2018/Screening #2: Gold Diggers of 1933 – 98 Min.

During the Great Depression four poor actresses and a Broadway show unexpectedly get financial support from a young and aspiring musician. But from where did he get that much money?

Joan Blondell and Dick Powell (who were married from 1936-1944), Ruby Keeler, Warren William and a young Ginger Rogers (famous for her later partnership with Fred Astaire) are starring in this highly entertaining musical film directed by Mervyn LeRoy. Filmed on a budget of estimated 433,000 US $, the movie features four gorgeous dance sequences by legendary choreographer Busby Berkeley (1895-1974). All songs are composed by Harry Warren, who gained three Oscars and eight nominations in his career and wrote many standards like “Jeepers Creepers”, “Chattanooga Choo Choo” or “Lullaby of Broadway”.

Gold Diggers of 1933 gained great commercial success, but was actually one of the first American films being altered before distribution in order to avoid state censorship. In 2003, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.

IMDb link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0024069/?ref_=sr_2

Watch on YouTube: N/A

gold-diggers-of-1933-still-3

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2018 – Free Discussion

Here you can post your comments freely on any topic that was discussed in this course, but might have no other place to fit in, or anything else you found out during your studies!

2018/Screening #1: Sunrise (1927) – 95 min.


In this melodrama a farmer is forced to choose between a seductive it girl from the big city and his simple and innocent country wife.

Sunrise was German filmmaker F.W. Murnau’s (“Nosferatu”; “The Last Laugh”) first of four American films before his tragic death in a car accident in 1931.

Producer William Fox (founder of Fox Film that became a part of nowadays 20th Century Fox which presently is owned by Rupert Murdoch) granted Murnau maximum artistic freedom for this film that brought his studio a lot of prestige, but poor revenues.

The film received three Oscars at the first ceremony of the Academy Awards in 1929. The categories at that time were a bit different, but would nowadays approximately equal for Best Picture, Best Actress in a Leading Role (Janet Gaynor as the farmer’s wife) and Best Cinematography (Charles Rosher and Karl Struss). The film furthermore received one Oscar nomination for Best Art Direction (Rochus Gliese).

Murnau: “I think films of the future will use more and more of these ‘camera angles’, or, as I prefer to call them, these ‘dramatic angles’. They help photograph thought.”

IMDb link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0018455/

Watch on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6NayFytQeBE

Sunrise

Welcome To Fall Trimester 2018!

 

Welcome to the official blog of TUJ’s (Temple University, Japan Campus) American Film course. Please feel free to post anything that you think is related to the screenings or topics of the course! Guests are also very welcome to add their comments, if they would respect this blog’s purpose, which is discussing some great American films. Have fun!!!!

2017 – Your Final Word

This trimester will end very soon, so please let me know how you feel/felt about this course. You could write here, for example, about particular content you did not know at the beginning and have learned about in this class, moments in the class you were surprised about or felt challenged with, points you think that could be improved or just simply look back at all films and how you think about them now, etc. I personally would be also very interested about your opinions concerning full length screenings vs. many different clips. Which did you prefer? Which were the most memorable ones? Thank you so much for this semester, your blogging and making this course better and better!!!

2017 – Breakout Session #6: Modern Cinema and Future Perspectives

In this last breakout session we will examine the production mechanisms and characteristics of the post-modern, producer-driven cinema of today. Key words are High Concept and Pastiche, marketing is a major factor for lowering the financial risks of studio productions, may it be blockbusters or B-Movies. On the other hand, fringe film making is shifting to the internet. US cinema generates still high revenues worldwide, but has it kept topical and artistic variety? What can we expect from American movies in the future?