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The Great Directors: The Making of 21st Century Hollywood

In the 21st Century, Hollywood has retained the glitz and glamour of its past as well as its great studios.But the genius of American cinema is that it has evolved with the times.Directors have become the creative force behind films, while movies themselves, from documentaries and animation to blockbusters and insightful Indies have taken on the mantle of great literature. The Great Directors: The Making of 21st Century Hollywood traces the evolution of Hollywood after the studio system failed, from the introduction of the summer blockbuster,to the thought-provoking movies of independent auteurs, to world renowned immigrant directors, to the rise of megahit documentaries,and to the 21st Century\'s second Golden Age of Animation.
  • Title ID 84-MCH
  • English, American Literature, History, American History, Fine Arts, Film Studies
  • 5 Programs
  • 12 Supplemental Files
  • 10th Grade through Post Secondary
  • Published by Ambrose Video Publishing Inc./Centre Communications
Included Programs
Supplemental Files

Included Programs

The Summer BlockbusterRunning time is 28 minutes

In the 1970s Hollywood escaped slow financial ruin with the introduction of the summer Blockbuster. Featuring Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Francis Ford Coppola, Jon Favreau, Sam Raimi, Michael Bay and James Cameron, Program 1 shows how this idea not only redefined Hollywood, it established one of the cinema's greatest financial marvels - the franchise.

Chapter List
Chapter 1: The Tent Pole
The Tent Pole concept is the blockbuster, the big film that makes money for the studio, and is based on the summer blockbuster, first done by Steven Spielberg with Jaws, and refined by George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola.
Chapter 2: 1972 - Francis Ford Coppola Redefines Hollywood
Francis Ford Coppola, a UCLA Film School student, worked for Roger Corman and wrote screenplays, such as Patton, then later with George Lucas formed American Zoetrope and went on to direct the hit movies The Godfather Trilogy - The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, The Godfather Part III - and Apocalypse Now.
Chapter 3: 1975 - Steven Spielberg Launches the Summer Blockbuster
Megahit director Steven Spielberg's first film was Firelight, and he has since gone on to create Duel, the Summer Blockbuster Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, ET, the action packed thriller Jurassic Park, Schindler's List, Saving Private Ryan and Lincoln.
Chapter 4: 1977 - George Lucas Establishes 'The Franchise'
George Lucas, founder of LucasFilms and Industrial Light & Magic, understood the blockbuster mentality and went on to create many memorable characters including Darth Vader, Yoda and Indiana Jones as well as the blockbuster franchise Star Wars.
Chapter 5: 2012 - The Franchise Event Film
Spiderman, Harry Potter, Iron Man, Transformers, The Dark Knight Rises and The Avengers are examples of the franchise installment and some of the best directors of the franchise film event are Jon Favreau, Sam Raimi, Michael Bay and the master, James Cameron.

The Independent AuteurRunning time is 29 minutes

While one half of Hollywood is the glitz and glamour of the blockbuster producing studios, the other half is the Indie. Program 2 examines the independent auteur, the author of the avant garde literature of modern American film, and features the directors John Cassevetes, Stanley Kubrick, Robert Altman, Woody Allen, Quentin Tarantino, and Ethan and Joel Coen.

Chapter List
Chapter 1: The Auteur Theory
The auteur concept means that the director is the guiding figure behind a film and this is evident with the American Auteur of the New Wave and the production of American indies or independent films.
Chapter 2: 1959 - John Cassavetes, Father of Independent American Cinema
John Cassavetes was the father of the independent film, or indie, and directed Shadows and Woman Under the Influence.
Chapter 3: 1968 - Stanley Kubrick, 2001: A Space Odyssey
Stanley Kubrick, one of the greatest independent film makers, directed 2001: A Space Odyssey, Dr. Strangelove, Clockwork Orange, Barry Lyndon, The Shining, Full Metal Jacket and Eyes Wide Shut.
Chapter 4: 1970 - Robert Altman's MASH Satirizes War
Robert Altman who used a cinema-verite style in creating movies directed, M*A*S*H, Mash, McCabe and Mrs. Miller, and Nashville.
Chapter 5: 1977 - Woody Allen Makes Annie Hall
Woody Allen, born Allan Stewart Konigsberg, won an Oscar for his comedy film Annie Hall.
Chapter 6: 1994 - Quentin Tarantino Romanticizes Violence with Pulp Fiction
Quentin Tarantino directed Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained.
Chapter 7: 2007 - The Coen Brothers, Masters of Genre Bending
The Coen Brothers, Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, have directed genre bending films such as Blood Simple, No Country for Old Men and the remake of True Grit.

Immigrant FilmmakersRunning time is 29 minutes

Hollywood has always attracted foreign directors with superb cinematic dreams, including visionaries such as Otto Preminger, Billy Wilder, Alfred Hitchcock and Ang Lee. Program 3 describes the impact of immigrant filmmakers, including Ernst Lubitsch, Otto Preminger, Elia Kazan, Alfred Hitchcock and Ang Lee, not only on American cinema, but on the story of America, showing Americans who they are from the outsider's perspective.

