This class examines New Line Cinema as a way to better understand the cultural, economic, and historical conditions of the film industry. As a company, New Line is exceptional for undergoing enormous changes since its creation in the late 1960s, from a small distributor of art cinema and exploitation films to being the company behind the $3 billion Lord of the Rings trilogy. By looking at New Line, we will see how Hollywood has been organized and disorganized over the last thirty years and better understand why it is structured the way it currently is. In addition to New Line, we will look their competitors at different moments, including Orion, Corolco, Miramax, Newmarket Films, etc., as well as their adjacent ventures, including Picturehouse and Fine Line Features. By looking at the many different films, genres, and franchises put out by New Line, we will also see how they reacted to and shaped the cultural and cinematic scene in the United States since 1967. New Line Cinema was part and parcel to the shape of contemporary Hollywood.
Students will be assessed based on attendance and participation (10%), on posting two sets of questions about the readings and lectures to the course CTOOLS site (10%), on two critical responses to course readings (20%), on two exams (40%), and a final paper between 8-12 pages long (20%).
Undergraduates interested in cinema history. Because this class focuses on a recent and popular era in film history, it should be broadly appealing to students from a range of departments.
Each week, the course will meet twice per week for one hour lectures, and a 2-3 hour lab for viewing movies.