Returning Summer 2022: A Chronicle of the Frontier: The Western as Myth and History

outlaw-josey-wales

A CHRONICLE OF THE FRONTIER:

THE WESTERN AS MYTH AND HISTORY

­­A 10-WEEK ONLINE COURSE (Summer, 2022)

PRESENTED BY MATTHEW ASPREY GEAR

In this original 10-week online course, to be delivered via the Google Meet platform, we’ll study 15 Westerns made between 1946 and 2021. Arranged as a chronicle of American history, these films collectively depict – and mythologize – more than a century of frontier life, from the Creek War of 1813 to the ranches of Montana in 1925.

The course will examine the history behind the myths, how these movies were made, and the aesthetics of the Western film. We’ll also study the careers of legendary directors such as John Ford, Clint Eastwood, Sergio Leone, Sam Peckinpah, Anthony Mann, and Budd Boetticher. It is designed as both an overview for curious newcomers and a fresh look for long-time fans of this great and often controversial American genre.

Classes are limited to a maximum of 12 students. Each week I’ll give an original lecture presentation and then lead an in-depth group discussion. All participants will have a chance to contribute. The only weekly homework will be to watch a film (or two) and occasionally read a short article. There will be no final exam or essay. This course is designed purely for enjoyment and discovery. All are welcome.

Weekly session: Sundays at 12pm PT/3pm ET (North America)
(8pm UK time/9pm CET)

(NB. The lecture portion of the session will be recorded and available for download if you are unable to attend a live session and need to catch up.)

Price per student: US$130. Contact me at matthewaspreygear@gmail.com for further information.

LECTURE PLAN

June 5
Lecture 1. Introduction: The Western as Myth and History
RIDE LONESOME (1959) – Budd Boetticher [73min]
A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS (1964) – Sergio Leone [99min]

June 12
Lecture 2. The Wild Frontier (1813-1845)
DAVY CROCKETT: KING OF THE WILD FRONTIER (1955) – Norman Foster [92min]
MEEK’S CUTOFF (2010) – Kelly Reichardt [104min]

June 19
Lecture 3. The Chisholm Trail (1851-1865)
RED RIVER (1948) – Howard Hawks [133min]
Reading: Excerpt from Roughing It by Mark Twain

June 26
Lecture 4. The American Civil War / The Franco-Mexican War (1860s)
THE OUTLAW JOSEY WALES (1976) – Clint Eastwood [135min]
 
VERA CRUZ (1954) – Robert Aldrich [94min]

July 3
Lecture 5. The Apache Wars (1870s-1886)
FORT APACHE (1948) – John Ford [125min]
Reading: Excerpt from Story of his Life by Geronimo

* ONE WEEK BREAK *

July 17
Lecture 6. Dodge City and Tombstone (1876-1882)
WINCHESTER ’73 (1950) – Anthony Mann [97min]
MY DARLING CLEMENTINE (1946) – John Ford [97min]

July 24
Lecture 7. Outlaws (1880-85)
ONE-EYED JACKS (1961) – Marlon Brando [141min]
Reading: Excerpt from The Authentic Life of Billy the Kid by Pat Garrett

July 31
Lecture 8. End of the West (1898-1912)
RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY (1962) – Sam Peckinpah [94min]
THERE WILL BE BLOOD (2007) – Paul Thomas Anderson [158min]

* ONE WEEK BREAK *

August 14
Lecture 9. The Mexican Revolution (1910s)
A BULLET FOR THE GENERAL (1966) – Damiano Damiani [118min]
Reading: Excerpt from The Treasure of the Sierra Madre by B. Traven

August 21
Lecture 10. Montana (1925)
POWER OF THE DOG (2021) – Jane Campion [126min]
Reading: Excerpt from Red Harvest by Dashiell Hammett

Online course: Paris Belongs to Them: The French New Wave (1955-65)

PARIS BELONGS TO THEM

THE FRENCH NEW WAVE (1955-65)

A 12-WEEK ONLINE COURSE (May – July, 2022)

PRESENTED BY MATTHEW ASPREY GEAR

In this original film studies course, to be delivered via the Google Meet platform, we’ll study 13 feature films and 7 shorts from the legendary French New Wave (1955-65).

