Iconic American Films: Rebel Without a Cause with Marc Lapadula

Iconic American Films: Rebel Without a Cause with Marc Lapadula


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Join film professor Marc Lapadula for a deep dive into American cinema. In this four-part series (participants can join one seminar or all four) we will look closely at one film at a time and place it in its social and historical context and understand the artistic intention behind its creation. The series will span the 1950s - 1970s.

We will examine three outstanding films in their entirety, one per session, each one representing a decade, for an in-depth look into what each individual filmmaker is trying to say as an artist about the tumultuous social, psychological and political unrest of their times. The films are Rebel Without a Cause (1955) directed by Nicholas Ray, Doctor Strangelove (1964) directed by Stanley Kubrick, Chinatown (1974) directed by Roman Polanski, and Psycho (1960) directed by Alfred Hitchcock. 

These four entries are timeless works of cinematic mastery that perpetually transcend the eras in which they were made, connecting with audiences in the present day. We will deftly uncover what has been woven into the rich fabric of these sub-textually complex and sophisticated narratives.

In addition to the significant distraction and allure of Television in the 1950s, the intrusion of the House Un-American Activities Committee and its concomitant blacklist decimated the ranks of talented actors, producers, screenwriters, composers, and directors and threatened to drain Hollywood’s once seemingly depthless talent pool. With this in mind, how did the decade of the 1950s, and its after-effects that spilled over and influenced the '60s and '70s, manage to produce some of the most outstanding and controversial cinematic achievements in the history of movies?

The treacherous web of political and cultural limitations imposed during “The Red Scare" compelled filmmakers to become much more sophisticated in the articulation and dissemination of their oftentimes jaundiced view of society, forcing them to disguise their true artistic intentions and scathing critique of a world headed towards moral chaos and self-annihilation behind the clever mask of genre thrills. The 1960s would soon fall under the tenebrous shadow of The Vietnam War just as the decade of the 1970s found itself marred by the moral decay and political corruption of The Watergate Scandal.

In this session, we will discuss Rebel Without a Cause (1955). Starring James Dean and Natalie Wood, this ‘50s classic delves into the perpetual issues of teenage angst and rebellion in defiance of and reaction to parental inaction and dysfunction. We will screen multiple clips from the movie that reveals director Nicholas Ray’s brilliant, multi-faceted portrayal of the social stresses put upon the nuclear family in upper-middle-class suburban America during the turbulent decade immediately following World War II.

Led by Yale University professor of film studies, Marc Lapadula, this interactive seminar is part of a four-part series exploring iconic American films.  You may enroll in one or all of the series. Professor Lapadula recommends that you watch the film ahead of the session if possible.

The full series includes the following seminars, one iconic film per session:

Marc Lapadula is a Senior Lecturer in The Film and Media Studies Program at Yale University. He is a playwright, screenwriter, and 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 America, as well as Canada and Mexico, at notable venues like The National Press Club, The Smithsonian Institution, The Guthrie Theater, The Commonwealth Club, The Cleveland Museum of Art, The Toronto Jewish Film Festival, The Brookings Institute for Johns Hopkins University and The New York Historical Society, to name only a few.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 8 reviews
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(8)
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A
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Guest did not leave comment

C
C.B.
Rebel in a New Light

As always, fascinating insights into a movie that I thought I knew. I watched it again immediately after this seminar and was amazed at how much richer the experience was.

K
K.M.
Rebel Rocks

Rebel Without a Cause has always been a favourite of mine. Marc Lapadula showed us why it is such a great film. His insights into the analysis of the film were deep, surprising, and thorough. He explained using clips of the film, pointing out visual and thematic clues to one of the great films of cinema. I look forward with great anticipation to the next classes with him. I've signed up for them all!

p
p.c.
Excellent course with an in depth analysis of a Classic Movie, “Rebel without a Cause”

If you get a chance to take a course with Marc, dont miss it! He is extremely entertaining as well as insightful. He knows film history cold. He can recall facts around films that are very unique. He also will point out many nuances of each film that represent themes that the viewer missed or could not put their finger on until articulated by Marc. His courses never fail to be a real pleasure.

B
B.B.
Excellent presentation

Mr Lapadula did an outstanding job presenting the subtext of the movie. His discussion was riveting and went into the type of depth necessary to truly understand what makes a movie great. It was a fascinating lecture.

Customer Reviews

Based on 8 reviews
100%
(8)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
A
A.

Guest did not leave comment

C
C.B.
Rebel in a New Light

As always, fascinating insights into a movie that I thought I knew. I watched it again immediately after this seminar and was amazed at how much richer the experience was.

K
K.M.
Rebel Rocks

Rebel Without a Cause has always been a favourite of mine. Marc Lapadula showed us why it is such a great film. His insights into the analysis of the film were deep, surprising, and thorough. He explained using clips of the film, pointing out visual and thematic clues to one of the great films of cinema. I look forward with great anticipation to the next classes with him. I've signed up for them all!

p
p.c.
Excellent course with an in depth analysis of a Classic Movie, “Rebel without a Cause”

If you get a chance to take a course with Marc, dont miss it! He is extremely entertaining as well as insightful. He knows film history cold. He can recall facts around films that are very unique. He also will point out many nuances of each film that represent themes that the viewer missed or could not put their finger on until articulated by Marc. His courses never fail to be a real pleasure.

B
B.B.
Excellent presentation

Mr Lapadula did an outstanding job presenting the subtext of the movie. His discussion was riveting and went into the type of depth necessary to truly understand what makes a movie great. It was a fascinating lecture.