FILM HISTORY

RACISM AS PART OF THE HISTORICAL NARRATIVE: MALAYSIAN EDITION

  Just in time for our discussion of the propagandistic elements at the end of Birth of a Nation comes this article in Malaysiakini. Note how these drawings in Utusan employ the same basic techniques as Griffith used to portray blacks in Reconstruction to portray the Communists (Chinese) during the Emergency.    

THE LAST WEEK: THE COLD WAR

Our final two films are The Atomic Cafe, written by Michael Edwards and Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb directed by Stanley Kubrik. Both require a basic  knowledge of the Cold War — the period of tension between the United States and the Soviet Union that immediately followed World War II […]

DOCUMENTARY FILMS: WHAT IS TRUTH?

The truth is rarely pure and never simple. — Oscar Wilde This course has focused primarily on fictional narrative films, but we have screened a few documentaries. Night and Fog, The Man With a Move Camera, Triumph of the Will. Even from these examples, you can see that the subject is a complex one. We are bombarded with […]

HITCH SPEAKS AND MORE

Hitch gives a great interview to Tom Snyder. Worth watching for sure. Part one is here: You can access the rest of the interview from there. Parts 2-6. There are dozens of other Hitch resources: interviews, excerpts from films and television shows, other directors discussing him.   Hitchcock even has his own Wiki. It’s full of […]

ORSON SPEAKS: “ROSEBUD”

Afzal came across this excellent explanation of “Rosebud” by Orson Welles himself. The interview is very carefully constructed, and hides as much as it reveals. Fascinating. Thanks Afzal.

HEARST AND WELLES: THE MEETING OF THE TWAIN

Like the collision of the Titanic and the iceberg, the conflict between William Randolph Hearst and Orson Welles over Citizen Kane is the stuff of legend. Hearst: once the most powerful man in America — the emperor of a media empire that stretched from New York to Washington to Hollywood. Welles: the infant terrible —  the boy […]

TOP HAT AT RADIO CITY MUSIC HALL: ART DECO PERFECTION

Top Hat had its 1935 premiere at Manhattan’s  Radio City Music Hall. Perfect, because the decor of the production interiors matched the decor of the theatre. Both are masterpieces of Art Deco, a visual aesthetic that pervaded the early to mid 20th century and created wonderful designs of everything from buildings to automobiles, to fashion, […]