ENGL468M - Melodrama: Genre, Gender, and Value in Film

Melodrama, the popular genre of tears, sensationalism and excess, has long been the focus of critical debates. Initially dismissed as mere escapism for female audiences, film melodrama has more recently generated scholarly work examining the vernacular forms melodrama creates for exploring issues of gender, sexuality, class, and race. This course examines the aesthetic, cultural, and ideological dimensions of film melodrama, from the silent era to the present, with examples drawn from classic and contemporary Hollywood filmmaking as well as world cinema. Films to be discussed include Broken Blossoms, The Crowd, Stella Dallas, All That Heaven Allows, Imitation of Life, Rebel Without a Cause, Ali: Fear Eats the Soul, Far from Heaven, All About My Mother, The Separation. Course requirements include a viewing/reading journal, a class presentation, two essays, and a final exam.


Two English courses or permission of department.