Hollywood (TIP)

The Hollywood Film Industry (Spring 2018)

Prof. Peter Decherney | office: 211 Fisher-Bennett Hall

Class meets in the Weigle Information Commons seminar room on the 1st floor of Van Pelt Library.

Required text: Peter Decherney, Hollywood: A Very Short Introduction (aka Decherney VSI)(you will receive a free copy in class). All other readings are linked below. You will need a Pennkey to read most of them.

Required viewing: When you are asked to view a lecture it is available through the HollywoodX free online course website. You may register for the course here.

Presentations: You will be asked to present on one film during the course of the semester in addition to working on your modules.


Jan 30) Before Hollywood
Decherney VSI, intro & ch 1
Decherney, HollywoodX videos 1.1-1.5
Film Analysis: Basic Terms, Yale Film Analysis Site

Feb 6) production day

Feb 13) The Studio System
Decherney, VSI, ch. 2
Decherney, HollywoodX videos 2.1
Paula J. Massood, “Teaching African American Film”
Presentation: Oscar Micheaux’s Body and Soul (1925) or The Wizard of Oz (1939)

Feb 20) The Star and Genre Systems
Decherney, HollywoodX  2.2-2.4
Rick Altman, “Cinema and Genre” and “The Musical”
Presentation: Citizen Kane (1941)

rationales are due by email

Feb 27) Sound, the Depression, and the New Deal
Decherney VSI, pages 37-44
Decherney, HollywoodX  3.1-3.2
Martin Marks, “The Sound of Music”
William Moritz, “Animation”
Presentation: a Capra or Disney film

March 6) Spring Break

March 13) The Production Code and WWII
Decherney VSI, pages 44-53 + all of ch 4
Decherney, HollywoodX  3.3-3.4 + 4.1-4.4
“The Production Code”
A Production Code File
Ellen Scott, Cinema and Civil Rights, intro
Presentations: Some Like it Hot (1959) or The Ox-Bow Incident (1943)

March 20) The Blacklist and the Cold War 
Decherney, VSI, ch. 5
Decherney, HollywoodX  5.1-5.4
HUAC Testimony of Walt Disney, Ayn Rand, and Ronald Reagan
presentations: Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) or Dr. Strangelove (1964)

rationales and backgrounds are due by email

March 27) Television and the New Hollywood
Decherney, VSI, ch 6
Decherney, HollywoodX  6.1 – 6.3
Michelle Hilmes, “Television and the Film Industry”
Geoffrey Nowell-Smith, “Independents and Mavericks”
Presentations:  A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) or 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954), or Easy Rider (1969) or Star Wars: A New Hope (1977)

April 3) NO CLASS

April 10) Home Video and Indiewood
Decherney, VSI, ch. 7
Decherney, HollywoodX  7.1
Decherney, “Aereo and the Home”
Salamisha Tillet, “A New ‘She’s Gotta Have It’”
Presentation: sex, lies, and videotape (1989) or She’s Gotta Have It (1986/2017)

April 17) Digital Cinema and the Internet
Decherney, VSI, ch. 8
Decherney, HollywoodX  8.1
Presentation: lonelygirl15 (ep 1-3) or Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog (2008) or Toy Story (1995)

rationales, background, objectives, strategies, and strategies due by email

April 24) Presentations (Andrea, Amanda, Nicole)

May 1) Presentations (John, David ,Matt, Keeler, Wendi)

rationales, background, objectives, strategies, lesson plans, and appendices due by email

June 26) Curriculum Unit Submission Deadline

Film Studies For Free
Production Code Files