The plan for the next two weeks looks like this:
1/27 screen Sunrise
1/29 Caligari; Sunrise; discuss; review for midterm
2/3 Midterm 1
2/5 screen Footlight Parade
Midterm 1 will cover readings (Sklar Chapts. 1-9), films, lectures, and discussion through and including Sunrise. Major issues we've covered in this portion of the course include:
1. What are some common characteristics of high grossing films?
2. Why has narrative become the primary product of the motion picture industry?
3. How have film businesses developed around the production of narrative and in response to audience needs and fascinations? (note: this assumes audiences have needs, and that successful businesses become profitable in gratifying those desires)
4. Why were Chaplin's narratives both timely and successful?
5. What is vertical integration? Why did film businesses become vertically integrated to produce, distribute, and exhibit narrative? What do examples of vertically integrated businesses (Motion Picture Patents Company; UFA; Paramount; Fox Film Corp.) tell us about the formation—and current structure--of the film industry?
6. Why was German Expressionist film style marketable? Why was this style desirable for American film products as well? What are the potentials and limits in arguing that film is a reflection of society?
7. How effective was William Fox in addressing the "power points" in the industry (audience; product; politics)?