ELTS 167: European Identities in Hollywood Cinema: Dark Dreams and California Noir

Instructor: Arne Lunde

The course explores how Hollywood classic film noir and neo-noir exposed the darker, more nightmarish dimensions of the postwar California dream, particularly within the mean streets of  Los Angeles and San Francisco. European-born filmmakers (including directors, writers, actors, producers, cinematographers, art designers, and composers, many of whom were refugees and exiles from Hitler’s Nazi-occupied Europe) were essential to the development of the film noir crime-film genre/movement in Hollywood in the 1940s-1950s and as neo-noir in the 1970s and beyond. Students will read a number of theoretical and historiographical writings about noir, including its origins in German Expressionist cinema, French poetic realism, and American crime pulp fiction. They will also analyze, discuss, write about, and present in teams on a range of the course films. These include classic noirs such as Double Indemnity, Sunset Blvd., Criss Cross, Mildred Pierce, Detour, as well as neo-noirs such as Chinatown, Blade Runner, Dead Again, The Day of the Locust, et al.

MW 2-3:15           Pub Aff 2242