American Dreams, American Movies
A survey course in selected American films that create as well as reflect American national identity. Through lectures, weekly screenings and students' oral reports, we will study a dozen of the best-loved movies in our popular culture, from “The Gold Rush,” “King Kong,” and “It Happened One Night” to “Singin' in the Rain,” “The Godfather” and “WALL-E.” We will examine how these movies, their directors, and their stars, came to define American mythologies in the twentieth century and how they have collected over time iconic resonance. Attention as well to genre, form, technique, and Hollywood's history. Taught at Duke Kunshan University.