The Six Week Film School
Welcome to the home page for the Six Week Film School. Here you'll find links to articles and resources that will provide context for the films, both individually and as they fit in the series. All materials presented below are of course optional; don't worry, we won't grade you on whether you did your homework.
You are welcome to attend any individual film in a series, or join us for all six. All films are free to attend. We do ask that you reserve yourself a seat or RSVP in advance. Just click the link to on the "class" you would like to attend and put your name down. Each night will feature a brief introduction and post-show discussion led by Illinois State University's William Thomas McBride.
From Dance, Girl, Dance (Dorothy Arzner,1940)
JUDY O’BRIEN [Maureen O’Hara] (dancing onstage, dress straps rip-male audience members taunt) Go ahead and stare. I'm not ashamed. Go on, laugh; get your money's worth. Nobody's going to hurt you. I know you want me to tear my clothes off so you can look your 50 cents' worth. Fifty cents for the privilege of staring at a girl the way your wives won't let you. What do you suppose we think of you up here?
(camera pans l to r well-heeled and ashamed male in tuxedos and reproving female audience members)
With your silly smirks your mothers would be ashamed of. It's a thing of the moment for the dress suits to come and laugh at us too. We'd laugh right back at you, only we're paid to let you sit there...and roll your eyes, and make your screamingly clever remarks. What's it for? So you can go home when the show's over, strut before your wives and sweethearts... and play at being the stronger sex for a minute? I'm sure they see through you just like we do.
From series curator William Thomas McBride:
"On my way out of the Normal Theater following the post-screen discussion of one of Scorsese’s films, a female patron approached me and asked why not do a series of female directors? I have been working on our new series ever since—and given the current cultural moment regarding harassment and gender inequality in Hollywood, Washington, and everywhere else, the timing of Wonder Women Directors seems perfect. Joining me for individual screenings will be Shari Zeck, Interim Dean, Milner Library, Illinois State University; Li Zeng, Head of Theatre and Film Studies and Film Minor, Illinois State University; Chamere Poole, Dept. of English Ph. D. candidate, Illinois State University; and Ann Johnson, Dept. of Sociology Masters student, Illinois State University, who will discuss the overarching cultural concepts of sex, power, history, and film style in these six films directed by women."
Female aviator Lady Cynthia Darrington (Katharine Hepburn) and Parliament member Sir Christopher Strong meet at a party, where the free spirit and the married politician are instantly attracted. Christopher's wife, Lady Elaine, invites Cynthia to stay at the Strongs' summer house, where she grows even closer to him. Mindful of the damage an affair would do to Christopher's career and family, the couple parts, but they soon realize they can't live without each other. From 1933. NR / 78 min. Directed by Dorothy Arzner.
01/24 @ 7:00pm
Suggested Reading for Class
Theresa L. Geller provides some great insight into Dororthy Arzner. http://sensesofcinema.com/2003/great-directors/arzner/
Judy (Maureen O'Hara), overwhelmed with frustration, furiously confronts her heckling audience in Dorothy Arzner's "Dance, Girl, Dance" (1940). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fljry1HocUY
Women Film Pioneer Project - Dorothy Arzner https://wfpp.cdrs.columbia.edu/pioneer/ccp-dorothy-arzner/
“Let’s Talk About The Movie Where Katharine Hepburn Has An Abortion By Flying Into The Sun” Mallory Ortberg April 14, 2014 HEROES http://the-toast.net/2014/04/14/katharine-hepburn-flying-abortionist/
“CHRISTOPHER STRONG: DOROTHY ARZNER TAKES ON HOLLYWOOD CONVENTION” April 6, 2015 GIRLS DO FILM
Ray (Edmond O'Brien) and Gilbert's (Frank Lovejoy) fishing trip takes a terrifying turn when the hitchhiker (William Talman) they pick up turns out to be a sociopath on the run from the law. He's killed before, and he lets the two know that as soon as they're no longer useful, he'll kill again. From 1953. NR / 71 min. Directed by Ida Lupino.
This class will include guest lecturer:
Li Zeng, head of ISU's Theatre and Film Studies
01/31 @ 7:00pm
Suggested Reading for Class
Wheeler Winston Dixon wrote an excellent piece on Ida Lupino. http://sensesofcinema.com/2009/great-directors/ida-lupino/
Through The Lens documentary on Ida Lupino. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-RApabc49C0&app=desktop
A League of Their Own
Lost in Translation
Suggested Reading for Class
Patty Jenkins, the director of 'Wonder Woman' , remembers how Lynda Carter’s portrayal of the character impacted her as a child and why it’s important to have female superheroes.
Learn how one psychiatrist, Dr. Fredric Wertham, used his perceptions of sexual deviance in Wonder Woman and Batman to derail the comic book industry.
PAST SIX WEEK FILM SCHOOL CLASSES
Fall 2017 - From ALICE to SILENCE: The Scorsese Style
“Marty Scorsese is one of the greatest living filmmakers. He’s earned the right to independently finance a movie and make the movie he wants to make."
- Megan Colligan, Paramount’s marketing and distribution head on SILENCE (2016)
Listen to William Thomas McBride discuss the Six WeekFilm School and Martin Scorsese on WGLT.
ALICE DOESN'T LIVE HERE ANYMORE - Wednesday, September 27th at 7:00pm
TAXI DRIVER - Wednesday, October 4th at 7:00pm
- William Thomas McBride's Chapter on TAXI DRIVER
- From series curator William Thomas McBride: "Last night's post-film lively discussion, concerning Scorsese's style, hand gun violence, and Sunday night's Las Vegas trauma, concluded with an audience member's question: "Was Scorsese's ending of his film a dream?" Interesting points were made on both sides. Driving home Wednesday evening my wife found this article, citing critics, DeNiro, and Scorsese, and seems to settle the question.
THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST - Wednesday, October 11th at 7:00pm
GANGS OF NEW YORK - Wednesday, October 25th at 7:00pm
HUGO - Wednesday, November 1st at 7:00pm
SILENCE - Wednesday, November 8th at 7:00pm
“My whole life has been movies and religion. That's it. Nothing else.”
- Martin Scorsese
Spring 2017 - Alfred Hitchcock: Master of Style
- SHADOW OF A DOUBT - Wednesday, February 1st at 7:00pm
- SHADOW OF A DOUBT Notes by William Thomas McBride
- Full Script - SHADOW OF A DOUBT
- Uncle Charlie by Gordon McDonell
- Hitchcock Excerpts from Stylized Moments
- 1000 Frames of Hitchcock - SHADOW OF A DOUBT
- NOTORIOUS - Wednesday, February 8th at 7:00pm
- Chapter Five - NOTORIOUS from Stylized Moments--Turning Film Style Into Meaning by William Thomas McBride. (Smashwords, 2013.)
- Foote, John Taintor. "The Song of the Dragon" The Saturday Evening Post Nov 1921.
- Tania Modleski on NOTORIOUS
- 1000 Frames of Hitchcock - NOTORIOUS
- STRANGERS ON A TRAIN - Wednesday, February 15th at 7:00pm
- STRANGERS ON A TRAIN Notes by William Thomas McBride
- Strangers On A Train by Patricia Highsmith
- Fatal Femme - Bruno Antony as Hitchcock's Homosexual Femme Fatale
- Differences in Versions of STRANGERS ON A TRAIN
- 1000 Frames of Hitchcock - STRANGERS ON A TRAIN
- VERTIGO - Wednesday, February 22nd at 7:00pm
- Chapter Six - VERTIGO from Stylized Moments--Turning Film Style Into Meaning by William Thomas McBride. (Smashwords, 2013.)
- Tania Modleski on VERTIGO
- How Alfred Hitchcock Blocks a Scene (video)
- Boileau, Pierre & Thomas Narcejac. D'Entre Les Morts 1954. trans. The Living and the Dead, Geoffrey Sainsbury Part 1
- Boileau, Pierre & Thomas Narcejac. D'Entre Les Morts 1954. trans. The Living and the Dead, Geoffrey Sainsbury Part 2
- 1000 Frames of Hitchcock - VERTIGO
- PSYCHO - Wednesday, March 1st at 7:00pm
- Bloch, Robert. Psycho 1959.
- Reassessing the Saul Bass and Alfred Hitchcock Collaboration
- Who Directed the PSYCHO Shower Scene?
- PSYCHO and Exploitation Films Lecture Notes from Eric Wesselman, Department of Psychology
- 1000 Frames of Hitchcock - PSYCHO
- THE BIRDS - Wednesday, March 8th at 7:00pm
- "Hitchcock and the Wandering Woman: The Influence of Italian Art Cinema on THE BIRDS" Allen, Richard. Hitchcock Annual (2013), volume 18, pages 149-194.
- The Birds by Daphne du Maurier
- 1000 Frames of Hitchcock - THE BIRDS
Hitchcock is one of the greatest inventors of form in the entire history of cinema. Perhaps only Murnau and Eisenstein can sustain comparison with him when it comes to form.
While Hitchcock's oeuvre certainly invites our formal analysis of its cinematic language and a feminist, masculinist, queer problematizing of its psychosexuality, we will not limit our investigations there—grindhouse theory (PSYCHO, STRANGERS ON A TRAIN), ecocriticism (THE BIRDS), music theory (VERTIGO, PSYCHO), marxist and trauma studies (most films)—are all fruitful approaches and welcome.
William Thomas McBride discusses the Six Week Film School theme of "Alfred Hitchcock: Master of Style"
William Thomas McBride discusses the Six Week Film School on WGLT
Alfred Hitchcock Wiki Mainpage
1000 Frames of Hitchcock
“Hitchcock’s Stylized Capture of Post-Adolescent Fatheads.” by William Thomas McBride. Children in the Films of Alfred Hitchcock. Ed. Debbie Olson. Palgrave-McMillan, 2014, pp 237-263.
DIAL H FOR HITCHCOCK (1999)
The Women Who Knew Too Much: Hitchcock and Feminist Theory 2nd Edition by Tania Modleski
Fall 2016 - Film Noir: Visual Style and Fortune
- THE MALTESE FALCON - Wednesday, September 21 at 7:00pm
- Chapter Three - Maltese Falcon (Huston 1940/Hammett 1930) from Stylized Moments--Turning Film Style Into Meaning by William Thomas McBride. (Smashwords, 2013.)
- Full Script - THE MALTESE FALCON
- DOUBLE INDEMNITY - Wednesday, September 28 at 7:00pm
- MURDER, MY SWEET - Wednesday, October 12 at 7:00pm
- Notes on Murder, My Sweet from William Thomas McBride
- Raymond Chandler's "Farewell, my Lovely"
- Murder, My Sweet Shooting Script
- THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE - Wednesday, October 26 at 7:00pm
- Notes on The Postman Always Rings Twice - Film from William Thomas McBride
- Notes on The Postman Always Rings Twice - Novel from William Thomas McBride
- James M. Cain's "The Postman Always Rings Twice"
- OUT OF THE PAST - Wednesday, November 9 at 7:00pm
- CHINATOWN - Wednesday, November 16 at 7:00pm
How To Be a Glamorous 40's Femme Fatale
Paint It Black: The Family Tree of the Film Noir by Raymond Durgnat. (1970)
“Noir America: Cynics, sluts, heists, and murder most foul.” by Stanley Crouch from Slate. (2007)