Thursday Forum studies Hollywood foreign affairs

Extra: Lonnie Zingula, Associate Director of Marketing and Public Relations
(319) 399-8613 or

2011-03-24 09:55:56 - General

The "foreign" influence on 1930s Hollywood comes to Coe College for the penultimate Thursday Forum lecture series of the academic year.

The April forum will explore the work of three influential film stylists who brought a distinctly European sensibility to American moviemaking during Hollywood’s “golden age.”

Short sequences from the work of these directors will be screened by Theatre Arts Professor Steven Marc Weiss during in-class discussions to help assess their contributions to the development of Hollywood cinema as an art form. Additionally, special full-length screenings are scheduled on Saturday afternoons in April.

  • The first class tracks technological constraints placed on filmmakers in the early sound period and subsequent inventions that overcame those limitations, recapturing for the camera the mobility it had previously enjoyed in the silent era.
  • The second class focuses on Russia’s Rouben Mamoulian (1897-1987), who was lured in 1929 to Hollywood, where he directed several films that are viewed today as landmarks of early "talkies" because of his innovative use of camera movement and synchronous sound.
  • The third session is devoted to Germany’s Ernst Lubitsch (1892-1947), who redefined Hollywood filmmaking with a series of illustrious films infused with the ineffable quality of wit and sophistication that has become known as the "Lubitsch touch."
  • The final session explores the highly baroque visual sumptuousness of films by Austria’s Josef von Sternberg (1894-1969), best known for his extraordinary collaboration with that goddess of the screen, Marlene Dietrich.

Thursday Forum lectures are held in Kesler Lecture Hall in Hickok Hall on the Coe campus. Each session begins with coffee and pastries from 8:45-9:15 a.m., followed by the class until 11:30 a.m. Each series concludes with a luncheon on the final Thursday.

The courses are open to all adults and registration is on-site. The cost is $10 per week or $30 for a four-week course. Gift certificates are available. For more information about the Coe College Thursday Forum lecture series, call (319) 399-8619.

Thursday Forum schedule:

  • “Great Hollywood Film Directors of the 1930s: The ‘Foreign’ Influence” – April 7, 14, 21, 28. (With 2 p.m. Saturday screenings on April 16, 23 and 30.)
  • “Plato and the ‘Republic’” – May 5, 12, 19, 26.