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FLM 150 — The 2000s On-Screen: Cinematic Highlights of a Turbulent Decade

Quarter: Fall
Day(s): Thursdays
Course Format: Live Online (About Formats)
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Sep 28—Dec 7
Time: 7:00—8:50 pm (PT)
Refund Deadline: Sep 30
Units: 2
Grade Restriction: No letter grade
Tuition: $490
Instructor(s): Mick LaSalle
Class Recording Available: Yes
Status: Open
Please Note: No class on November 23
ACCESS THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Live Online(About Formats)
7:00—8:50 pm (PT)
Sep 28—Dec 7
10 weeks
Refund Date
Sep 30
2 Units
Grade Restriction
No letter grade
Mick LaSalle
Please Note: No class on November 23
ACCESS THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
The 2000s began in confidence, with peace and prosperity, then quickly turned tumultuous: the contested 2000 election, the 9/11 attacks, the Iraq War, a global recession, and Barack Obama’s election. Social changes, such as the widespread acceptance of gay marriage, were depicted in movies such as Brokeback Mountain and Milk. Movies reflect a culture’s dreams, and those dreams became more restless. But they also deepened, showing once again how contentious times make for better cinema.

This course will distill an entire decade of notable films. Each week, we’ll examine a different year, starting in 2000 with Almost Famous, Ivans xtc., and Urbania and ending in 2009 with Quentin Tarantino coming into his own with Inglourious Basterds and Hollywood acknowledging economic hard times with Up in the Air. As old-guard mainstays Sidney Lumet (Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead) and Franco Zeffirelli (Callas Forever) peaked, women directors such as Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker), Sofia Coppola (Lost in Translation), and Jane Campion (In the Cut) flourished.

While 1990s movies seemed uninfluenced by the era, 2000s movies increasingly reflected current anxieties, from terrorism and 9/11 (United 93, 25th Hour) to prospective civil unrest (V for Vendetta, Blindness) and the Iraq War (Redacted). Such anxieties even permeated comedies like Borat, which explored the schism between blue and red America.

All films can be rented or streamed through Netflix, Amazon Prime, iTunes, Google Play, or other online platforms.

Film Critic, Hearst Newspapers

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

Textbooks for this course:

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