This seminar will help participants develop their own criteria for evaluating the merits of some well-regarded products of the Classic Era of Hollywood film-making. Among the criteria to be considered will be the strength of characterization, the development of the story line, the appropriateness of style to content, the creativity evident in the finished product, and the ability of the film to move an audience closer to an understanding of the human condition. While the focus of the course will be on the enhanced appreciation of genuine classics, the seminar will also provide participants with exposure to films generally considered to be “near misses” or artistic failures, in order to foster comparisons among “The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly” produced in this era. Examples will be drawn from across a wide variety of film genres such as mysteries, comedies, dramas, Westerns, war films, and others, to illuminate the comparative value of the chosen pictures. Some attention will also be given to examples from the United Kingdom and to a few more recent films which partake in some significant way of the spirit of the Classic Era. The seminar is intended to assist both occasional moviegoers and devoted film fans to “get the most” from watching a classic film ... or even from watching “just an old movie.”

Jack Rhodes received his Ph.D. in English literature from the University of Texas at Austin and later became interested in communication and film studies. His principal academic assignments were at Colorado College, the University of Utah, and Miami University (Ohio), where he taught the graduate course on Rhetoric of Film for several years. Rhodes also served as chair of the Department of Communication at Miami and retired as executive director of Miami’s regional campus in Hamilton, Ohio. He is the author of three books and several scholarly articles and has recently concentrated his research and lecturing on the rhetoric of film genres. This will be his eleventh year teaching Björklunden seminars.


This seminar was made possible, in part, by the Robert L. Berner Memorial Endowment for Björklunden

Sunday, August 25, 2019 to Friday, August 30, 2019
$925 - Double; $1,200 - Single; $465 - Commuter
Television & Film