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The University of Southampton
Lifelong Learning

Rebels and Outsiders: The 1950s and 1960s

Rebels and outsiders in cinema come in many forms with many meanings.  This course will explore some of these in eight key films from the 1950s and 1960s.

Rebels and Outsiders

The first half is concerned with the early 1950s, which saw the emergence of three outstanding film actors, Montgomery Clift, Marlon Brando and James Dean, who came to embody a new kind of film ‘hero’ that challenged traditional ideas of masculinity.  Non-conformist and troubled in their private lives, they were frequently cast as rebels and outsiders and brought to these parts qualities of vulnerability, sensitivity and sexual ambiguity that had not been seen before in the protagonists of Hollywood films.  Moreover, their performances were given exceptional intensity with the suggestion of complex inner lives through their involvement with the new post-war American school of acting popularly known as ‘the Method’.

The second half of the course is mainly concerned with the late 1960s, a period in America of social upheaval and generational conflict in which the young and the ‘counter culture’ challenged the existing order and demanded new freedoms.  The chosen films from this period can be seen as reflections of this conflict, both direct and indirect, with the ‘Method’ school of acting still exerting a significant influence.  The course concludes by moving to England, finding in Lindsay Anderson’s film If…  a quintessential expression of the rebellious spirit of the time.

Planned films: A Place in the Sun (1951), On the Waterfront (1953), East of Eden (1954), Rebel Without a Cause (1955), Hud (1962), Bonnie and Clyde (1967), Easy Rider (1969), If... (1968)


Date: Monday 2 February 2015

Time: 18.30-22.00

Duration: 8 weeks

Location: Harbour Lights, Southampton

The course takes place on Monday evenings from 6.30 to 10.00. It runs for eight weeks from 2 February to 23 March. Each film is introduced in the cinema at 6.30 and followed (after a short break) by an hour's seminar.




Booking is completed through the Online Store, please click here to book your place.

Members of Harbour Lights are entitled to a discounted rate, once you have booked your place please email to obtain this discount stating your membership number.

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