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So, what should next year's course be about?


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20 replies to this topic

#1 jamesjazzguitar

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Posted 10 August 2017 - 12:15 PM

I'd be interested in learning more about the Hollywood Blacklist scandal of the 1940s and 1950s.  

 

Now that is one great idea for TCM and Edwards and company to cover.    TCM could show films associated with those blacklisted,  before they were on it, while they were on it and worked under another name (or went un-credited) and after they were no longer blacklisted,  while the class could focus on what was perceived in films by those on the list as 'subversive' and  the impact this event had on their lives.  


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#2 TCM_Film_Fan

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 09:01 PM

I'd be interested in learning more about the Hollywood Blacklist scandal of the 1940s and 1950s.  


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#3 Walt3rd

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 01:03 AM

I would really be interested in pursuing more online film classes. Some topics might be:

* A Century of Film Musicals

 

 

I rather like the idea, after all, the first talking picture was a musical!  But I would narrow it to Musicals from 1920's to 1990.

 

Week one, 1927 - 1939   Beginnings (emphasis on Song and Dance)

Week two - 1940 - 1950  (The War Years)

Week three - 1950-1960 (The Golden Age of Musicals)

Week four - 1960 - 1975 (The waning of the film musical)

Week five - 1975 - 1990  (the live action musical at the end of the 20th Century)

 

Problems I foresee. Notice I left off in 1990,  After that, Disney seems to have ruled the musical, especially ANIMATED Musicals, and we all know TCM would have problems getting Disney films....so Mary Poppins would be out as well in week 4.

 

OR

 

Musicals is such a LARGE Subject, it might be better to pare it down from Genre to subject: All Singing, All Dancing:  The popular actors/actresses/ influencers of the screen musical.

 

Week one Al Jolson, Busby Berkley, Fred and Ginger, Nelson Eddy and Janette MacDonald

Week two AND three Judy Garland, Mickey Rooney, Esther Williams, The Nicolas Brothers, Mark Eden and the MGM Production team

Week four Van Johnson, Doris Day, Gene Kelly, Gene Nelson, Ann Miller, Howard Keel, the teams - Bob and Bing, Jerry and Dean.

Week five, The transition to teenagers and rock and roll.

 

Thoughts, anyone?

 

Walt3rd



#4 jamesjazzguitar

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 08:37 PM

I'd sign up for a Pre-Code course in a heartbeat. Lots of late 20s/early 30s"social context" a prof could cover. It has to tie into a month long festival that TCM would run and I think that would be do-able summer festival on their end. I believe they've done some Pre-code evenings in the past?

 

While TCM has done tributes to pre-code films,  there is nothing as special, interesting and comprehensive as the collaborations TCM has done with Ball State.    Pre-codes expose a lot about America as it relates to issues like sex-between-the-sexes, feminism,  violence and crime, and even sexual orientation to a limited degree.     Films like Stanwyck in Baby Face and Night Nurse,   Harlow in Red-Headed Women,     Chatterton in Female,    Cagney in Public Enemy or Robinson in Little Caesar,   etc.....

 

So progressive in so many ways,  but also still constrained by the morals of the times.   

 

I just don't see another era of films or genre that has as much to explore as pre-codes.    (with the 70s,  post no-code era, 'look what we can do now' being another one but I don't enjoy the films from that era as much as I do pre-codes).


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#5 MareyMac

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 08:24 PM

While the 4 genres mentioned are much more 'sustained' that makes them more difficult to cover.

 

A brief period like pre-codes is limited in scope and therefore more focus can be applied to key movies, themes,  styles,  etc...

 

So I would like to see the pre-code era covered.    This is a very interesting era of films for so many reasons. 

 

 

I'd sign up for a Pre-Code course in a heartbeat. Lots of late 20s/early 30s"social context" a prof could cover. It has to tie into a month long festival that TCM would run and I think that would be do-able summer festival on their end. I believe they've done some Pre-code evenings in the past?


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#6 jamesjazzguitar

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 07:01 PM

I also suggest the history of minorities in the industry and in films. 

 

TCM  has covered this but of course in a much more limited manner then the Noir and Hitchcock \ Ball State collaborations.   Great idea and TCM should be able to lease the films required for a solid collaboration with Ball State.

