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FLM 89 — Built to Last: What Makes a Classic Film?

Quarter: Fall
Day(s): Thursdays
Course Format: On-campus course
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Sep 28—Dec 7
Time: 6:30—9:00 pm
Drop Deadline: Oct 11
Units: 2
Tuition: $460
Instructor(s): Mick LaSalle
Status: Open
Please Note: No class on November 23
On-campus course
6:30—9:00 pm
Sep 28—Dec 7
10 weeks
Drop By
Oct 11
2 Units
Mick LaSalle
Please Note: No class on November 23
As dissimilar as great films tend to be, they usually have a number of qualities in common: They have one or two indelible moments that stand out. They state some lasting truth about their time; they embody or suggest some timeless universal truth (even if accidentally); and they have an identifiable point of view—a directorial signature that puts all the elements into focus.

San Francisco Chronicle film critic Mick LaSalle has spent years studying and discovering classics and trying to recognize future classics when they’re new. Through many clips that illustrate each of the above criteria, and through watching full-length films that contain the elements of greatness, students will learn how to separate the classic from the ephemeral and to spot, from among the hundreds of films released every year, which films are likely to stand the test of time. Among the films studied will be Alfred Hitchcock’s Notorious, Gustav Machatý’s Ecstasy, Jason Reitman’s Up in the Air, and Jean-Luc Godard’s My Life to Live. The films featured in this course have not been shown in any of the instructor’s previous Stanford Continuing Studies courses over the past five years.

Mick LaSalle, Film Critic, Hearst Newspapers

Mick LaSalle is the author of three books: Complicated Women: Sex and Power in Pre-Code Hollywood, Dangerous Men: Pre-Code Hollywood and the Birth of Modern Man, and The Beauty of the Real: What Hollywood Can Learn from Contemporary French Actresses. He writes for the San Francisco Chronicle, the Houston Chronicle, and other Hearst newspapers.

Textbooks for this course:

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