American Studies HKU School of Modern Languages and Cultures HKU

BA Course

Elective Course
AMER2038 American film, from Golden-Age Hollywood to New Hollywood and beyond 6 credits
Hollywood is known to spin dreams, visions and illusions but, caught-up in the big-screen experience, viewers often forget that these dreams and illusions are spun within particular social and cultural contexts. Films are woven into national myths, myths are woven into the society that builds them, and society is woven into the people that create and recreate America everyday as they live, work and go to the movies. This course will look at many of the biggest, most famous and most representative Hollywood blockbusters—films and their movie-star icons—that in many ways define American culture. We will consider films from the so-called Golden Age of Hollywood win the studios ruled the theater to the era of New Hollywood when directors drew increasing inspiration from European films. Students will be introduced to various genres that have become synonymous with Hollywood, among them the action thriller, classic and revisionist western, MGM musical, film noir and police story, science fiction, romantic comedy, Disney animation, and others. The experience of these films and their contexts will broaden our knowledge of American cultural values and help us critique these values, so that the reality of American life is explored alongside its ideals. The course will also aim to enhance critical and creative thinking as well as speaking and writing skills.
Prerequisite: AMER1050 or GCIN1001 or CLIT1008
Assessment: 100% coursework
(Offered in 2021/2022)


American Studies HKU