TOPICS: THE MATING GAME IN CLASSIC HOLLYWOOD MOVIES
MTWRF 1:15-3:15, TR 3:30-5:30
Professor Larry Rhu
This course studies comedies and melodramas from the first three decades of the sound era and their more recent inheritors, like Groundhog Day, Moonstruck, High Fidelity, The Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind, and Far From Heaven. Films will be analyzed in terms of features that define them as comedies, melodramas, and thrillers, and in terms of their preoccupation with relations between the sexes. In light of these American "talkies," what constitutes a genuine marriage or makes such an alliance impossible? Do such questions require public and/or private responses? Besides those mentioned above, films will include It Happened One Night, The Lady Eve, His Girl Friday, The Philadelphia Story, Adam’s Rib, Stella Dallas, Gaslight, Now, Voyager, Letter from an Unknown Woman, Vertigo, and North by Northwest. Some films will be analyzed in tandem with literary texts and film criticism. Grades will be based on regular journal entries and a final exam. Graduate students will be expected to read additional theoretical essays and to write a longer and more substantive final research paper.