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Celluloid Love: A Decade-by-Decade Look at Movie Love Stories

One of the first subjects on which Thomas Alva Edison chose to demonstrate the new technology of moviemaking was a kiss. Even he knew, as early as the turn of the 20th century, that nothing grabbed an audience emotionally like the expression of love. But how have our ideas of love—what it looks like and what it means—developed over the course of a century? And how do films impact our perceptions of love, both on screen and off? In this class, we will view one film from nearly every decade of the past 100 years to uncover some answers—and, likely, even more questions. Possible films to be screened include My Man Godfrey (1936), Stairway to Heaven (a.k.a. A Matter of Life and Death, 1946), All That Heaven Allows (1955), The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1963), Claire’s Knee (1970), Moonstruck (1987), Days of Being Wild (1990), Away from Her (2006), and Enough Said (2013).

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You'll Walk Away with

  • Familiarity with the stories behind some of the most acclaimed films of all time
  • A better understanding of how our ideas of love have developed over the course of a century, both on and off screen

Ideal for

  • All members of the community—working, retired, and in-between
  • Screenwriters, directors, and anyone with an interest in film
NO open sections available for this course at the moment. Please check back next semester.