 

Note that some of the ideas people have listed wouldn't be practical for TCM;  E.g. Horror films going from the past to the present:  TCM has to lease the films they show.    It cost a lot more to lease a film that has only been out on the market a decade or so.   In addition recent films don't fit TCM's branding;  Yea, they show films released after 1990,  from time to time, but that is < 2% of their overall programming.

 

In addition TCM has difficulty leasing Universal Films and many of the finest 30s horror films are from that studio.


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#7 mariaki

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 06:54 PM

I would really love for TCM/Ball State/Canvas to highlight female filmmakers (in all areas of making a film.) Female filmmakers are few and far between, especially when lending direct focus to screenwriters and directors.

 

I also suggest the history of minorities in the industry and in films. 


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#8 ameliajc

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 02:24 PM

What fun to think about a next course. I think that a lot of effort has to go into any decision. As a teacher myself, I would be surprised if Prof Edwards would be comfortable picking a topic brand new to him, so my vote would be for an online version of a course that he's already tried out in his face-to-face teaching and has some resources assembled for. So, my first choice would be whatever is his first choice. I agree with those who would like to see the Film Noir course repeated. I think a lot of us would come back for another round, and that one was spread out over a longer time and was just Fridays, which might help out some of the obvious time crunch in this class. And now that Eddie Muller is involved so regularly with TCM, that collaboration would be pretty interesting, perhaps more like Wes Gehring has been in this class.

      A few participants in this course have also revealed that they teach or otherwise know their way around film history, so perhaps reaching out to some new professors would be a great idea. (Nothing against Prof Edwards.. and who says that there can't be more than one a year?) Of course you have to work with what TCM is willing and able to program, so another method might be to look at some of the upcoming featured themes or performers and see what might come from that. For years I have been impressed with the way that TCM would bring in very knowledgeable guest programmers -- including academics, practitioners, and super-fans -- to guide us through these themes. Most recently Gays in Hollywood, but I recall looking at Asians, Blacks, Women, pre-code. Last year was Trailblazing Women, with Ileana Douglas and a fab co-host line-up, but a few years earlier scholar Molly Haskell was on hand to help out. My own colleague Lloyd Michaels just came out with a book on Woody Allen and it made me see even those famiiar films in a different way -- I'd love to see him do an online course.  Classic French films? German expressionist cinema?  I think TCM has the most innovative programming going. (My favorite TCM evening is still the one in which every film featured someone who had been blind for at least a portion, but my husband was pretty psyched about the Hot Rod evening this last month.) 

    One of the most difficult areas for me to get into has been the Silent Era, and so a course on that would really help me see what all the fuss is about. The material on Hitch's silent era production and how that expertise continued to serve him was one of my big take-aways in this course. Plus, TCM already schedules a lot of silents, so maybe just moving one or two to a featured weekday primetime in the summer plus supplementing them with the Sunday evening regular showings would work. 

    In case folks haven't already figured it out, I'm a fan of these courses. Thanks again to everybody involved. The fact that they are free blows my mind. I'm not sure who said "you get what you pay for" in one of the more critical comment threads -- I think that's just wrong. We're getting So Much for our time investment. Plus, I'm assuming that Prof Edwards and others are compensated, and that TCM realizes how key this has become for educating and maintaining its fan base, so it's probably a bargain in terms of advertising costs. But still, what a deal!

    Definitely looking forward to the next one, Here's hoping that there IS a Next One. Cheers!


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#9 LRH

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 11:38 AM

Another thought -- how about directors?  I'm just starting to read Five Came Back: A Story of Hollywood and the Second World War by Mark Harris. [I have no business interest in the book, just linking for convenience].  About 5 directors who served in the war and how that influenced their work, etc.

 

Anyway, it got me thinking that you could do a 6-9 week course on some of the classic directors of the Golden Age:
John Ford, William Wyler, Frank Capra, Ida Lupino, Billy Wilder, Elia Kazan, Vincente Minnelli, etc.

 

I'd really like to see Ida Lupino in there -- she directed some really swell films.  Here's an article with Illiana Douglas talking about Lupino's films:  http://www.tiff.net/...eana-loves-ida/    Minnelli would get us some musicals; Ford westerns, of course....  Lots of possibilities.

 

One director a week with 4 representative films (which could include films their style influenced, etc.).

 

I'd LOVE a course on film scores, but I have a feeling that would be too narrow for what TCM would like to market.



#10 LRH

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 11:22 AM

If anyone is interested in following up on Westerns, I found this course by poking around on Canvas.  It's completed, but all the materials are still there to read and watch:  https://learn.canvas.net/courses/1689.  It looks very thorough and easy to navigate (not sure how long it will be available).  The interface for the course will be very familiar for those of us in the TCM Hitchcock#50 class.  Westerns are pretty far down on my preferred genres, but this course looks so well-done, I may work through it to get up to speed on this important genre.



#11 dmaxedon

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 02:10 AM

I had a few ideas right off, then after reading others' suggestions, thought of a few more, so in no particular order...

 

- the history of animation ( from the beginning to current day )

- the history of horror films ( from the beginning to current day )

- the history of sci-fi films ( from the beginning to current day )

- the history of comedy films ( by the decades )

- the Universal monster films

- the spaghetti western

- classic films ( what makes a film a classic )

- Abbott and Costello ( just cuz I love'm so much )

 

I enjoyed 50 Years of Hitchcock, and the online class experience, I'm sure whatever it is will be good.

 


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#12 Dubbed

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 10:29 PM

I would really love for TCM/Ball State/Canvas to highlight female filmmakers (in all areas of making a film.) Female filmmakers are few and far between, especially when lending direct focus to screenwriters and directors.
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#13 Joe69

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 09:32 PM

A topic based on code/ precode.
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#14 Hitch_nnw

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 09:01 PM

Actually I think a good topic would be the films of the directors who emerged in the 1970s--Coppola, Spielberg, Scorsese, Altman, maybe even Lucas.  They all follow Hitchcock in the sense of being "auteurs."  


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#15 Michael McCarthy

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 08:29 PM

I would really be interested in pursuing more online film classes. Some topics might be:

* A Century of Film Musicals

* Monster Movies: Universal, Hammer, A.I.P., Toho and more

* Rock 'N' Cinema: From Pariah to Payday

* Whatever Happened To Originality: Why Hollywood Depends On Sequels

* The Films of Sergio Leone

* The Great Film Scores

* The Rise And Fall Of The Western


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#16 ckusama

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 06:56 PM

I'm surprised no one has mentioned adventure films like Captain Blood or any Douglas Fairbanks film? Aren't there enough for a class or is this the stepchild of movie making? I noticed in the book "The Essentials" 52 Must-See Movies" that not one adventure film was in it. Are they just trivial? I love to see Robin Hood or Sea Hawk! Errol Flynn is one of my favorites. Just fun movies. 

 

No respect!

 


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#17 Chuck V.

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 06:50 PM

I've been vouching for one on horror films, starting with Nosferatu and Caligari and the sorts, going through the Universal monsters, and all the way through the 80s slashers and so on.

This one could certainly work programming wise since TCM is bound to show many horror movies every October.


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#18 jamesjazzguitar

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 01:46 PM

The most logical choice would be another genre.  There are many that have been much more sustained than film noir or screwball comedy.  For instance:

 

Gangster

Western

Science Fiction

Historical Epic

 

While the 4 genres mentioned are much more 'sustained' that makes them more difficult to cover.

 

A brief period like pre-codes is limited in scope and therefore more focus can be applied to key movies, themes,  styles,  etc...

 

So I would like to see the pre-code era covered.    This is a very interesting era of films for so many reasons. 


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#19 Hitch_nnw

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 01:35 PM

The most logical choice would be another genre.  There are many that have been much more sustained than film noir or screwball comedy.  For instance:

 

Gangster

Western

Science Fiction

Historical Epic


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"Drama is life with the dull bits cut out."


#20 Thief12

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 12:29 PM

I've been vouching for one on horror films, starting with Nosferatu and Caligari and the sorts, going through the Universal monsters, and all the way through the 80s slashers and so on.


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