Saturday, November 04, 2017 9:30 am - 4:30 pm
Marc Lapadula / Yale University
Citizen Kane, The Godfather, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Some Like It Hot. Could these be the four greatest American films ever made? Orson Welles, Billy Wilder, Francis Ford Coppola, and Stanley Kubrick were all operating at the pinnacles of their respective talents when they created what many movie scholars and critics consider the greatest masterworks in the history of American Cinema. These revolutionary films not only defined the turbulent social and cultural eras in which they were made but successfully transcended those eras by casting a giant shadow of influence across the entire film industry that is still reflected on movie screens to this very day. Each film is noteworthy for its virtuoso directorial style, shrewd presentation of complex narrative structure, trail-blazing technical innovations, mesmerizing editing sequences, painstaking attention to period detail, intentional shattering of classical genre conventions, bold depictions of taboo sexual subject matter and deft handling of controversial political themes.
These four thought-provoking films are unequivocally without parallel in terms of the sheer scope of their ambition and the spellbinding potency of their poetic force. Citizen Kane (directed by Orson Welles, 1941), Some Like It Hot (directed by Billy Wilder, 1959), The Godfather (directed by Francis Ford Coppola, 1972), and 2001: A Space Odyssey (directed by Stanley Kubrick, 1968) have each, in their own visionary way, indelibly transformed the art of cinema by carving a monolithic impression in our cultural landscape, thus providing the yardstick whereby all other “Masterpieces of American Cinema” will be forever measured.
Watch Four Fantastic Films and How They Were Made
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Marc Lapadula is a Senior Lecturer in the Film Studies Program at Yale University. He is a playwright, screenwriter and an award-winning film producer. In addition to Yale, Marc has taught at Columbia University’s Graduate Film School, created the screenwriting programs at both The University of Pennsylvania and Johns Hopkins where he won Outstanding Teaching awards and has lectured on film, playwriting and conducted highly-acclaimed screenwriting seminars all across the country at notable venues like The National Press Club, The Smithsonian Institution, The Commonwealth Club and The New York Historical Society.
Catherine Sanderson / Amherst College
What role do money, IQ, marriage, friends, children, weather, and religion play in making us feel happier? Is happiness stable over time? How can happiness be increased? Professor Sanderson will describe cutting-edge research from the field of positive psychology on the factors that do (and do not) predict happiness, and provide practical (and relatively easy!) ways to increase your own psychological well-being.
At the close of her lecture, Professor Sanderson will spend some time on horrific events that we all know of – child abuse, mass killing, ignoring the suffering of others. What drives (some) human beings to (sometimes) act cruel and callous to one another?
Catherine Sanderson is the James E. Ostendarp Professor of Psychology at Amherst College, and is often cited as the school’s most popular professor. Her research has received grant funding from the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Health. She has published over 25 journal articles in addition to three college textbooks. In 2012, she was named one of the country’s top 300 professors by the Princeton Review.
1 hour and 15 minute / Lunch Break
Students will have a 1 hour and 15 minute lunch break.
Jeremi Suri / University of Texas
Since its founding, the United States has offered a distinctive model of political and economic development to the rest of the world. The American model emphasizes representation, federalism, and ethnic pluralism in its definition of democracy. This lecture will explain how American leaders over more than two centuries have sought to apply the American model to the most significant challenges of each era. Policies have differed across time, but the United States has consistently sought to build governments and nations that approximate its distinctive model.
Examining this long history of American nation-building offers some valuable lessons for our contemporary world. Some elements of the American model have proven successful in their broad implementation. Some elements have not. Time and again, Americans have under-estimated the difficulties of spreading their political model. This lecture will encourage listeners to consider the continued possibilities for American-led change in the world, with renewed attention to the historical limits of American power. More than anything, history shows that the United States needs wise leaders who can deploy the nation’s valuable political model in carefully chosen situations.
Jeremi Suri holds the Mack Brown Distinguished Chair for Leadership in Global Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. He is a professor in the University’s Department of History and the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs. Professor Suri is the author and editor of nine books on contemporary politics and foreign policy, most recently: “The Impossible Presidency: The Rise and Fall of America’s Office.” His research and teaching have received numerous prizes. In 2007 Smithsonian Magazine named him one of America’s “Top Young Innovators” in the Arts and Sciences. In 2018 Suri received the President’s Associates Teaching Excellence Award from the University of Texas, and the Pro Bene Meritis Award for Public Contributions to the Liberal Arts.
Robert Greenberg / San Francisco Conservatory of Music
It is very possible that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) was the greatest genius ever born to our species. The most famous child prodigy in history, he developed into an adult prodigy as well, composing music of such technical perfection and ethereal beauty that it seemed not to have come from the pen of a mere mortal.
To explain his seeming inexplicable talent, myths have accumulated that have obscured Mozart the man and distanced us from his music. This session will debunk those myths, introduce Mozart as a real person living in the real world, and examine his music in light of the musical conventions of his time.
Robert Greenberg has composed over fifty works for a wide variety of instrumental and vocal ensembles. He has received numerous honors, including being designated an official “Steinway Artist,” three Nicola de Lorenzo Composition Prizes and three Meet-The-Composer Grants. Notable commissions have been received from the Koussevitzky Foundation in the Library of Congress, the Alexander String Quartet, the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, San Francisco Performances, and the XTET ensemble. He has served on the faculties of the University of California at Berkeley, California State University East Bay, and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where he chaired the Department of Music History and Literature and served as the Director of the Adult Extension Division. The Bangor Daily News referred to Greenberg as ‘the Elvis of music appreciation.'”