Summer Session II:
July 26 - September 2, 2010
CATCHING UP: THE TWILIGHT OF JERRY LEWIS
July 26 - August 30
Films screened and discussed:
The Ladies Man (Jerry Lewis, 1961)
The Patsy (Jerry Lewis, 1964)
Three on a Couch (Jerry Lewis, 1966)
Hardly Working (Jerry Lewis, 1980)
The King of Comedy (Martin Scorsese, 1982)
Cracking Up (Jerry Lewis, 1983)
"Only Busby Berkeley has played at disorienting a spectator so."
–Cahiers du cinéma, 1968
Beyond funnyman, beyond humanitarian, Jerry Lewis remains one of the most outlandish, inimitable directors America has ever produced. A show business veteran at the time of his "official" filmmaking debut, he had already appeared in 23 movies and directed many sequences. His first film, The Bellboy, unveiled a fully-formed, radical vision of comic dysfunction at work, an identity both short-circuited and buoyed by pop and gags that were willing to stretch and then shatter the synapses. The radical, frame-breaking nature of his comedy mocks the constriction and construction of the cinematic apparatus. However, this series contends that there never was an "early" phase to Lewis's directorial career. By pushing gags and personae past "acceptable" limits, his comedies have always epitomized Edward Said's description of late style, marked by "an extraordinary artificiality, performance declaring itself as such, marking itself unmistakable for perturbed and awed looking and hearing." By grappling onscreen with a definition of his own self/selves and with the problems of being an ordinary/extraordinary man with a special calling in the magical world of Hollywood, Jerry Lewis produced one of cinema's most incisive and fascinating autobiographies.
Edward E. Crouse has published film criticism in Film Comment, The Village Voice, Cinema Scope, Sight and Sound, Stagebill, Time Out and The San Francisco Bay Guardian. He has presented films at the Brooklyn Academy of Music and the Chicago Underground Film Festival. He is a graduate of San Francisco State University as well as Jerry Lewis's Learning Annex seminar "The Human Condition: Life, Laughter and Healing." He wrote the central essay in Curtis Harrington: Cinema on the Edge, a monograph published by Anthology Film Archives.
FLIRTATION, ROMANCE, SEX, AND LOVE:
THE LATE FILMS OF ERIC ROHMER
July 27 - August 31
Films screened and discussed:
Four Adventures of Reinette and Mirabelle (1987)
A Tale of Springtime (1990)
A Tale of Winter (1992)
A Summer's Tale (1996)
Autumn Tale (1998)
Rendezvous in Paris (1995)
All films are in French with English subtitles.
"Mr. Rohmer finds intelligence and language so thrilling that in film after film he substitutes conversation for plot and makes a character's quality of mind seem an almost physical attribute….All [his films] turn conversation into the story's central drama in a way American films rarely do." –New York Times film critic Caryn James
At the time of his recent passing, Eric Rohmer was extolled as having been one of the most influential filmmakers of the second half of the Twentieth Century. A central figure in the French New Wave, along with Truffaut, Chabrol, and Godard, he not only wrote and directed movies, but played a leading role in the movement as editor of the legendary magazine, Cahiers du cinéma. His cinema revolves around carefully crafted dialogue, sometimes scrupulously written by Rohmer, sometimes developed collaboratively by him and his ensemble of actors. He sought to give the viewers the impression they are watching life unfolding. But every one of his films is not merely an observation of ongoing experience but rather an exploration of relationships: how they come into being, how they end, and how they work or do not work. Several themes appear repetitively in his cinema, such as: The tension between two people appealing to each other versus their being compatible with each other. The common mismatch that occurs when one person is attracted to someone who is not attracted to that person. And the tendency of people to delude themselves, especially when it comes to romance. Another one of his innovations was placing his films within the thematic structure of a larger series of films. We will look at one of Rohmer’s most important series, "Tales of the Four Seasons," as well as two other films made during the same period of his career. While his characters usually find themselves to be a mystery and their friends and lovers to be unknowable, we, by looking at life through his lens, gain insight into ourselves and others.