The course will examine this revolutionary film movement as well as the careers of directors such as Jean-Luc Godard, François Truffaut, Agnès Varda, Jacques Rivette, Louis Malle, and Alain Resnais, along with lesser known filmmakers such as Jacques Rozier and Jean Rouch. The lectures will explore these films in the wider context of French culture, history, and politics.

Classes are limited to a maximum of 12 students. Each week I’ll give an original lecture presentation and then lead an in-depth group discussion. All participants will have a chance to contribute. The only weekly homework will be to watch a film (or two). There will be no final exam or essay. This course is designed purely for enjoyment and discovery.

I will be running two identical sessions each week to accommodate different international time zones:

American session: Sundays 3pm PT/6pm ET
European session: Mondays 7:30pm UK time/8:30pm CET.

(NB. The lecture portion of the session will be recorded and available for download if you are unable to attend a live session and need to catch up.)

LECTURE PLAN

May 1 (US) / 2 (EU)
Lecture 1. Introduction/Jean-Luc Godard
BREATHLESS (1960) [87min]

May 8 (US) / 9 (EU)
Lecture 2. Rising of the Wave
LE COUP DU BERGER (1956) – Jacques Rivette [28mins]
L’OPÉRA-MOUFFE [DIARY OF A PREGNANT WOMAN] (1958) – Agnès Varda [16mins]
LES MISTONS (1957) – François Truffaut [18mins]
Readings: Alexandre Astruc, ‘La Camera-Stylo’ (1948); François Truffaut, ‘A Certain Tendency of the French Cinema’ (1954)

May 15 (US) / 16 (EU)
Lecture 3. Alain Resnais
HIROSHIMA MON AMOUR (1959)
[92mins]
NIGHT AND FOG (1955)
[29mins]

May 22 (US) / 23 (EU)
Lecture 4. Louis Malle
THE LOVERS (1958)
[90mins]
ZAZIE DANS LE MÉTRO (1960) [89mins]

— ONE-WEEK BREAK —

June 5 (US) / 6 (EU)
Lecture 5. Jacques Rivette
PARIS BELONGS TO US (1961) [144mins]

June 12 (US) / 13 (EU)
Lecture 6. François Truffaut
SHOOT THE PIANO PLAYER (1960) [92mins]
ANTOINE AND COLETTE (1962) [32mins]

June 19 (US) / (20 (EU)
Lecture 7. Cinéma Vérité
CHRONICLE OF A SUMMER (1961) – Jean Rouch & Edgar Morin [85mins]

June 26 (US) / 27 (EU)
Lecture 8. Jacques Rozier
ADIEU PHILIPPINE (1962) [106mins]

July 3 (US) / 4 (EU)
Lecture 9. Agnès Varda
CLÉO FROM 5 TO 7 (1962) [90mins]
SALUT LES CUBAINS (1963) [30mins]

— ONE-WEEK BREAK —

July 17 (US) / 18 (EU)
Lecture 10. Strange Adventures
ALPHAVILLE (1965) – Jean-Luc Godard [99mins]
LA JETÉE (1962) – Chris Marker [28mins]

July 24 (US) / 25 (EU)
Lecture 11. Seeing The New Wave
LA BONHEUR [HAPPINESS] (1965)Agnès Varda [80mins]
PARIS VU PAR [SIX IN PARIS] (1965) -Rohmer/Godard/Chabrol/Pollet/Rouch/Douchet [92mins] [American session only]

July 31 (US) / August 1 (EU)
Lecture 12. A Film Is Like A Battleground
PIERROT LE FOU (1965) – Jean-Luc Godard [110mins]

Online course: Dark City Confidential: A New Look at Classic Noir (1941-61)

DARK CITY CONFIDENTIAL:

A NEW LOOK AT CLASSIC NOIR (1941-61)

­­A 12-WEEK ONLINE COURSE (April – July, 2022)

PRESENTED BY MATTHEW ASPREY GEAR

In this original 12-week online course, to be delivered via the Google Meet platform, we’ll study 16 key films of the classic Film Noir era (1941-1961) as well as 7 classic pieces of noir fiction. The lectures will explore these films through the stories of their production and in the wider context of American society, history, and politics. We’ll also examine the careers of the major directors and writers.

Classes are limited to a maximum of 12 students. Each week I’ll give an original lecture presentation on a set film and theme and then lead an in-depth group discussion. All participants will have a chance to contribute. The only weekly homework will be to watch a film (or two), and occasionally read a short story. There will be no final exam or essay. This course is designed purely for enjoyment and discovery. All are welcome.

