Hollywood in Transition: Tracing the Evolution of Classic Films into the Modern Era
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Within the two decades of the 1960's and 1970's, Hollywood film production underwent significant stylistic and substantive transition. Hastened by the proliferation of television viewing, the decline of the studio system, and the advent of major advances in technology, the film industry turned to more adult themes, a new generation of national and international film stars, an increased reliance on color and widescreen releases, and a new roster of social issues appropriate to the era. Additional influences in this exciting transitional period included the demise of the Motion Picture Production Code, the national discourse on the role of the individual in society, and the consequences of American involvement in the Vietnam War. Against this dynamic background of social and technological forces, Hollywood films of genuine artistic quality often struggled to come to the screen. Yet the era produced a rather large number of "Modern Classics" whose reputations have endured through several decades. The seminar will focus on this vibrant transitional period of Hollywood filmmaking, with special attention to some of the best pictures and performances of the era.
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 tenth year teaching Björklunden seminars.