James W. Anderson is a faculty member at the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis and Clinical Professor of Psychology at Northwestern University, where he has taught a course on The Psychology of Film. A psychotherapist, he has also published several essays on the psychological lives of historical and artistic figures. At the Facets Film School, he has previously taught two courses on the films of Ingmar Bergman and a course entitled Misalliance, Misunderstanding, and Missed Opportunity: the Comedies and Proverbs of Eric Rohmer.
CLAUDETTE COLBERT IN HOLLYWOOD
July 28 - September 1
Films screened and discussed:
The Smiling Lieutenant (Ernst Lubitsch ,1931)
It Happened One Night (Frank Capra,1934)
Midnight (Mitchell Leisen, 1939)
The Palm Beach Story (Preston Sturges, 1942)
So Proudly We Hail (Mark Sandrich,1943)
Three Came Home (Jean Negulesco,1950)
Claudette Colbert's biography could have been dreamed up by a Hollywood press agent. She was born Lily Claudette Chauchoin in Paris, France on September 13, 1903. In 1910, Colbert's family immigrated to America and from an early age, Colbert wanted a career on the stage. By the late 1920s, she was a Broadway veteran, earning good notices and in 1927, Colbert tried her hand at movies. She starred in For the Love of Mike, helmed by a young director named Frank Capra, but unhappy with the results, she vowed never to make another film. But when the stock market crashed, and the lights on Broadway dimmed, she gave the movies another try and soon signed with Paramount Pictures in 1929, appearing in musicals, melodramas, epics, and comedies. In 1934, Colbert starred in a record three movies (It Happened One Night, Imitation of Life and Cleopatra) that were nominated for the Best Picture Academy Award and won the Oscar for Best Actress, playing run-away heiress Ellie Andrews in It Happened One Night. A top box office draw for over 20 years, Colbert was one of the highest paid actresses in Hollywood, working with the best directors in the world, including Capra, Gregory LaCava, Ernst Lubitsch, Mitchell Leisen, and Preston Sturges. Excelling at sophisticated comedy, Colbert is the only actress from Hollywood's golden age to have worked with both Lubitsch and Sturges, and this class will explore, through her films, the talent and versatility of one of America's great females stars.
Stephen Reginald is a freelance writer and editor. He has worked at various positions within the publishing industry for over 25 years. Most recently he was executive editor for McGraw-Hill's The Learning Group Division. A long-time amateur student of film, Reginald hosts "Meet Me at the Movies" once a month at the Sherwood Conservatory of Music (Columbia College). He previously taught the classes The Screwball Comedy and the Feminine Mystique and Carole Lombard: The Divine Screwball at the Facets Film School.
ROBERT RYAN: CHICAGO'S OWN FILM NOIR ICON
July 29 - September 2
Films screened and discussed:
Crossfire (Edward Dmytryk, 1947)
The Set Up (Robert Wise, 1949)
Clash By Night (Fritz Lang, 1952)
On Dangerous Ground (Nicholas Ray, 1952)
House of Bamboo (Samuel Fuller, 1955)
Odds Against Tomorrow (Robert Wise, 1959)
Key figure in the postwar film noir genre, actor Robert Ryan 1909-1973 grew up in the Edgewater neighborhood on Chicago's North Side, 4825 N. Kenmore. He was a boxer, a ranch hand, a stoker on a ship, a WPA worker, and a painter before heading to Hollywood in 1938. Due to his towering 6-foot 4-inch frame, his cruelly-lined face, and his simmering intensity, Ryan was often cast as tough cops and ruthless villains. In his real life Ryan was a liberal Democrat who tirelessly supported civil rights and anti-war causes. He was also one of the founders of an anti-nuclear action group and an outspoken supporter of the blacklisted Hollywood Ten during the '50s. Though seldom thought of as the typical Hollywood "leading man," Ryan's many strong performances in character roles are vivid and remarkably memorable.
is a playwright, historian, long-time educator, and theater critic for Oak Park's Wednesday Journal
. He has written five books for the Arcadia Images of America series on the history of Oak Park, Cicero, Berwyn, Maywood, and the Brookfield Zoo. He teaches Film Appreciation at Moraine Valley College and Film History at Oakton Community College. He has previously taught many classes at the Facets Film School, including High Heels on Wet Pavement: Femme Fatales in '40s Film Noir
and John Garfield: Hollywood's First Rebel Hero
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