Instead of studying the historical development of narrative cinema
in Hollywood, this course will examine two genres in depth: film noir and
screwball comedies. Although Hollywood first introduced these two types
of films early in the twentieth century, film studies continue to favor
these two genres. The noir films will include Citizen Kane, Double
Indemnity, Body Heat, The Last Seduction, Out of the Past, Mildred
Pierce, The Killing, and Sunset Boulevard. The selection of screwball
comedies will depend on availability. The course will investigate
the aesthetics of film form as well as themes peculiar to these genres.
Because an understanding of these genres requires students to see as many
examples as possible, the course includes mandatory screenings of one or
two films weekly. Readings will include novels and critical works.