14276 - History of North-AmericanCinema (1)

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Michele Fadda

  • Credits 6

  • SSD L-ART/06

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures

  • Language Italian

  • Course Timetable from Nov 14, 2018 to Dec 19, 2018

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course students will:

- know the historical path of North American cinema;

- identify the characteristics of the cinema production and cinema industry (genre system, studio system, star system);

- know and analyze the cultural and formal constants - as well as the economic-distributive implications - that determined the success of North American cinema worldwide, also by comparing it with the European cinema production.

Course contents

Monographic course: Movie Stars and film acting in Hollywood Cinema


1) Institutional part:

F. La Polla, Sogno e realtà americana nel cinema di Hollywood, Il Castoro, Milano, 2004 (without last chap.).

N. B. Non-attending students shall include: Leonardo Gandini (a cura di), Il cinema americano attraverso i film, Carocci, Roma, 2011


Filmography for istitutional part:

Frankenstein (James Whale, 1931)

Little Caesar (Piccolo Cesare, Mervin LeRoy, 1931)

Quarantaduesima strada (42nd Street, Llyod Bacon, 1933)

Top Hat (Cappello a cilindro, Mark Sandrich, 1935)

The Wizard of Oz (Il mago di Oz, Victor Fleming, 1939)

The Grapes of Wrath (Furore, John Ford, 1940)

Citizen Kane (Quarto potere, Orson Welles, 1941)

Casablanca (Michael Curtiz, 1942)

Cat People (Il bacio della pantera, Jacques Tourner, 1942)

Perdutamente tua (Now Voyager, Irving Rapper, 1942)

Double Indemnity (La fiamma del peccato, Billy Wilder, 1944)

Sunset Boulevard (Viale del tramonto, Billy Wilder, 1950)

A Streetcar Named Desire (Un tram chiamato desiderio, Elia Kazan, 1951)

Singing in the Rain (Cantando sotto la pioggia, Stanley Donen, 1952)

Kiss Me Deadly (Un bacio e una pistola , Robert Aldrich, 1955)

The Searchers (Sentieri selvaggi, John Ford, 1956)

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (L'invasione degli ultracorpi, Don Siegel, 1956)

Vertigo (La donna che visse due volte, Alfred Hitchcock, 1958)

Imitation of Life (Lo specchio della vita, Douglas Sirk, 1959)

The Graduate (Il laureato, Mike Nichols, 1967)

The Last Picture Show (L'ultimo spettacolo, Peter Bogdanovich, 1971)

Nashville (Robert Altman, 1975)

Close Encounters of the Third Kind (Incontri ravvicinati del terzo tipo, Steven Spielberg 1977)

N.B.: students are required to know at least 6 of the films above

2) Monographic course:

Reference bibliography for preparing the paper: lecture notes with essays on the monographic subject available at Harpo's (Via Barberia) from the beginning of the course.


Teaching methods

Lectures with supporting material.

Assessment methods

The final examination will be in a written form on the institutional part, including the presentation of a paper of about 10 sheets (2000 characters each, spaces included) on a topic chosen by the students and strictly inherent the monographic part. Students are required to agree the subject with the teacher at the office hours.

The paper shall be submitted on the exam date. On that date, students shall take the institutional part (American Film History). More specifically, they shall answer 3 general questions (e.g., the 1930s or 50s science fiction, etc.) within 30 minutes for each answer. The reference book to prepare this part is: F. La Polla, Sogno e realtà americana nel cinema di Hollywood, Il Castoro, Milano, 2004. Non-attendaning students shall answer a question regarding the volume of Leonardo Gandini (Edited by), Il cinema Americano attraverso i film (see exam bibliography)

It will be assessed as excellent the performance of those students achieving an organic vision of the course contents, the use of a proper specific language, the originality of the reflection as well as the familiarity with the historiographic tolls for analysing the discipline.

It will be assessed as discrete the performance of those students showing mostly mechanical or mnemonic knowledge of the subject, not articulated synthesis and analysis capabilities, a correct but not always appropriate language, as well as a scholastic study of the discipline. It will be assessed as barely sufficient the performance of those students showing learning gaps, inappropriate language, lack of knowledge of the discipline. It will be assessed as insufficient the performance of those students showing learning gaps, inappropriate language, no orientation within the recommended bibliography and inability to analyse the subject.

Teaching tools

Cases to be studied will be projected..

Office hours

See the website of Michele Fadda