a choreographer (Busby Berkeley), and a star (Fred Astaire) have been valued by many critics, Andrew Sarris being the most celebrated example, over those of most directors? And what kinds of challenges does this insistence that the key figures in the genre are a producer, a choreographer and a star present to our reliance on authorship as a way of framing our understanding of movies? We will also be looking at films from three different studios (MGM, Warner Brothers, and RKO): is there a house style for the form? Lastly, we will bring it all to date by exploring how an understanding of the musical in the classic period can enhance our appreciation of the musical today with a focus on La La Land.

    2. Week 7 23 items
      1. The lyrics to the finale of The Band Wagon, 'That's Entertainment', tell us

        'The clown
        With his pants falling down
        Or the dance
        That's a dream of romance
        Or the scene
        Where the villain is mean,
        That's Entertainment!'

      2. The Band Wagon asserts the primacy of 'mere' entertainment.  However, its critical reception over generations insists that it is something more than that, that it is art. The tensions over terminology, definitions, and changing definitions over time in relation to a genre will be the basis of discussions for the week.  We also discuss whether the musical presents a challenge to Bordwell's, Thompson's and Steiger's definition of Classic Hollywood Cinema. In the seminars we will look closely at the 'Dancing in the Dark' number in the light of how musicals convey feeling and meaning in ways that might be different or at least particularly inflected generically. 

      3. Film 2 items
        1. The band wagon - Vincente Minnelli, Fred Astaire, Cyd Charisse, Oscar Levant 2005 (videorecording)

          Audio-visual document 

        2. The band wagon - Vincente Minnelli, Fred Astaire, Cyd Charisse, Oscar Levant 2005 (videorecording)

          Audio-visual document 

      4. Lecture 1 item
        1. Art, Industry, and 'Entertainment' in the period of Classical Hollywood Cinema.

      5. Reading: Required 3 items
        1. Charlotte Brunsdon, 'Genre' in Annette Kuhn (with Susannah Radstone) eds. The Woman's Companion to International Film London: Virago Press, 1990, pp. 172-173.

          -Richard Dyer, 'Entertainment and Utopia' in Rick Altman ed. Genre: The Musical London: BFI, 1981, pp. 175-189 (I know some of you will have already read this but it's worth re-reading and thinking how it applies to The Band Wagon. If you feel you already have a good understanding, please go on to read the Altman below which is most interesting and useful)

        2. Genre - Charlotte Brunsdon

          Chapter 

      6. Reading: Recommended 9 items
        1. Introduction: musicals of the Studio Era - Steve Cohan

          Chapter 

        2. M-G-M's greatest musicals: the Arthur Freed unit - Hugh Fordin, Hugh Fordin, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer 1996

          Book recommended Please read: Chapter 13 : 'The Band Wagon'

        3. Chapter 3: Musicals - Stephen Harvey

          Chapter recommended

      7. Additional viewing 6 items
        1. I would here recommend that you see other examples of MGM musicals, particularly the 'integrated' ones and I recommend others produced by Arthur Freed such as Meet Me in St. Louis (Vincente Minnelli, USA, 1944), An American in Paris (d: Vincente Minnelli, USA, 1951) Singing in the Rain (d:Gene Kelly, Stanley Donen, USA, 1952) and perhaps contrast those with other MGM musicals not produced by Freed such as Summer Stock (Charles Walters, USA, 1950, Joe Pasternak producer) or The Great Caruso (Richard Thorpe, USA, 1951, Joe Pasternak producer).

