American Cinema

AMST 2760/PMA 2560/VISST 2300

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From the beginning of the twentieth century to the present moment, movies -- and in particular Hollywood -- have profoundly influenced the ways in which people see, think and talk about the world. Focusing mostly on Hollywood film, this course introduces the study of American cinema from multiple perspectives: as an economy and mode of production; as an art form that produces particular aesthetic styles; as a cultural institution that comments on contemporary issues and allows people to socialize. We will consider the rise of Hollywood in the age of mass production; the star system; the introduction of sound and the function of the soundtrack; Hollywood’s rivalry with television; censorship; the rise of independent film, etc. Weekly screenings introduce major American genres (e.g. science fiction, film noir, the musical) and directors (e.g. Hitchcock, Kubrick, Tarantino).

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