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Hollywood: History, Industry, Art

University of Pennsylvania via edX

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Overview

In this course you will learn about Hollywood and how it came to be the global powerhouse of today.

We will discuss the complex Hollywood industry and how business and politics translate into the art of film, TV, and new media.

This course will chronicle Hollywood’s growth and global reach since the 1920s, looking at:

  • How Hollywood has responded to new
 technologies such as synchronized sound, color cinematography, TV, home video, computer graphics, and the internet
  • How the global spread of Hollywood since the 1920s changed 
the film industry
  • The relationship between Hollywood and independent 
film
  • Hollywood’s responses to crises in American 
politics (e.g., world wars, the cold war, the 1960s counterculture, 9/11)

We will look closely at representative studios
 (Paramount, Disney, Fox, and others) and representative filmmakers (Mary
 Pickford, Charles Chaplin, Frank Capra, George Lucas, Spike Lee, among many others).

Syllabus

Week 1

0. Intro
1. Before Hollywood
1.1 The Birth of the Film
1.2 Edison the Inventor
1.3 Who, What, Where, Why
1.4 The Trust and the Independents
1.5 Piracy, Copyright, and the Ben-Hur Case

2. The Studio System
2.1 The Birth of the Studio System
2.2 The Star System
2.3 The Genre System
2.4 Meet Me in St. Louis and the Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
2.5 House Style: It All Comes Together

Week 2
3. Sound and the Production Code
3.1 The Challenges of New Technology
3.2 Sound, Style, and King Kong
3.3 King Kong
3.4 The New Deal
3.5 The Road to the Production Code
3.6 The Production Code in Action

4. Hollywood at War
4.1 FDR and Media
4.2 Hollywood Gets Political
4.3 Warners Bros. at War
4.4 Wartime Government Agencies

Week 3
5.0 The Blacklist and Cold War
5.1 HUAC in Hollywood
5.2 The Hollywood Ten and the Blacklist
5.3 Cold War Genres

6.0 The New Hollywood
6.1 Television
6.2 Hollywood Auteurs and the Counterculture
6.3 Big Media

Week 4
7.0 Home Video and Indiewood
7.1 Development of Home Video
7.2 Mini-Majors
7.3 Indiewood

8.0 Digital Cinema and the Internet
8.1 Special Effects and Computer Generated Images
8.2 Hollywood’s Internet

Taught by

Peter Decherney

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Reviews for edX's Hollywood: History, Industry, Art
4.2 Based on 5 reviews

  • 5 stars 80%
  • 4 star 0%
  • 3 star 0%
  • 2 star 0%
  • 1 star 20%

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  • 1
Anonymous
5.0 a year ago
Anonymous audited this course.
The course was great. I learned a lot about film, it's history, the technology of movie development and influence of the film industry. While taking the course I also watched certain films that were featured with greater understanding of their importance.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Dave R
5.0 4 months ago
by Dave audited this course, spending 9 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.
A very interesting introduction to Hollywood, particular through to the 1960's. I took around 35 hours to complete the course, but, as it is self paced, that can be spread across whatever period suits. That also included listening to a number of interviews that are additional to the course rather than integral to it.

I have yet to watch many of the referenced films, but, in many cases, will have a greater appreciation of what I'm seeing as a result of the course.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Anonymous
1.0 3 days ago
Anonymous dropped this course.
Before enrolling it says it's free, the only paid thing is the certificate. Lie!! The only free thing is an useless introduction that says nothing about Hollywood and the entire course itself is paid. deceptive ad.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Heather M
5.0 a month ago
Heather completed this course, spending 9 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.
I really enjoyed this course, too bad there wasn't a grade offered. I would recommend this to everyone interested in early Hollywood.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
David G
5.0 2 years ago
by David audited this course.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
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