VISU S-72 American Dreams from Scarface to Easy Rider
Is the so-called American dream dead? The notion once essentialized the grand promise of a better, fuller, and richer life. At the present moment, however, it seems to have lost its evocative persuasiveness as a collective myth. In a time of cultural crisis and political emergency, this course has a pressing mission. It aims to further a dynamic understanding of American dreams, to understand their complexities and contradictions, to appreciate their many different manifestations and historical shapes, and above all to take measure of their relevance and function in the world we inhabit. In this course, students study the various ways in which Hollywood's fantasy machinery has created designs for living the most influential and resonant incarnations of American dreams. We analyze popular films produced during crucial junctures in the modern history of the United States, from the Great Depression and World War II through the Cold War, McCarthy era, and the 1960s.