A generally-acknowledged asset of films of the Classic Era is their dependence on the strength of the storyline and the development of that certain quality which keeps the audience involved and entertained. This seminar will focus on several excellent examples of cinematic stories that seize the interest of the audience in the opening moments and hold the filmgoer’s attention until the last frame. These compelling storylines may occur in any given genre, and examples will be offered from film types as diverse as mysteries, war dramas, suspense films, romantic comedies, westerns and others. Some attention will be given to the craft of the screenwriters who have made these scripts a pleasure for many subsequent generations to admire and enjoy. The class will also examine the other aspects of filmmaking that support the strong storyline: character development, the skillful use of dialogue, directorial style and the technical expertise which all combine to create a memorable example of the Golden Age of Hollywood Film.
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 13th year teaching Björklunden seminars.
This seminar was made possible, in part, by the Robert L. Berner Memorial Endowment for Björklunden.