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Posted on Mon, Jan 14, 2013 : 1:02 p.m.

Michigan Theater offers Movies 201 class

By Staff

The Michigan Theater is pleased to announce Movies 201: A Short History of Film, the second installment of the theater's popular film appreciation series. The only pre-requisite is an interest in film.

Building on the success of the inaugural Movies 101 course from last fall, Movies 201 will focus on 4 major technological innovations as mileposts. EMU film studies professor Dr. Henry Aldridge will present a short history of American film during four Sunday afternoon sessions in January and February. Each presentation will be held at the Michigan Theater and will include a lecture and a screening.

The syllabus includes:

Session 1: Cameras and Projectors. Sunday, Jan. 20 at 1 p.m. The first workable cameras and projectors appeared in the l890s and led to the creation of early film studios and theaters. By 1925, 5 major studios had perfected an efficient and glossy production style centered on glamorous stars and idealized plots. Films: early Edison, Lumiere, and Melies shorts. Complete screening of Buster Keaton’s "The General." 1926. 107 minutes. Not rated.

Session 2: Sound. Sunday, Jan. 27 at 1 p.m. In the mid-1920s, recorded sound transformed film production and exhibition and brought radical changes to movie plots, visual style, and acting methods. It also ushered in the “Golden Age” of the Studio System that lasted until the 1950s. Films: Excerpts from "forbidden Hollywood films" and Busby Berkeley musicals. Complete screening of "The Adventures of Robin Hood." 1938. 102 minutes. Rated PG.

Session 3: Widescreen and 3-D. Sunday, Feb. 10 at 1 p.m. With attendance plummeting, Hollywood introduced widescreen and 3-D in a desperate attempt pull audiences away from television. Challenged as well by the infamous HUAC Hearings and a court decree to sell of their theaters, the studios turned to more sex, violence, and “teen themed” subjects. By the 1960s, the old Hollywood was gone. Excerpts from "This is Cinerama," "House of Wax," "Rebel Without a Cause," "On the Waterfront." Complete screening of "River of No Return." 1954. 91 minutes. Not rated.

Session 4: Digital Filmmaking. Sunday, Feb. 17 at 1 p.m. Beginning in the 1980s, filmmaking was transformed again by way of digital editing, sound synchronization, and special effects. Soon, entire films were being shot entirely on video and projected digitally. This radical new technology opened up new areas of film content and made inexpensive movie production possible for young artists. Excerpts from "The Deep," "Avatar," and selected independent features. Complete screening of "Jurassic Park." 1993. 127 minutes. Rated PG-13.

Cost for the class is $60, and space is limited, so "students" should register as soon as possible. For more information, call Amanda, director of programming, at 734-668-8397, ext. 21, or Amber, membership manager, at 734-668-8397, ext. 28