The weekly session is: Saturdays at 12pm PT/3pm ET (North America)
(8pm UK time/9pm CET)

(NB. The lecture portion of the session will be recorded and available for download if you are unable to attend a live session and need to catch up.)

Price per student: US$130. Enrollments are open. Contact me at matthewaspreygear@gmail.com .

LECTURE PLAN

April 23
Lecture 1. The Shamus
THE MALTESE FALCON (1941) – John Huston [1hr41]
Reading: ‘Fly Paper’ by Dashiell Hammett

April 30
Lecture 2. Knight Moves
MURDER MY SWEET (1944) – Edward Dmytryk [1hr35]
Reading: ‘I’ll Be Waiting’ by Raymond Chandler

May 7
Lecture 3. The Sewn-Up City
THE STRANGE LOVE OF MARTHA IVERS (1946) – Lewis Milestone [1hr56]
Reading: ‘The Homecoming’ by Dorothy B. Hughes

May 14
Lecture 4. Eyes on the City
THE NAKED CITY (1948) – Jules Dassin [1hr36]
HE WALKED BY NIGHT (1948) – Alfred L. Werker/Anthony Mann [1hr19]

May 21
Lecture 5. A Way To Lose
OUT OF THE PAST (1947) – Jacques Tourneur [1hr37]
DETOUR (1945) – Edgar G. Ulmer [1hr08]
Reading: from The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M. Cain

** BREAK **

June 4
Lecture 6. The Big Carnival
ACE IN THE HOLE (1951) – Billy Wilder [1hr51]
Reading: ‘Forever After’ by Jim Thompson

June 11
Lecture 7. Murder Most Foul
IN A LONELY PLACE (1950) – Nicholas Ray [1hr34]
THE BIG HEAT (1953) – Fritz Lang [1hr30]

June 18
Lecture 8. Ida Lupino’s B-Noir
THE HITCH-HIKER (1953) – Ida Lupino [1hr11]
PRIVATE HELL 36 (1954) – Don Siegel [1hr20]

June 25
Lecture 9. Fighting a Swamp with a Teaspoon
THE BIG COMBO (1955) – Joseph E. Lewis [1hr46]
Reading: ‘Some Lucky License’ by Charles Willeford

July 2
Lecture 10. This Dirty Town
SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS (1957) – Alexander MacKendrick [1hr36]

** BREAK **

July 16
Lecture 11. On the Border
TOUCH OF EVIL (1958) – Orson Welles [1998: 1hr51]
Reading: from A Rage in Harlem by Chester Himes

July 23
Lecture 12. American Underworld
UNDERWORLD USA (1961) – Samuel Fuller [1hr38]

Online course: New Light on the Old City: American Neo-Noir (1966-86)

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NEW LIGHT ON THE OLD CITY: AMERICAN NEO-NOIR (1966-86)

­­A 12-WEEK ONLINE COURSE (Spring 2022)

PRESENTED BY MATTHEW ASPREY GEAR

In this original 12-week online course, to be delivered via the Google Meet platform, we’ll study 17 key American films of the early Neo-Noir era (1966-1986) as well as 7 short pieces of noir fiction.

The lectures will explore these films through the stories of their production and in the wider context of American society, history, and politics. We’ll also examine the careers of the major directors and writers.

Classes are limited to a maximum of 12 students. Each week I’ll give an original lecture presentation on the set film and theme and then lead an in-depth group discussion. All participants will have a chance to contribute. The only weekly homework will be to watch a film (or two), and occasionally read a short story. There will be no final exam or essay. This course is designed purely for enjoyment and discovery. All are welcome.

Weekly session: Sundays at 12pm PT/3pm ET (North America)
(8pm UK time/9pm CET)

(NB. The lecture portion of the session will be recorded and available for download if you are unable to attend a live session and need to catch up.)

Price per student: US$130. Contact me at matthewaspreygear@gmail.com for further information.