        2. Meet me in St. Louis - Vincente Minnelli, Judy Garland, Sally Benson, Louisiana Purchase Exposition 2004 (videorecording)

          Audio-visual document 

        3. An American in Paris (1951) Monday, 28 Dec 2015

          Audio-visual document 

        4. Singin' in the rain - Gene Kelly, Stanley Donen, Arthur Freed, Adolph Green c2000 (videorecording)

          Audio-visual document 

        5. Summer stock: If you feel like singing - Charles Walters 1990 (videorecording =)

          Audio-visual document 

        6. The great Caruso - Richard Thorpe, Mario Lanza 2001 (videorecording)

          Audio-visual document 

    3. Week 8 15 items
      1. After an initial flurry of very popular productions of musicals after the coming of sound, the genre waned only to be revived with a very particular style of 'show musical' –tough, urban, with a Depression setting and a speedy pace – with a very particular structure: a relatively short narrative movie followed by a spate – usually four-of lengthy production numbers which are meant to take place on stage but which we can all see could never really be done that way. Almost all of its pleasures of the musical numbers rely on the way the camera, music, and editing can show us thing. This week, we will explore definitions of genre through time and delineate the history and style of Warner Brothers in the 1930s. In the seminar we will look at the 'By a Waterfall Number' that ends Footlight Parade, discuss Berkeley's choreographing for the camera, and discuss what the number might have to tell us about modernity.

      2. Film 1 item
        1. Footlight parade - Lloyd Bacon, Busby Berkeley 1997 (videorecording)

          Audio-visual document 

      3. Lecture 1 item
        1. The Warner Brothers Musical

      4. Reading: Required 2 items
      5. Reading: Recommended 5 items
        1. The genius of the system: Hollywood filmmaking in the studio era - Thomas Schatz 1989

          Book  Read Chapters 4 (‘Warner Bros: Talking Their Way to the Top’) and 12 (‘Warner Bros: Power Plays and Prestige’)

        2. Hollywood in crisis: cinema and American society, 1929-1939 - Colin Shindler 1996

          Book recommended Please read: Colin Shindler, Chapter II: Trouble in Paradise: October 1929 to February 1933’, pp. 11-31.

      6. Additional Viewing 5 items
        1. In 1933 alone Warner Brothers also released 42nd Street (Lloyd Bacon), Goldiggers of 1933 (Mervyn Leroy), along with Footlight Parade, all huge hits, all very distinctive, all subsequently described as 'pure thirties'. I'd also recommend that you see some Ernst Lubitsch musicals in contrast and would particularly recommend The Smiling Lieutenant from the year before (Ernst Lubitsch, 1932) at Paramount; and The Merry Widow (Ernst Lubitsch, 1934) at MGM from the year after.

        2. 42nd Street - Lloyd Bacon, Rian James, James Seymour, Harry Warren 2005 (videorecording)

          Audio-visual document 

        3. Gold diggers of 1933 - Mervyn LeRoy, Busby Berkeley, Harry Warren, Al Dubin 1993

          Audio-visual document 

        4. The Smiling Lieutenant 2015

          Book 

        5. The Merry Widow 2013

          Book 

    4. Week 9 13 items
      1. The image of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers dancing together has become a symbol of Hollywood as potent as Mickey Mouse or Charlie Chaplin. In a series of extraordinarily popular films they starred in in the thirties, some of the architects of 'The Great American Songbook' -- Gershwin, Berlin, Jerome Kern etc. --wrote scores especially for them so they could sing out their feelings which somehow seemed to evoke and articulate the feelings of vast audiences as well. They came to epitomise an American dream of romance, one that became universal and has persisted. This week we will look at RKO's style of musicals, their very particular structure, and the very memorable way they depicted romance. This will be seen in contrast to the very different style of the Warner Brother musical. In the seminars, we will look closely at The 'Never Gonna Dance' number and discuss Ed Gallefant's analysis of the two structures of the Astaire and Rogers films at RKO.

