Summer 2009

ARTS 616
Frank Capra's Films and Archive

Longenecker,Marc Robert

06/29/2009 - 07/31/2009
Tuesday & Thursday 06:00 PM - 10:00 PM

CFS 124

Frank Capra directed, produced, and wrote some of Hollywood's most celebrated and enduring films of the twentieth century. Amidst Depression, war, and corruption he triumphed the optimism, faith, and humor essential to the American spirit. Learn about Frank Capra's unique directorial style in the context of film history and filmmaking practices of the time, study Capra as an artist and a person, and investigate the individual "stories" of many of his well-known and lesser-known projects. The Wesleyan Cinema Archives are proud to hold Capra's archive, which enables us to study Capra and his films using his original production documents (scripts, budgets, contracts, art/storyboards, props), promotional material (photographs, ads, flyers, articles), correspondence (business, personal, fan mail, and responses), press clippings, and other curiosities.

Each class session will be organized around a screening, lecture, and discussion of one Capra film. Four of those films will be shown on 35mm black and white film prints and introduced by guest speakers as part of the Wesleyan Summer Film Series, held Tuesdays in July on the large screen in the Goldsmith Family Cinema. Screenings for the course may include: The Matinee Idol, It Happened One Night, Platinum Blonde, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, You Can't Take It with You, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, It's a Wonderful Life, A Hole in the Head, and Riding High. Readings for the course may include: Frank Capra, The Name Above the Title; Joseph McBride, The Catastrophe of Success; and Hart and Kaufman, You Can't Take it with You.

Students will be responsible for four written assignments.

Course tuition: $2022

A syllabus for this course is available at:
ARTS 616

Marc Longenecker (B.A., M.A., Wesleyan University) teaches in the Film Studies department.


Consent of Instructor Required: No

Format: Seminar

Level: GLSP Credits: 3 Enrollment Limit: 18

Texts to purchase for this course:
Moss Hart, YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU (Dramatists Play Service), Paperback

Optional texts for this course

Frank Capra, THE NAME ABOVE THE TITLE (De Capo Press)

Joseph McBride, THE CATASTROPHE OF SUCCESS (St. Martin's Griffin), Paperback


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