LECTURE PLAN

February 27
Lecture 1. Experiments in Noir Aesthetics
SECONDS (1966) – John Frankenheimer [107min]
POINT BLANK (1967) – John Boorman [92min]

March 6
Lecture 2. American Paranoia
KLUTE (1971) – Alan J. Pakula [114min]
Reading: Short stories by Patricia Highsmith and Nedra Tyre

March 13
Lecture 3. Crooks on the Lam
THE LAST RUN (1971) – Richard Fleischer [95min]
CHARLEY VARRICK (1973) – Don Siegel [111min]

March 20
Lecture 4. Guns in the Street
ACROSS 110th STREET (1972) – Barry Shear [102min]

THE FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE (1973) – Peter Yates [103min]
Reading: Excerpt from Mikey and Nicky screenplay by Elaine May

March 27
Lecture 5. The Private Eye Revisited I.
NIGHT MOVES (1975) – Arthur Penn [100min]

Reading: Excerpt from The Last Good Kiss (1978) by James Crumley  

April 3
Lecture 6. The Private Eye Revisited II.
THE LONG GOODBYE (1973) – Robert Altman [112min]
THE LATE SHOW (1977) – Robert Benton [93min]

April 10
Lecture 7. The Private Eye Revisited III.
CHINATOWN (1974) – Roman Polanski [131min]

* ONE WEEK BREAK *

April 24
Lecture 8. Vietnam Noir
WHO’LL STOP THE RAIN (1978) – Karel Reisz [126min]
Reading: Short story by Robert Stone

May 1
Lecture 9. Sunshine Noir
AMERICAN GIGOLO (1980) – Paul Schrader [117min]
Fiction: Short story by Sara Paretsky

May 8
Lecture 10. Street Life
SHARKY’S MACHINE (1981) – Burt Reynolds [122min]
Fiction: Short story by James Lee Burke

May 15
Lecture 11. Indie Noir
BLOOD SIMPLE (1984) – Joel Coen [97min]
AFTER HOURS (1985) – Martin Scorsese [97min]

May 22
Lecture 12. Neon-Noir
MANHUNTER (1986)  Michael Mann [120min]

Online Orson Welles course: The Other Side of the Shadow (Returning August 21, 2021)

THE OTHER SIDE OF THE SHADOW:
A NEW LOOK AT ORSON WELLES

A 12-WEEK ONLINE COURSE
(August-November, 2021)

PRESENTED BY MATTHEW ASPREY GEAR

This original 12-week online course, delivered via the Google Meet platform, is designed for serious Orson Welles fans as well as newcomers. We’re going to have a lot of fun as we dive deeply into the work of one of the 20th century’s greatest filmmakers.

The lectures cover the obvious Welles classics — Citizen Kane, The Magnificent Ambersons, Touch of Evil, and Chimes at Midnight — but will also explore some of the lesser-known films and TV programs, including many works that have appeared posthumously (and many unproduced screenplays that have never been published). I’m also eager to share the discoveries I’ve made in the Orson Welles archives in Turin, Munich, Michigan, and Indiana.

Each week I’ll give an original fifty-minute lecture presentation on a set film and topic and then lead an in-depth group discussion. All students will have a chance to contribute. The only weekly homework will be to watch a film (or two) in preparation for the session. Many of the films are easily available on YouTube or other streaming platforms. There will be no final exam or essay. This course is designed purely for enjoyment and discovery. All are welcome.

I will be running two identical sessions each week to accommodate different international time zones. Choose whichever you prefer. Each group will be limited to a maximum of 12 students.

American session: Saturdays 12pm PT/3pm ET
European session: Wednesdays 7:30pm UK time/8:30pm CET

(NB. The lecture portion of the session will be available to download as a video if you are unable to attend a live session and need to catch up.)

Price per student: US$130. Please email me at matthewaspreygear@gmail.com to book your place in the course.

LECTURE PLAN

August 21 (US) / 25 (EU)
Lecture 1: Introduction – The Myths and the Man
Movie: MAGICIAN: THE ASTONISHING LIFE AND WORK OF ORSON WELLES (documentary, 2014)

A: WELLES’S STYLE AND METHODS

August 28 (US) / September 1 (EU)
Lecture 2: Orson and Film Noir
Movie: THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI (1947)

** ONE-WEEK BREAK **

September 11 (US) / 15 (EU)
Lecture 3: Inventing Independent Film
Movies: FILMING OTHELLO (1978); ORSON WELLES: ONE-MAN BAND (documentary, 1995)]

September 18 (US) / 22 (EU)
Lecture 4: The Essay Film
Movie: F FOR FAKE (1973); THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH (TV pilot, 1958)

