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Chapter Objectives
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The New Wave
After reading this section, you should be able to:
  • describe the formation and name the directors and films of the French New Wave.
  • discuss the qualities of the films of the New Wave, with attention to the categories of film history and allusion.
The Auteur Theory: Directors as Stars
After reading this section, you should be able to:
  • describe the "auteur theory," and discuss the way in which the auteur theory and the Cahiers du Cinema group reconsidered film history.
  • discuss retrospective programs at museums in the 1960s, and discuss the criticism and career of Peter Bogdanovich.
  • discuss the crossovers between film criticism and screenwriting or film production in both France and America.
  • discuss the growing involvement of film students in Hollywood film, with attention to both film school enrollment statistics and significant directors trained in film school.
The Color Of Money: Young Directors and the Box Office
After reading this section, you should be able to:
  • discuss the economics behind Hollywood's hiring of film school students, with attention to the economic successes of films directed by Steven Spielberg and George Lucas.
  • discuss the change in average age in film audiences from the late 1960s to the present.
  • discuss the careers of the protégés of Roger Corman, and describe the impact Corman's efforts had on American cinema as a whole.
  • discuss the relationship between Corman's low-budget b-movie exploitation films and the blockbusters of his protégés and other young directors of the 1970s.
  • describe the distribution patterns of exploitation films, and compare them to the mainstream films of the time and of contemporary blockbusters.
References, Meaning and Postmodernism
After reading this section, you should be able to:
  • describe the significance and effects of 1970s films' allusions to previous films.
  • discuss the allusive style of Brian De Palma.
  • define "postmodern," and examine the practices of postmodern art.
  • define "pastiche," and contrast pastiche to satire or parody.
  • analyze the film Taxi Driver as an example of the narrative incoherence of postmodern art.
Reassurance: Comfort, Comics and Nostalgia
After reading this section, you should be able to:
  • discuss films such as Raiders Of The Lost Ark and Star Wars as attempts to "paper over the cracks" of postmodern cultural conditions, and discuss the ways in which these films react against specific characteristics of postmodernity.
  • contrast the central characters of films by Martin Scorsese to those of films by Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, and discuss the relative financial successes of films featuring each character type.
  • discuss the reimagining of the 1950s in films of the 1980s, with attention to the escapist qualities of both these films and the 1950s and 1960s music on their soundtracks.
  • compare films that nostalgically cite the film techniques and narratives of previous years to those that imagine the future returning to the present, with attention to the way in which both of these function as denials of the present moment.
The Brat Pack
After reading this section, you should be able to:
  • name the members of the brat pack, and describe the way in which their various film careers exemplify a transition in popular film from ensemble casts to star vehicles.
The Reagan Years
After reading this section, you should be able to:
  • describe the relationship between the resurgence of political conservatism in the 1980s and films such as Rambo: First Blood Part II, in terms of a strategy of "papering over the cracks."
  • discuss the way in which the Rocky series similarly revises history, with attention to the film's treatment of the American dream.
  • examine the fetishization of the male body in films starring Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger, and discuss the political implications of the spectacle of physical might.
Another Generation
After reading this section, you should be able to:
  • contrast the influences of directors of the "film brat" generation and contemporary directors.
  • discuss the way in which contemporary commodification of film and its associated industries has affected the continuity of the Hollywood tradition.

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