Try Post-Modern HollywoodZombies, mobsters, flight attendants, drugs, cowboys, guns, mystery, murder and bowling. This is just a sample of the subject matter that will be discussed in this summer’s HUM 320R class, Post-Modern Hollywood.
Taught by adjuncts Steve Hall and Wendell Nielson, the course offers students a chance to explore the concepts of post-modernism within the realm of Hollywood cinema. Hall and Nielson, who received their MFAs in screenwriting at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and the American Film Institute, respectively, will be the first professors to teach this class at this university.
“I think we have a very distinct perspective on Post-Modern Hollywood,” said Nielson. “[And] we’re both cinephiles.”
The duo have already taught humanities classes together, where they had their students rip apart movies, paying close attention to theme, rhetoric, structure, style and character, as well as helping them realize how all of it feeds into an overall message.
Their interest in teaching Post-Modern Hollywood stemmed from interactions with their students.
“Another reason I was drawn to this topic personally was the idea of helping students understand where the language that they think is theirs came from,” said Hall. “Because all of these genres came from somewhere and most students don’t realize that.”
Nielson also hopes the class will allow students to appreciate films they already like because they will have a more full and rich understanding of where the artists are coming from.
In discussion of what Post-Modern cinema means, Hall and Nielson referred to it as films that are based on, or at least use, references to previous films. When filmmakers first started out, they were trained in theater, literature or vaudeville.
“Now, for the most part…all of these filmmakers learn how to make films at a film school where they watched a bunch of films,” said Hall. “But that’s [why it’s] so rich, because then you can go back to the films these films are based on and see those influences and see how all of these influences build up to what [Post-Modernism] is today.”
If students are interested in taking Post-Modern Hollywood, they can register for the class now. The class is during the first summer block, Monday, Wednesday, Friday 9:00-10:50 a.m. Be advised that students who are uncomfortable watching R-Rated movies are strongly discouraged from registering for this class.