         

         

      2. Film 1 item
        1. Swing time - George Stevens, Howard Lindsay, Allan Scott, Pandro S. Berman 2006 (videorecording)

          Audio-visual document 

      3. Reading: Required 2 items
      4. Reading: Recommended 5 items
        1. Chapter on Swing Time - Arlene Croce

          Chapter recommended

      5. Additional viewing 4 items
        1. Here one can only recommend some of the other marvels in the Astaire Rogers partnership. I have a particular fondness for The Gay Divorcee (Mark Sandrich, RKO, 1934), Top Hat ( Mark Sandrich, RKO, 1935), and Follow the Fleet (Mark Sandrich, RKO, 1936)

        2. The Gay divorcee - Dwight Taylor, J. Hartley Manner, Mark Sandrich, Pandro S. Berman 2011 (videorecording)

          Audio-visual document 

        3. Top hat - Pandro S. Berman, Dwight Taylor, Allan Scott, Mark Sandrich 2007 (videorecording)

          Audio-visual document 

        4. Follow the fleet - Mark Sandrich, Irving Berlin 1999 (videorecording)

          Audio-visual document 

    5. Week 10 6 items
      1.  

        I've been surprised at how quickly the outline of Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone dancing by the bench over the Los Angeles skyline in front of the Griffith observatory has also become a shorthand for Hollywood, romance and entertainment (and this is the number we will look at closely in seminars). I've been less surprised at the incredible backlash against the film that began upon its initial success,  continues still and is largely gendered. How has a genre that was seen as the mainstay of the film industry, films for all the family, at its peak the most popular genre of its time, come to be seen as a niche genre, 'girly' and probably gay? We will touch on these themes this week but the main through line of study will be how a previous understanding of the history of the musical genre might enhance our appreciation of this film.

      2. Film 1 item
        1. La La Land - Damien Chazelle, Fred Berger, Jordan Horowitz, Gary Gilbert 2017

          Audio-visual document 

      3. Lecture 1 item
        1. Gendering Genre

      4. Reading: Required 1 item
        1. The Post-modern Transnational Film Musical - Bjorn Norofjoro

          Chapter recommended The Rick Altman article that follows it in the same volume -- ‘Coda: The Musical as International Genre’ -- is an interesting summary of the kinds of questions looking at international musicals throws up in relation to Hollywood and also worth reading if you have time.)

      5. Reading: Recommended 2 items
        1. La La Land - José Arroyo

          Webpage recommended

        2. Rethinking Genre - Christine Gledhill

          Chapter recommended

    6. Additional viewing 10 items
      1. In the light of the backlash against La La Land, I will argue that, with the exception of the animated musicals (e.g Frozen) La La Land is one the best American musicals since Bob Fosse's All That Jazz (USA, 1979). There have been other musicals that have enjoyed considerable success since then, particularly Chicago (Rob Marshall, 2002), and all the tween (High School Musical, 1, 2, 3) and dance musicals (The Step Up series) and also films like Enchanted (Kevin Lima, 2007). I would urge you to see a few. 

      2. All that jazz - Bob Fosse, Roy Scheider, Jessica Lange, Ann Reinking 2003 (videorecording)

        Audio-visual document further reading

      3. Chicago [videorecording] - R. Marshall

        Audio-visual document further reading

      4. High School Musical (2006) Sunday, 18 Jul 2010

        Audio-visual document further reading

      5. High School Musical 2 (2007) Tuesday, 19 Jun 2012

        Audio-visual document 

      6. Special: High School Musical 3: Senior Year (2008) Sunday, 1 Apr 2012

        Audio-visual document further reading

      7. Step Up 1-5 [videorecording] - T. Sie

        Audio-visual document further reading

      8. Step Up: Miami Heat (2012) Monday, 28 Aug 2017

        Audio-visual document further reading

      9. Step Up 3 (2010) Saturday, 20 Feb 2016

        Audio-visual document further reading

      10. Enchanted [videorecording] - K. Lima

        Audio-visual document further reading

  8. Hitchcock's films revisited - Robin Wood c2002

    Book essential Please read: Ideology, genre, auteur pp.288-302

  9. A companion to art theory - Paul Smith, Carolyn Wilde 2002

    Book essential Please read: Chapter 17, Modernism and the Idea of the Avant-Garde.

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