Chapter List
Chapter 1: The Outsider's Perspective
Immigrant filmmakers and Immigrant directors have always had a unique insight into American values and what makes America what it is as a country and a people.
Chapter 2: 1942 - Ernst Lubitsch, Master of Innuendo
German filmmaker Ernst Lubitsch was the first director to create black comedy in films such as To Be or Not To Be, Trouble in Paradise and Ninotchka.
Chapter 3: 1944 - Otto Preminger Brings the Dark Shadows of Europe to Hollywood
Austro-Hungarian filmmaker Otto Preminger was the director of Anatomy of a Murder, The Man with the Golden Arm and Advise and Consent.
Chapter 4: 1954 - Elia Kazan Redefines Acting
Greek filmmaker Elia Kazan, known for creating social realism and introducing method acting from the Actors Studio, was the director of A Street Car Named Desire, On the Waterfront starring Marlon Brando, and East of Eden starring James Dean, and, after joining the American Communist Party in the 1930s, named many of his fellow filmmakers and artists to the House Un-American Activities Committee.
Chapter 5: 1958 - Alfred Hitchcock, Master of Suspense
British filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock, the master of suspense, was the director of Psycho, Rope, Rear Window and Vertigo, starring Jimmy Stewart, and hosted the TV program Alfred Hitchcock Presents.
Chapter 6: 2013 - Ang Lee Wins Oscar for Best Director
Taiwanese filmmaker Ang Lee, is a Chinese director who directed Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, The Ice Storm, Life of Pi and Brokeback Mountain, which dealt compassionately with homosexuality.

Documentary and Experimental FilmRunning time is 29 minutes

The process of documenting ordinary or exceptional events in such a way that they tell a compelling story is the skill set that documentary filmmakers bring to moviemaking. Featuring Robert Flaherty, Maya Deren, Stan Brakhage, D.A. Pennebaker, Errol Morris and Ken Burns, Program 4 describes the genre of short documentaries and experimental films from the 20s and 30s which blossomed into the megahit documentary features of the 21st Century.

Chapter List
Chapter 1: The Documentary
France's Lumiere Brothers made short films about everyday life, but it wasn't until critic John Grierson said Robert Flaherty's Moana had a documentary realism to it that the documentary film genre was born, which should not be confused with film propaganda such as Nazi Germany's Triumph of the Will.
Chapter 2: 1922 - Robert J. Flaherty, Father of Documentary Film
Robert J. Flaherty, the father of the documentary, directed and produced many fine films, including Nanook of the North, Moana and Man of Aran.
Chapter 3: 1943 - Maya Deren and Stan Brakhage Set the Standard for Experimental Film
Maya Deren, the mother of experimental filmmaking, produced Meshes of the Afternoon; and Stan Brakhage made the experimental film Mothlight.
Chapter 4: 1967 - D.A. Pennebaker Develops Direct Cinema
D.A. Pennebaker pioneered Direct Cinema, also known as Cinema Verite, and the fly on the wall technique of documentary filmmaking, and with Richard Leacock, directed and produced Don't Look Back about Bob Dylan's U.K Tour, then later married Chris Hegedus, producing such documentaries as The War Room, about Bill Clinton's run for the presidency in 1992.
Chapter 5: 1988 - Errol Morris, The Thin Blue Line
Documentary filmmaker Errol Morris produced The Thin Blue Line, Gates of Heaven, Vernon Florida and The Fog of War.
Chapter 6: 1990 - The Ken Burns Style
Documentarian Ken Burns, who pioneered the Ken Burns Effect, set the style of historical documentaries with Brooklyn Bridge and The Civil War among others.

AnimationRunning time is 29 minutes

Animation is as old as Hollywood itself. Program 5 traces the evolution of Animation from the earliest feature, Winsor McCay's Gertie the Dinosaur, and the genius of Walt Disney to the CGI megahits of studios like Pixar in Animation's Second Golden Age.

Chapter List
Chapter 1: A New Golden Age of Animation
A second Golden Age of Animation, introduced in 1995 with the release of Toy Story, was brought about with CGI Computer Generated Images, and resulted in a new Best Animated Feature Academy Award, won for the first time by Shrek in 2001.
Chapter 2: 1914 - Winsor McCay's Gertie the Dinosaur
Winsor McCay created the first true animated film, Gertie the Dinosaur, followed later by Gertie on Tour, which opened the way for many cartoon characters such as Krazy Cat, Popeye, Felix the Cat, Tom and Jerry, Betty Boop, Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny.
Chapter 3: 1937 - Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Walt Disney founded the Disney Brothers Studios, later known as the Walt Disney Company and later Disney Studios, which created many memorable characters and movies, including Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs, Mickey Mouse, Alice in Cartoonland, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, Silly Symphonies, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, Pluto, The Three Little Pigs, Fantasia, Pinocchio, Bambi, Cinderella, Lady and the Tramp, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and The Lion King.
Chapter 4: 1953 - Chuck Jones' Surreal Duck Amuck
Animation director Chuck Jones, who worked at Walter Lantz Studio and for Warner Brothers, is known for endearing characters such as Road Runner, Wile E. Coyote and Pepe le Pew, and he also directed many wonderful movies, including Duck Amuck with Daffy Duck How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and The Dot and the Line.
Chapter 5: 2013 - Pixar Animation Studios' Brave Wins an Oscar
Founded by Steve Jobs, Pixar Animation Studios produced Toy Story - put together by John Lasseter, Pete Docter, Joss Whedon, Andrew Stanton, Joel Cohen and Alec Sokolow - as well as Up, Ratatouille, Toy Story 2, Toy Story 3, and Brave.

Supplemental Files

Making of 21st Century Hollywood - Best Director Oscar
Making of 21st Century Hollywood - Best Picture Oscar
Making of 21st Century Hollywood - Educator's Guide
Making of 21st Century Hollywood - Filmography
Making of 21st Century Hollywood - Timeline
Making of 21st Century Hollywood - Works Cited
MARC Records for MCH
MARC records for the series The Great Directors: The Making of 21st Century Hollywood
Transcription for The Summer Blockbuster
Transcription for The Independent Auteur
Transcription for Immigrant Filmmakers
Transcription for Documentary and Experimental Film
Transcription for Animation