FAVz020 Movie Controversies: Case Studies in Anglo-American Film History

Faculty of Arts
Spring 2010
Extent and Intensity
0/0/0. 5 credit(s). Recommended Type of Completion: k (colloquium). Other types of completion: zk (examination).
dr. Peter Kramer (lecturer)
doc. Mgr. Petr Szczepanik, Ph.D. (alternate examiner)
Guaranteed by
doc. Mgr. Petr Szczepanik, Ph.D.
Department of Film Studies and Audiovisual Culture - Faculty of Arts
Contact Person: doc. Mgr. Petr Szczepanik, Ph.D.
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is also offered to the students of the fields other than those the course is directly associated with.
The capacity limit for the course is 120 student(s).
Current registration and enrolment status: enrolled: 0/120, only registered: 0/120, only registered with preference (fields directly associated with the programme): 0/120
fields of study / plans the course is directly associated with
there are 15 fields of study the course is directly associated with, display
Course objectives
At the end of the course students should be able to:
understand and explain: relationship between the American film industry and the societies, using examples of selected key controversies surrounding high-profile Hollywood releases both in the US and outside the US;
work with information on: public debates on controversial movies, supposed effects on young viewers.
  • This lecture series focuses on the controversies surrounding a number of high-profile Hollywood releases both in the US and outside the US. Our starting point is the work done by Martin Barker and his colleagues on the heated debates in Britain about David Cronenberg’s Crash (1996). We will then move on to a series of case studies from earlier decades: Rebel Without a Cause (1955), Bonnie and Clyde (1967), A Clockwork Orange (1971) and The Exorcist (1973). These four films deal, in very different ways, with youthful characters (ranging from a 12 year-old girl to a twentysomething couple), and were widely perceived to be addressed mainly to youth audiences. The controversies arose, at least in parts, from concerns about the detrimental effect such films might have on their young viewers. They were also informed by changes in film culture, and in society more generally. Therefore, these case studies offer general insights into the relationship between the American film industry and the societies in which its films are made and seen (with particular reference to the US and the UK). The central case study is that of A Clockwork Orange, which means that this lectures series follows on from last year’s lectures on Stanley Kubrick. However, attendance at last year’s lectures is not a precondition for attending these lectures. At the same time, the work presented here on A Clockwork Orange does not repeat last year’s discussion.
  • Programme
  • Monday 12 April
  • Early afternoon
  • Screening 1: Crash (1996, 95 min, 13.20 – 15.15)
  • Afternoon
  • Lecture 1: “An Introduction to Movie Controversies – Self-Regulation, Censorship and Public Debate” (15.30 – 17.00)
  • Late afternoon
  • Screening 2: Rebel Without a Cause (1955, 110 min, 17.30 – 20.30) Followed by a plenary discussion
  • Tuesday 13 April
  • Early afternoon
  • Lecture 2: “The Rise of Teenpics - Hollywood, Juvenile Delinquency and Post-War America” (12.30 - 14.05)
  • Late afternoon
  • Screening 3: Bonnie and Clyde (1967, 110 min, 18.00 – 20.30) Followed by a plenary discussion
  • Wednesday 14 April
  • Morning
  • Lecture 3: “Taboo-Breakers - The Hollywood Renaissance and the End of the Production Code” (10.00 – 11.35)
  • Early afternoon
  • Screening 4: A Clockwork Orange (1971, 135 min, 12.30 – 14.45)
  • Afternoon
  • Lecture 4: “The Making of a Controversial Movie – A Clockwork Orange from Novel to Film, 1962-1971” (15.00 – 16.35)
  • Late afternoon
  • Screening 5: The Exorcist (1973, 120 min, 17.00 – 20.30) Followed by a brief plenary discussion
  • Thursday 15 April
  • Late morning
  • Lecture 5: “The Escalation of Controversy – A Clockwork Orange, the New Hollywood and the Backlash Against Permissiveness” (10.00 – 11.35) Afternoon
  • Seminar: “Researching Movie Controversies – Issues, Concepts, Sources” (13.20 – 16.35)
Teaching methods
lecture, discussion
Assessment methods
written test
Language of instruction
Further comments (probably available only in Czech)
Study Materials
Information on completion of the course: Full time students: 100% presence at the lectures is required. Distance students: two absences are tolerated.
The course is taught only once.
The course is taught: in blocks.

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