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WSP 314 — Alfred Hitchcock and the Subversive World of Film Noir

Quarter: Summer
Day(s): Fri/Sat/Sun
Course Format: On-campus course
Duration: 3 days
Date(s): Jul 28—Jul 30
Time: See below
Drop Deadline: Jul 21
Unit: 1
Tuition: $240
Instructor(s): Elliot Lavine
Status: Open
Please Note: Full schedule: Friday, July 28, 6:00 – 9:00 pm; Saturday and Sunday, July 29 and July 30, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
On-campus course
See below
Jul 28—Jul 30
3 days
Drop By
Jul 21
1 Unit
Elliot Lavine
Please Note: Full schedule: Friday, July 28, 6:00 – 9:00 pm; Saturday and Sunday, July 29 and July 30, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Alfred Hitchcock was a film director whose very name has become synonymous with the suspense genre. The focus of this workshop will be on his relationship to film noir, the visually and thematically stimulating style that became one of the dominant cinematic modes of the 1940s and ’50s.

Five of his classic films will be viewed, discussed, and dissected with the specific intention of aligning him with the subversive subtleties that have come to be the hallmarks of film noir: the femme fatale, an innocent trapped by a fate he cannot escape, and illusion versus reality. These familiar noir tropes mesh perfectly with the nocturnally driven, fancifully constructed narratives that Hitchcock perfected with astonishing clarity during his amazingly prolific career in Hollywood.

This thrilling immersion into Hitchcock’s oeuvre will allow students to engage in lively, informative discussions and hopefully shed new light on the director’s contributions to the endlessly fascinating realm of film noir, a curiously neglected component in understanding the varied complexities surrounding his most serious work. The five films to be watched over this three-day weekend workshop include Notorious (1946), Strangers on a Train (1951), Rear Window (1954), The Wrong Man (1956), and Vertigo (1958).

Due to its short format, this workshop may not be taken for a Letter Grade. However, Credit/No Credit is available.

Elliot Lavine, Film Programmer

Elliot Lavine has been programming films since 1990, including his annual film noir festival, “I Wake Up Dreaming.” In 2010, he received the Marlon Riggs Award from the San Francisco Film Critics Circle for his revival of rare archival titles and his role in the renewed popularity of film noir.

Textbooks for this course:

There are no required textbooks; however, some fee-based online readings may be assigned.