FLM 130 — The History of Cinema Told Through Great Films: 1945–1959
The postwar period might be the most fecund in the history of cinema. This course will take an in-depth look at ten great movies from this rich era. American cinema reflected the anxieties of the age in film noir, teenage melodramas like Rebel Without a Cause, and even westerns like High Noon. Abroad, Italian Neorealists rejected Hollywood-style filmmaking in films like Bicycle Thieves to reflect the grim realities of their war-ravaged country. By the end of the 1950s, French cinephiles-turned-filmmakers like François Truffaut made cinema exuberant and vital again with films like his highly autobiographical coming-of-age story, The 400 Blows. Students will learn about the filmmaker behind each movie and explore how these films broke new ground and helped give voice to the existential concerns of this era.
Students will watch assigned films outside of class. All films can be purchased or rented on DVD, and most can be streamed instantly through Netflix, Amazon Prime, iTunes, Google Play Movies, and other online providers. This course will be the first of six in a new series exploring the entire history of cinema. While these courses build upon one another, each one can be taken independently as well.