In 1929 a group of people gathered at the historic Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. For a $5 ticket, guests were treated to a private dinner and a fifteen-minute award ceremony. Fifteen statue, a statue a minute, were handed out. This small event constituted the first ever Academy Awards. Students in this six week course will not only screen five of the nine 2017 nominations for best picture, but they will also gain a newfound appreciation for, understanding of, and critical eye for the parameters and requirements for selecting best picture as set forth by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). Students will learn the history of the Academy Awards, and they will view each nomination in full (or pre-selected segments) as if they too were on the AMPAS voting board. We will screen the following five movies in this course: • Arrival • Fences • La La Land • Moonlight • Lion We will also view selections from Hacksaw Ridge, Hell or High Water, Hidden Figures, and Manchester by the Sea. Note: We will not meet Memorial Day, May 29.
The musical is a true American art form. On any Broadway stage serious drama meets popular song and both are better for the collaboration. What propels a musical to capture the imaginations of the country when the stories stretch from the French (or American) revolution to a nascent view of inner city violence? Well, the music, of course! Music is a powerful force illuminating the inner struggles of characters on stage and allowing the audience to engage with the story on a deeper level. In this course, we will examine some of the top musicals in the last 100 years and investigate exactly how the music makes the audience care. • "My Fair Lady"—The Inner Workings of a Man’s Mind, Writ Large • "West Side Story"—Shakespeare’s Tragedy and Gang Violence • "Chorus Line"—Bit Players Take Center Stage • "Hamilton"—Hip Hop as (American) Revolution