FLM 134 — The History of Cinema Told Through Great Films: 1980-2000
Course Format: Live Online (About Formats)
Duration: 8 weeks
Date(s): Mar 30—May 18
Time: 7:00—8:50 pm (PT)
Refund Deadline: Apr 1
Instructor(s): Jonathan Crow
In the late 1970s, American cinema, powered by a new generation of directors educated at film schools, radically altered Hollywood. Films became far grittier, morally ambiguous, and frankly sexual than anything that had come before from mainstream cinema. However, as Ronald Reagan’s “Morning in America” ushered in the mid 1980s, movie studios changed course, realizing they could rake in money with blockbusters that looked like lavish music videos. These films were a far cry from the low-key, character-based films of the ’70s, and drove independent filmmakers around the world to pursue their own unique visions outside the Hollywood system. David Lynch (Blue Velvet) created horrifying, surreal reflections of the times. Spike Lee (Do the Right Thing) produced an uncompromising look at racial strife in America that resonates more now than when it came out. In East Asia, Wong Kar-wai (In The Mood for Love) in Hong Kong and Taiwanese filmmaker Edward Yang (A Brighter Summer Day) wrestled with their respective countries' complex histories while reinventing film form. In Iran, Abbas Kiarostami (Close-Up) blurred the lines between documentary and fiction cinema. Students will come away with a strong understanding of the seismic shift in filmmaking brought upon by these great films, along with a clear sense of the filmmaker behind each one.
All films can be rented or streamed instantly through Netflix, Amazon Prime, iTunes, Google Play Movies, or other online platforms.
Jonathan Crow, Artist; FilmmakerJonathan Crow received an MFA in filmmaking from the California Institute of the Arts and an MA in Japanese studies from the University of Michigan. He worked in the Hollywood film industry for a dozen years as a writer and editor, including on Declassified, a documentary series on the History Channel.
Textbooks for this course:
There are no required textbooks; however, some fee-based online readings may be assigned.