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ME 140 Screen Icons: A Cultural & Aesthetic Study: 3 semester hours

This course analyzes how we can understand the phenomena of the cinema icon, through study of such figures as Marlon Brando, Marilyn Monroe, Paul Newman, