Summer Session I:
June 14 - July 22, 2010
JUST BETWEEN US GIRLS:
FEMALE FRIENDSHIP IN CLASSIC HOLLYWOOD
June 14 - July 19, 2010
Films screened and discussed:
Stage Door (Gregory La Cava, 1937)
The Old Maid (Edmund Goulding, 1939)
The Women (George Cukor, 1939)
The Great Lie (Edmund Goulding, 1941)
So Proudly We Hail! (Mark Sandrich, 1943)
Old Acquaintance (Vincent Sherman, 1943)
Friendship between women is still a rare subject in American cinema, but during Hollywood's golden age, with studios turning out hundreds of pictures a year, female friendship occasionally found its way to the center of a major film. Still, a question persists: when women friends occupy center screen, is there ever more to their relationships than rivalries over men, bitchiness and catfights? We will try to answer that question, and others, by examining six films focused on women. A formidable array of stars will test the limits of cinematic sisterhood: Katherine Hepburn, Ginger Rogers, Bette Davis, Miriam Hopkins, Mary Astor, Claudette Colbert, Veronica Lake, Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, Rosalind Russell, Paulette Goddard, and Joan Fontaine. The class will focus on the portrayal of the female characters, their relationships, their choices, and what it all says about Hollywood's views of women then during its Golden Age. And, yes, once in a while the fur will fly!
Jeffrey Jon Smith has an MFA in Film and Video from Columbia College Chicago, where he has been on the faculty since 2003, and where he teaches directing, screenwriting and cinema studies. His short film The Miracle (2007), starring Chicago actress Tekki Lomnicki, is in its third year on the festival circuit, and has screened at 91 international festivals and won 30 awards. Since 2005 he has taught an ongoing series of classes on women in Hollywood, beginning with "Picturing Women in the Thirties" and continuing to the present with "Picturing Women in the Eighties."
THE CINEMATIC ECTASIES OF MAX OPHULS
June 15 - July 20, 2010
Films screened and discussed:
Letter from An Unknown Woman (1948)
Le Plaisir (1952)
The Earrings of Madame de... (1953)
Lola Montès (1955)
"The camera exists to create a new art and to show above all what cannot be seen elsewhere: neither in theater nor in life. Otherwise, I'd have no need of it; doing photography doesn't interest me. That, I leave to the photographer." (Max Ophüls)
Long praised as a consummate auteur, Max Ophüls commanded control over all aspects of his films, including cinematography and post-production work. His style, exhibiting a commitment to grace, beauty, and sensitivity, celebrates what the camera is able to create. Choreographing the extreme feelings involved in human relationships with an endlessly mobile camera and long takes, Ophüls explores dimensions of time, movement, and fate. The compositions in his films overflow into what film theorist Laura Mulvey calls "ecstatic and extended moments," into which he often incorporates strong visual irony. Ophüls, German-Jewish by birth, was truly an international director. At Ufa in Berlin, he made his first films, among them Liebelei (1932). In 1941, after failed attempts to stay in Europe during Hitler's regime, directing films in Holland, Italy, and France, Ophüls finally moved to the United States as one of the last exiled directors to arrive. Among his American films are Letter from an Unknown Woman (1948), starring Louis Jourdan and Joan Fontaine, and Caught (1949), with Barbara Bel Geddes and James Mason. Upon returning to Europe and settling in Paris in 1950, Ophüls made the films that form the high point of his career, including his last, Lola Montüs (1955), his only film in color. In this class, we will experience the pleasure of being able to watch most of Ophüls' French films, which disappeared from public view, but recently have been re-released.
Therese Grisham has a Ph.D. from the University of Washington in Seattle and was awarded a Fulbright lectureship to the University of Dresden, following which she won a teaching award in film studies. She now teaches film aesthetics and history at Columbia College Chicago and film analysis and media and culture at DePaul University. She has previously taught courses at the Facets Film School, including Watch the Skies! Science Fiction, The 1950's and Us, Through a Technicolor Mirror: The Films of Douglas Sirk and Julien Duvivier: Master of Versatility.
THE POETIC CINE-WRITING OF AGNES VARDA
Wednesdays, June 23 - July 21, 2010
& Saturday, July 24
Films screened and discussed:
La Pointe Courte (1954)
Cleo de 5 a 7 (1961)
Le Bonheur (1965)
One Sings The Other Doesn't (1976)
The Beaches of Agnes (2008)
This course will be a journey through the extraordinary life and selected films of French filmmaker Agnes Varda. Varda was initially trained as a photographer and has compiled a breathtaking array of films that span six decades. Stylistically, her inventive camera-work, as first displayed in her early films, was an indispensable influence upon French New Wave cineastes, including Jean-Luc Godard, Francois Truffaut, and Claude Chabrol. With her playful photographer's eye, Varda has crafted beautiful haunting images and has dared to take on the subjects of love, death, feminism, protest and the self. Often moving between the realms of documentary and fiction, Varda reflects on the documentary form itself, life's truths, and cinematic reality.
Kristen Barnes is a scholar and transactional lawyer. She was awarded her Ph.D. in 2003 from Duke University and her J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1990. Her work focuses on the areas of Francophone and African cinema, postcolonial literature and film, comparative law, immigration law, questions of citizenship and identity, and intersections between law, literature, and cinema. She has taught courses on cinema at Northwestern University and Duke University. She previously taught the courses French Living on the Edge: Outsiders, Bandits, Rebels and Misfits and African Cinema: Myth, Magic and Resistance at the Facets Film School.
EYE vs. EYE: DAVID MAMET AND WOODY ALLEN
(Exploration of Regional Sensibilities In Aesthetics)
June 17 - July 22, 2010
Films screened and discussed:
Glengarry Glen Ross (David Mamet. 1992)
Bullets Over Broadway (Woody Allen, 1994)
Spartan (David Mamet, 2004)
Match Point (Woody Allen, 2005)
Red Belt (David Mamet, 2008)
Cassandra’s Dream (Woody Allen, 2007)
Motion pictures have always reflected the times when they were crafted, but are cultural values truly revealed through motion picture narratives? To what extent does the region influence the voice of the filmmaker? If personal characteristics can be attributed to the city, state or other geographical influences that are the formative forces of our collective identity, are these factors an indelible part of the filmmaker's aesthetic choices or values? This course will explore two iconic American voices of New York and Chicago respectively, Woody Allen and David Mamet. Just as the American drama of the century is characterized by its interest in psychology and exalted feelings, contemporary laughs can also look at the role of complicated emotions. Even though these two extraordinary talents write from different perspectives, genres and points of departure, they nevertheless have in common an interest in the possibility that art is the product of a collective cultural experience. Is the reaction of the viewer, or the viewer's subconscious, to the film just as important as the filmmaker's influences, intentions, and motives. This is a place where the psychoanalytical and historic approaches can meet, and this course will study the artistic judgments in selected works of these two filmmakers. Since actions or behavior can be said to transcend beyond sensory appeal, aesthetics and ethics often overlap to the degree that the tension between such thoughts and experiences can be a creative force in their respective environments.
Michael NJ Wright graduated as a Cinematography Fellow from the American Film Institute. He is the head of Wright Bros. Photoplay where he's produced numerous award-winning features and shorts, of which Wright also photographed. He has an extensive track record serving as Director of Photography for television networks such as NBC, ESPN, MTV, Discovery, and WYCC. He is a 2009 Emmy Winner, and his TV show Little Green Men (2009) just won a Bronze Telly in Cultural Programming. His most recent narrative features shot on HD are Banana Leaves and Dog Jack (2009), and The Mole Man of Belmont Ave. (2010). As an individual artist, Wright has been grant recipient from The Illinois Arts Council and Change, Inc. Wright teaches cinematography and directing at the Illinois Institute of Art. He taught a film class at the Facets Film School titled Light Narrative: The Rhetoric of Exposure.
A Colombian native, Carolina Posse Emiliani has exhibited films in Manchester, New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago and Gaberone, Botswana. Some of her credits include Hot Chili (2004), The Quiet (2005), and Path of Least Resistance (2006). She's served on the juries of the Sundance Institute, Independent Television Service, and Latino Public Broadcasting. April 2007 marked her 7th year with the Chicago Latino Film Festival, culminating as Interim Film Festival Director of the 23rd edition. Most recently, her television show on green living, Little Green Men (2009), won a Bronze Telly Award and as a writer her award winning short Vial (2010) will hit the film festival circuit this summer. She teaches creative producing and marketing for film at Columbia College.
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