September 25 (US) / 29 (EU)
Lecture 5: Return to Hollywood
Movie: THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WIND (1970-76/2018)

B: WELLES’S WORLD

October 2 (US) / 6 (EU)
Lecture 6: Orson’s 19th Century: Dinesen, Conrad, and Melville
Movie: THE IMMORTAL STORY (1968); Screenplay reading: THE DREAMERS (c. 1979)

October 9 (US) / 13 (EU)
Lecture 7: Orson Across Europe
Movie: MR. ARKADIN (1955)

October 16 (US) / 20 (EU)
Lecture 8: Orson’s Spain
Movies: AROUND THE WORLD WITH ORSON WELLES: PAYS BASQUE I (TV episode, 1955); IN THE LAND OF DON QUIXOTE: TEMPO DI FLAMENCO (TV episode, 1964)

C: WELLES AND LITERATURE

October 23 (US) / 27 (EU)
Lecture 9: Adaptation
Movie: THE TRIAL (1962)

October 30 (US) / November 3 (EU)
Lecture 10: Shakespeare
Movie: CHIMES AT MIDNIGHT (1965)

** ONE-WEEK BREAK **

D: WELLES AND AMERICA

November 13 (US) / 17 (EU)
Lecture 11: Power in the Streets
Movie: TOUCH OF EVIL (1958)

November 20 (US) / 24 (EU)
Lecture 12: The Post-Lincoln Republic
Movie: THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS (1942) and CITIZEN KANE (1941)

*

PAST STUDENT COMMENTS
 
“The Orson Welles online course The Other Side of the Shadow by Matthew Asprey Gear offers an inspiring overview of the work, inspiration, and drives of a world-class filmmaker whose relevance is often reduced to a few early-career masterpieces. I can only recommend it!”
– Matthijs Wouter Knol, CEO and Director, European Film Academy
 
“Matthew is an excellent researcher and lecturer. He put Welles and his films into a fascinating historical context that has greatly enhanced my viewing experience.”
Charles
 
“The class was a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the lesser known details of Welles’s career and to discourse over his films with like-minded enthusiasts!” 
Tyler, Chicago
 
“Matthew is very generous in sharing the fruits of the deep archival research he has done on Orson Welles. His expertise about his subject is plain to see and his thorough command of knowledge about Welles reaches well beyond the man’s work as a filmmaker to the many other media he worked in (theatre, television, radio, etc.). Matthew’s lectures are deeply informative and visually interesting. He is particularly good at drawing hidden thematic and historical connections between seemingly disparate projects in Welles’s work, helping to reveal the kernels of new ways to think about Welles as an artist. He is a great facilitator of the conversation portion of the class, helping to keep the conversation lively and guiding us toward stimulating subjects.”
Jesse
 
“Matthew Asprey Gear’s 12-week course was an opportunity to have an expert guide lead me through both familiar and obscure corners of Welles’s work. The format was an inviting way for both Welles neophytes and old Wellesians to join in a learning community and explore the unendingly fascinating films and life of a great artist.”
Josh, Texas
 
“It’s Terrific! Matthew Asprey Gear brings a wealth of Orson Welles research from firsthand sources and illuminates even the most ardent Welles fans. Come for the informative deep-dive lectures and stay for the lively discussions about Welles’ s many noses, wigs, cheap sets, and bad accents — and of course, the undeniable genius present in most of his films.”
Christian, Fort Lauderdale
 
“I highly recommend Matthew’s online Orson Welles course, for both beginners and seasoned Wellesians. The course brings new perspectives and insights to Welles’ extraordinary career.”
Ronan, Galway
 
“There was a sense of discovery even for someone who’s been interested in Orson Welles for more than a decade. A carefully planned structure made the course very intriguing.” 
Petri, Finland
 
“If you are an old Welles fan it is certainly a great opportunity to review and discuss his work and expand your knowledge on unrealized projects, screenplays, literary influences and the diverse facets of his life and work. If you are new to Orson Welles… lucky you! You will be in the right place to have a great overview of his extraordinary work that is certainly not limited to Citizen Kane. In both cases, fun and enjoyment are guaranteed!”

