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American Melodrama: Required Reading List                                                                                      

The course packets are now available at the school store. The price is $18.00. These should have all the items in the required reading list below but two (on the films The End and Clara's Heart). Those will be passed out as handouts in a few weeks.

The date indicated is the screening date of the film. Reading should be done either before the film, or within five days after the screening. In any case, before you write a paper on a film you must have done the required reading on it.

Please also note that I haven't necessarily chosen the reading because I agree with, or even like, each article. In many cases, I'm trying to use it to include perspectives different from my own.

Tuesday, September 5: Sunrise
Film in the Aura of Art, by Dudley Andrew (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1984), pp. 28-58.

American Film Melodrama: Griffith, Vidor, Minnelli, by Robert Lang (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1989), pp. 3-13.

Tuesday, September 12: Man's Castle
The Hollywood Professionals, Volume 3: Howard Hawks, Frank Borzage, Edgar G. Ulmer, by John Belton (New York: A. S. Barnes & Co., 1974), pp.75-103.

"Apt Feelings, or Why 'Women's Films' Aren't Trivial," by Flo Leibowitz, in Post-Theory: Reconstructing Film Studies, edited by David Bordwell and Noël Carroll (Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press, 1996), pp. 219-229.

Tuesday, September 19: Stella Dallas
King Vidor, Interviewed by Nancy Dowd and David Shepard (Metuchen, N. J.: The Directors Guild of America and The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 1988), pp. 164-168.

"'Something Else Besides a Mother': Stella Dallas and the Maternal Melodrama," by Linda Williams, in Home is Where the Heart Is: Studies in Melodrama and the Woman's Film, edited by Christine Gledhill (London: British Film Institute, 1987), pp. 299-325.

Tuesday, September 26: The Mortal Storm
The Hollywood Professionals, Volume 3: Howard Hawks, Frank Borzage, Edgar G. Ulmer, by John Belton (New York: A. S. Barnes & Co., 1974), pp.103-128.

Tuesday, October 3: The Women
On Cukor, by Gavin Lambert (New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1972), pp. 136-140.
George Cukor, Master of Elegance, by Emanuel Levy (New York: William Morrow and Company, 1994), pp. 120-131.

Tuesday, October 10: Letter From An Unknown Woman
"The Transfiguration of History: Ophuls, Vienna, and Letter from an Unknown Woman," by Virginia Wright Wexman, in Letter from an Unknown Woman, ed. Virginia Wright Wexman and Karen Hollinger (New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 1986), pp. 3-14.

"The Production," ibid. pp. 187-188

:"Front and Center," by John Houseman, ibid., pp. 189-196.

"Ewig hin der Liebe Glück," by Robin Wood, ibid. pp. 220-236.

"The Ophuls Text: A Thesis," by Paul Willemen, ibid., pp. 237-243.

Tuesday, October 17: Rebel Without A Cause
Nicholas Ray: An American Journey, by Bernard Eisenschitz, Translated by Tom Milne (London: Faber and Faber, 1993), pp. 229-255.

Tuesday, October 24: Bigger Than Life
Nicholas Ray: An American Journey, by Bernard Eisenschitz, Translated by Tom Milne (London: Faber and Faber, 1993), pp. 270-282.

Tuesday, October 31: Some Came Running

The Films of Vincente Minnelli, by James Naremore (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1993), pp. 1-50.

"Vincente Minnelli," by Thomas Elsaesser, in Home is Where the Heart Is: Studies in Melodrama and the Woman's Film, edited by Christine Gledhill (London: British Film Institute, 1987), pp. 217-222

Tuesday, November 7: All That Heaven Allows
"All That Heaven Allows," by Jon Halliday, in Douglas Sirk, edited by Laura Mulvey and Jon Halliday (Edinburgh, Edinburgh Film Festival, 1972), pp. 59-66

"Six Films by Douglas Sirk," by Rainer Werner Fassbinder, ibid., pp. 95-107

Tuesday, November 14: Written On The Wind
"Tales of Sound and Fury: Observations on the Family Melodrama," by Thomas Elsaesser, in Home is Where the Heart Is: Studies in Melodrama and the Woman's Film , edited by Christine Gledhill (London: British Film Institute, 1987), pp. 43-69.

Tuesday, November 21: Clara's Heart
Selected contemporary reviews (photocopies will be passed out in class).

Tuesday, December 5: Film About A Woman Who...
"Yvonne Rainer: An Introduction," by B. Ruby Rich, in The Films of Yvonne Rainer, by Yvonne Rainer (Bloomington, Indiana University Press,1989), pp. 1-23

"Interview with Yvonne Rainer," by Mitchell Rosenbaum, ibid., pp. 36-45.

Radical Juxtaposition: The Films of Yvonne Rainer, by Shelly Green ((Metuchen, N.J., The Scarecrow Press, 1994), pp. 29-41

Tuesday, December 12:
Sink or Swim:

"Daddy Dearest," interview with Su Friedrich by Scott Macdonald, The Independent, December 1990.
The End:

"Christopher Maclaine Approaching The End," by J.J. Murphy, in Film Culture 70-71 (1983).

[Since neither of these were in the course packet, they were distributed as hand-outs in the last two classes. If you didn't receive them, look for Film Culture in the Flaxman Library and The Independent in the Harold Washington Library.]


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