The late 1960s and 1970s are now regarded as a golden period for American cinema. The old studio system had collapsed and what emerged was both innovative and exciting. Taking their influence from European art cinema and classic Hollywood, a new breed of directors made a series of intensely personal and uncompromising films such as The Last Picture Show and Taxi Driver. By examining the classic movies of the period, this course will chart the changes in American cinema during the 1960s and 70s. It will explore how the films reflect the anxieties of Vietnam and Watergate, and how – and why – the blockbuster movies like Jaws and Star Wars began to take over. Special attention will be paid to the key directors of the period, the so-called “Movie Brats”, along with the rise of the “anti-hero” and the attempts to address and increasingly diverse audience. Furthermore it will look at how “New Hollywood” has influenced the cinema of today.

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