Elliot, Switzerland

“It was like knocking at the door where Orson is sleeping and wake him up with sweets and going down in the garden with the dog for a walk each Monday. Sometimes we talk sometimes we just walk, and it’s great the same.”
Emiliano, Rome
 
“Incomplete projects and hired-gun work in Welles’ filmography have usually worked against his reputation. But Welles scholars and aficionados, Matthew Asprey Gear among them, find in those inexhaustible plans, projects, and versions-of-projects, an artistic strength. If the truism is true that artworks are never completed, only abandoned, then Welles more than most artists gives us a rare chance to engage living projects as something more than a passive viewer. At least this is true of “The Magnificent Ambersons” or “Mr. Arkadin” or “Other Side of the Wind” – and of course Welles has just as many “traditionally completed” films as “Kane”, “Chimes at Midnight”, “The Trial”, etc. (Somewhere in between lay “F For Fake”, a finished film definitively about incompletion and fragmented points of view!) In any case, Matthew Asprey Gear’s class offers a robust survey of the completed and the uncompleted in Welles’ oeuvre, using the former to better understand the latter; and offering details from the archives at Michigan and Indiana and Munich one normally wouldn’t be able to come by (for instance, the weekly “unproduced screenplay of the week” feature). Highly recommended!”
Marc, San Francisco
 

Online course: American Cinema in the 70s: A New Look at New Hollywood

AMERICAN CINEMA IN THE 70s:
A NEW LOOK AT NEW HOLLYWOOD

A 12-WEEK ONLINE COURSE
(REVISED DATES: Now January-April 2022)

PRESENTED BY MATTHEW ASPREY GEAR

The 1970s is one of the richest periods in American film history. In this original 12-week online course, to be delivered via the Google Meet platform, we’ll study 16 key films of the New Hollywood era from such essential directors as Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, Robert Altman, Elaine May, Peter Bogdanovich, Arthur Penn, Sidney Poitier, John Huston, Orson Welles, George Lucas, and William Friedkin.

The lectures will explore these films through the stories of their production and in the wider context of American society, history, and politics. We’ll examine the transformation of traditional genres such as the western and the detective film, and the tremendous changes in the film industry before the rise of the blockbuster era. We’ll also examine the careers of the major directors and writers.

Classes are limited to a maximum of 12 students. Each week I’ll give an original lecture presentation on a set film and theme and then lead an in-depth group discussion. All participants will have a chance to contribute. The only weekly homework will be to watch a film (or two) in preparation for the session. There will be no final exam or essay. This course is designed purely for enjoyment and discovery. All are welcome.

I will be running two identical sessions each week to accommodate different international time zones. Choose whichever you prefer:

American session: Saturdays 12pm PT/3pm ET
European session: Wednesdays 7:30pm UK time/8:30pm CET

(NB. The lecture portion of the session will be recorded and available for download if you are unable to attend a live session and need to catch up.)

Price per student: US$130. Email matthewaspreygear@gmail.com to enroll.

LECTURE PLAN

January 8th (US)/12th (EU)
Lecture 1: The Dawn of New Hollywood
Movie: FIVE EASY PIECES (Bob Rafelson, 1970)

January 15th (US)/19th (EU)
Lecture 2: The Revisionist Western
Movie: BUCK AND THE PREACHER (Sidney Poitier, 1972) & LAWMAN (Michael Winner, 1971)

January 22nd (US)/26th (EU)
Lecture 3: Nixon at the Movies
Movie: THE CONVERSATION (Francis Ford Coppola, 1974)

January 29th (US)/February 2nd (EU)
Lecture 4: Nostalgia and Forgetting
Movies: WHAT’S UP, DOC? (Peter Bogdanovich, 1972) & FAT CITY (John Huston, 1972) 

February 5th (US)/9th (EU)
Lecture 5: Men and Women on the Road
Movies: SCARECROW (Jerry Schatzberg, 1973) & ALICE DOESN’T LIVE HERE ANYMORE (Martin Scorsese, 1974)

** ONE WEEK BREAK **

February 19th (US) /23rd (EU)
Lecture 6: New Hollywood and its Discontents
Movie: THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WIND (Orson Welles, 1970-6/2018)

February 26th (US)/March 2nd (EU)
Lecture 7: Winning Streaks
Movie: CALIFORNIA SPLIT (Robert Altman, 1974) & MIKEY AND NICKY (Elaine May, 1976)

March 5th (US)/9th (EU)
Lecture 8: Crimes on the Edge of America
Movie: NIGHT MOVES (Arthur Penn, 1975)

