Film studies have become the dominant educational tool for understanding and exploring the greater human condition. In this series, Hollywood's Greatest Directors, some of the world's best professors of film study bring to light the riveting story of how Hollywood and American directors have been the dominant force in creating the world's newest art form, cinema. Hollywood's Greatest Directors presents a chronological series of snapshots that highlights not only the achievements of the greatest directors but the story of the genius of the American system that turned filmmaking into a worldwide industry. At the same time, American directors, always on the cutting edge of social change, have brought new values and perspectives to the nation, telling us who we are as Americans and as people.
Hosted by Hollywood veteran Erick Avari, this five part series showcases how this fledgling art form, starting at the beginning of the 20th Century in Hollywood, has come to dominate a global industry while at the same time allowing extraordinary talent to rise to the top.
On camera experts/Professors of Film: Professor Ernesto Acevedo-Muñoz, PhD,Professor and Chair of Film Studies, Univ. of Colorado, Boulder; Saul Austerlitz, Film Critic; Professor Maria Elena de las Carreras, PhD; Professor of Cinema, California State University, Northridge; Professor Dawn Fratini, Film Historian; Lawrence and Kristina Dodge, College of Film and Media Arts, Chapman Univ.; Professor Annette Insdorf, PhD, Professor in the Graduate Film Program of Columbia University's School of the Arts & Director of Undergraduate Film Studies; Professor Jonathan Kuntz, PhD, Professor of American Film History, Univ. of California, Los Angeles; Professor Jon Lewis, PhD, Professor of Film & Cultural Studies in Oregon State University's School of Writing, Literature and Film; Professor Howie Movshovitz, Teacher of Film Studies, Univ. of Colorado, Denver; Professor Richard Peña, Professor of Film Studies, Columbia Univ.; Professor Jennifer Lynn Peterson, PhD, Professor of Film Studies, Univ. of Colorado, Boulder; Professor Dana Polan, PhD, Professor of Cinema Studies, NY University
739815 00531 2
Shot in High-Definition
List of Best Director Oscars
List of Best Picture Oscars
- Program 1: The Silent Era
The art of making motion pictures arose in the Silent Era from 1895 - 1927. Program one examines the Silent Era's most outstanding directors who created Hollywood and laid the foundation for the great American cinematic tradition.
The Invention of Film and Hollywood
1910 - D.W. Griffith Establishes Hollywood
1912 - Mack Sennett Founds Keystone Studios
1913 - Lois Weber, Pioneering Female Director
1924 - Buster Keaton, an American Original
1925 - Charlie Chaplin, the First Auteur
- Program 2: The Coming of Sound
When Warner Brothers Studios released The Jazz Singer, the first 'talkie', in 1927, it spelled the end of the Silent Era. Program two shows how sound revamped Hollywood, how filmmaking evolved into the 'studio system' and how the first wave of creative directors including Howard Hawks, George Cukor and Dorothy Arzner began shaping the art of cinema.
The Growth of the Studio System
1932 - Howard Hawks Directs Scarface
1939 - Oscar Micheaux, First Black Feature Film Director
1940 - George Cukor Directs The Philadelphia Story
1940 - Dorothy Arzner, Hollywood's Greatest Female Director
1941 - Orson Welles, Citizen Kane
- Program 3: The Golden Age of Hollywood
Program three discusses the Golden Age of American Cinema and how internationally acclaimed directors such as John Huston, John Ford and Frank Capra gave the world unparalleled films for over twenty years. It was also the time of American cinema's transition from pure entertainment to social critique.
America Dominates World Cinema
1941 - John Huston Brings Film Noir to Hollywood
1944 - Vincente Minnelli Directs Meet Me in St. Louis
1946 - Frank Capra, It's a Wonderful Life
1956 - John Ford, Master of the Western
- Program 4: The New Hollywood
In the 1950s with the arrival of television, the Studio System began a decade long decline that brought Hollywood to its knees. In program four, we'll see how a new generation of great directors revitalized Hollywood and American Cinema, producing some of the greatest movies of all time. Educated in film schools, these directors understood the history and position of cinema as a social force.
Hollywood's Second Golden Age
1967 - Mike Nichols, The Graduate
1969 - Sam Peckinpah Redefines the Western
1973 - Terrence Malick, Existential Philosopher
1974 - Mel Brooks, King of Comedy
1976 - Martin Scorsese Directs Taxi Driver
1976 - Sidney Lumet Gives Expression to America's Angst
- Program 5: The Modern Era
Program five shows how in the 21st Century a new wave of American directors became known as the authors of their films. Hollywood had gone corporate, investing its money in action blockbusters and distributing what are called Indies, independent features that were bringing home the Oscars for best picture. In this program we focus on the most creative of these independent directors.
The New Wave
1986 - Oliver Stone Wins His First Oscar for Directing
1989 - Spike Lee, Black Auteur
1992 - Clint Eastwood Receives His First Oscar for Best Director
2007 - P.T. Anderson Writes and Directs There Will Be Blood
2008 - Darren Aronofsky, The Wrestler
2010 - Kathryn Bigelow Wins the Oscar for Best Director
Clip Length: 2 minutes 4 seconds
"A survey reference work presenting thumbnail sketches of important American film directors -- set against a general overview of the evolution of Hollywood moviemaking -- Hollywood's Greatest Directors is hosted by Erick Avari,... Narrated by Alphonse Kealey, the five half-hour programs here offer brief biographical accounts of select filmmakers..., But the clips here, coupled with excerpts from interviews with academicians, will serve as a useful introduction for newcomers to film studies. Extras include educator's guides, filmographies, timelines, and lists of Oscar winners. Also newly available at the same price is the five-volume companion set The Great Directors: The Making of 21st Century Hollywood. Recommended. "- Video Librarian