FLM 10 — The Director's Art Revealed: The Bad, the Good, and the Great
Course Format: Live Online (About Formats)
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Apr 1—Jun 3
Time: 7:00—8:50 pm (PT)
Refund Deadline: Apr 3
Grade Restriction: No letter grade
Instructor(s): Mick LaSalle
What does a film director really do? How and why do directors approach the same material in very different ways? In this course, we will compare and contrast the divergent choices made by influential directors who sought to adapt time-honored stories through their own unique lens. We will study clips from films in which different directors presented the same story and situation—and often the same dialogue. Among the films and topics under discussion will be Romeo and Juliet adaptations, the various A Star Is Born films, two 1930s adaptations of the Philip Barry play Holiday, the 1934 and 2006 versions of The Painted Veil, the 1943 and 1996 adaptations of Jane Eyre, and the ways that censorship in the late 1930s altered remakes of pre-Code movies. Through a mix of discussion, close viewing, and careful comparisons, students will come to see more clearly the hundreds of moment-by-moment choices individual directors make. We will learn how these choices impact the narrative, energy, and aesthetic of the film, and in turn help define what makes for good, bad, mediocre, or great direction. Along the way, students will be developing and enhancing their own sense of cinematic artistry.
Students will be expected to watch a full-length film outside of class time each week. All films can be rented or streamed instantly through online platforms.
Mick LaSalle, Film Critic, Hearst NewspapersMick LaSalle is the author of four books: 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 the forthcoming 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.