March 12th (US)/16th (EU)
Lecture 9: Crimes on the Edge of the Galaxy
Movie: STAR WARS (George Lucas, 1977)

March 19th (US)/23rd (EU)
Lecture 10: The Wages of Fear
Movie: SORCERER (William Friedkin, 1977)

March 26th (US)/30th (EU)
Lecture 11: Napalm in the Morning
Movie: HEARTS OF DARKNESS: A FILMMAKER’S APOCALYPSE (Fax Bahr/George Hickenlooper/Eleanor Coppola, 1991)

April 2nd (US)/6th (EU)
Lecture 12: Permanent Vietnam
Movie: CUTTER’S WAY (Ivan Passer, 1981)

PAST STUDENT COMMENTS

“I truly enjoyed Matthew Asprey Gear’s American Cinema in the 70’s course on New Hollywood.  Matthew’s thoughtful film selections and insightful lectures provided new perspectives on a set of American films that I knew and loved as well as introducing me to new films that are now favorites.  His guided discussions about the films also allowed students to express ideas and hone their understanding of the films in an open and supportive forum. I highly recommend this course to anyone with an interest in learning more about film history and this era of Hollywood.”

– Doug

“Matthew’s 70s cinema course is a great way to enjoy some of the deeper cuts from the decade that gave us New Hollywood. It was fascinating to consider these films in the wider American context of the time. Above all, it was a lot of fun!”

– Ronan

“Matthew’s 70s Hollywood course revealed New Hollywood as an authentic film movement, not just a time when a lot of good movies happened to be made, and opened up my eyes to the idea that a body of films from this era contained a common approach or feeling, even if that approach wasn’t planned. Matthew includes a lot of interesting research and revealing facts in his lectures. He brings cross-disciplinary knowledge to these lectures, for instance exploring the films’ relationships to literature and discussing musical soundtracks in a way that reveals great musical knowledge.”

– Jesse

“The 70s course was informative and fun. The classes were a mix of well researched short lectures and lively discussions. The discussion ranged from the directors, writers and actors to the context of contemporary events. The movies all stand alone as compelling projects as well as weave together to illustrate a larger story of the period. I recommend the class for pure enjoyment but also as the framework to continue exploring on your own.”

– Derek

Publication: The Black Prince

Black-Prince-900px

My review of Adam Roberts’ 2018 novel The Black Prince, based on an original screenplay by Anthony Burgess, was published at the blog of the International Anthony Burgess Foundation on March 22.

It begins:

“The 1960s was a fine decade for films on the Plantagenets and Tudors, from Becket (1964) and The Lion in Winter (1968) to A Man For All Seasons (1966) and Anne of the Thousand Days (1969). Anthony Burgess’s unproduced screenplay The Black Prince, written in 1970 for the producer Michael Holden, similarly attempts the English history genre, although Burgess’s work was not derived from a successful contemporary play. Less dialogue-dependent than those others and more panoramic, his screenplay is keener to drag us through the medieval muckheap of war, plague, and truly revolting meals. ‘Our aim is to diminish the pretentions of the fourteenth century,’ Burgess notes. He succeeds….”

Continue reading at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation blog.

Publication: Lewis Lux (a novella)

Last seen in 2016’s Lewis L’Amour, Arthur James Lewis returns for another comic misadventure.

Lewis intends to spend the summer of 2019 at his regular table at Le Jardin d’Eden in Edinburgh. On a diet of croissants and coffee, under the Gérard portrait of Madame Récamier, he will write Maranatha: Above the Eagles, his latest magisterial novel of Ancient Rome.

Alas, Lewis’s tranquility is disturbed by yet another family crisis — the threat of repossession of their home. Ever resourceful, Lewis races across Europe to recover a long-lost antiquarian book he once loaned to his PhD supervisor. Its purported value will neatly pay off the family debt, but recovery from the elusive Professor Ballantyne will not be easy. Luckily this time Lewis is accompanied by his seven-year-old grand nephew, Jerzy, who is just as eager to save their home.

From the piazzas of Venice to the deserts of Almería, Lewis Lux concludes a trilogy of comic novellas that began with Lewis and Loeb (2013) and is collectively titled Three Roads to Rome.

This novella will be available for a limited time as an ebook at Smashwords and at Amazon.

[NO LONGER AVAILABLE]