The University of Southampton
Courses

FILM3006 American Cinema since 1965

Module Overview

The module offers a history of American cinema since 1965, covering the decline of the Hollywood studio system and the moment, from 1968 to 1975, when a new wave of directors produced a number of key films sometimes known as constituting the Hollywood art-house period, through the rise of the blockbuster in the mid-1970s, to the reinvigorated New Hollywood of the 80s and 90s. It explores whether this can be called the Hollywood post-classical period, the inter-relationship of studio and independent cinema, and historical issues such as changes in marketing and exhibition practices, and how the film industry survived the rise of television and exploited the rise of new home viewing technologies such as video, DVD, and laserdisc.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

• to introduce you to the complex history of U.S. cinema since 1965. • investigate this history in the context of other critical categories such as genre, authorship, audiences, stardom, production, distribution and marketing, theories of textuality. • To provide an overview of the transition between classical and post-classical U.S. cinema.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • The definitions of ‘classical Hollywood’, ‘post-classical Hollywood’, ‘the Blockbuster’ and ‘American national cinema’.
  • The relationship between mainstream Hollywood and independent production
  • The decline of the classical studio structure from the 1960s onwards
  • Hollywood’s ‘art-house’ period from 1968-1975
  • The development of the Blockbuster in the 1970s
  • Shifts in models of American cinematic genres in the period
  • Shifts in the image, power and critical understanding of the American auteur in the period
  • Shifts in images of stardom in the period
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Work independently, making effective use of library, archival and Internet resources and demonstrating efficient time management.
  • Work productively on your own and/or as part of a team towards producing an effective oral presentation using a variety of visual aids that engages and informs its audience and generates further debate.
  • Demonstrate the ability to listen to, contribute to, and lead discussion in group environments of varying sizes.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Discuss the development of the image of American cinema as a global form from the 1960s onwards.
  • Engage in close textual analysis of filmic examples in the context of relevant historical and theoretical frameworks.
  • Deploy key critical terms from gender, race and cultural studies to the films studied on the course.
  • Explore the importance of areas such as marketing and distribution for your understanding of the film text.
  • Make appropriate use of secondary and theoretical materials.
  • Evaluate and draw upon a range of academic and filmic sources in order to formulate, structure and justify your own arguments.
  • Develop a substantial, sustained argument for the 3k essay.
  • Develop a focused argument for the oral presentation.

Syllabus

This module analyses the history of American cinema since 1965, covering the decline of the Hollywood studio system and the moment, from 1968 to 1975, when a new wave of directors produced a number of key films sometimes known as constituting Hollywood’s ‘art house’ period, through the rise of the blockbuster in the mid-1970s, to the reinvigorated New Hollywood of the 80s and 90s. It explores the inter-relationship of studio and independent cinema, and historical issues such as changes in marketing and exhibition practices. We will also investigate whether this can be called Hollywood’s ‘post-classical’ period, and whether terms such as postmodernism, neo-classicism or New Hollywood might serve us better. Also at stake is how the film industry survived the rise of television and exploited the rise of new home viewing technologies such as video, DVD and laserdisc.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include • Lecture • Seminar • Screening • Individual consultation Learning activities include • Seminar discussion • Independent study, viewing and research • Writing a critical reflection on a film and a critical essay • Writing a sustained and detailed essay appropriate to level 3 study • Researching, presenting and writing-up the Presentation A weekly lecture presents an overview of the area under analysis that week, using the week’s key film texts plus recommended critical, historical and theoretical material. Screenings take place once a week; students are expected to see other films independently, in order to emerge from this module with a strong overview in the forty years of U.S. cinema under discussion. Seminars encourage active discussion of the week’s topic and the development of visual, verbal and presentation skills, and provide a forum for the assessed presentation. During the first five weeks of the module you will write a 500 word critical reflection on a film and a critical essay as a means of preparing you for the level of critical analysis required in the presentation and longer essay. The assessed presentation, which takes place in one of the seminars, introduces the audience to the week’s topic, providing lucid examples using clips, visual materials and/or deploy media such as PowerPoint or OHPs, and generating active debate in the group. This presentation is then written-up and contributes to the final mark for the module.

TypeHours
Completion of assessment task72
Preparation for scheduled sessions10
Seminar10
Practical classes and workshops28
Follow-up work20
Lecture10
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Steve Neale and Murray Smith, (eds) (1998). Contemporary Hollywood Cinema. 

Jim Collins, Hilary Radner and Ava Preacher Collins, (eds) (1993). Film Theory Goes to the Movies. 

Assessment

Assessment Strategy

Assessments designed to provide informal, on-module feedback • Discussion of essay work, before submission and after marking • Feedback on presentations • Seminars

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (2500 words) 50%
Presentation  (1000 words) 30%
Written assignment  (750 words) 20%

Referral

MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Linked modules

Prerequisites: FILM1001 or FILM2006 or ENGL1079

Share this module Facebook Google+ Twitter Weibo

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×