Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Welcome, Honors 399-Film & Social Problems Students!

(To the right, a German poster for the 1924 film The Last Laugh, one of the films we'll study this semester)

Welcome, Honors 399/Film & Social Problems Students:

This is a course that probes that role feature films have played in exploring as well as bringing light to social problems and issues, whether in the stories of individuals or groups caught the mesh of those issues or through dramatic events those issues helped create. Film will be discussed against the backdrop of how other art forms—painting, music, literature—have addressed these issues. . The so-called “Hollywood Social Problem” film has been defined as one that “combines social analysis and dramatic conflict within a coherent narrative structure (distinguished by) its didacticism.” (Roffman and Purdy) This course will include such films but also reach beyond to examples from German Expressionist film, Film Noir, and independent film where no edifying solution may be offered but rather the depiction of an underlying truth or hard-boiled reality.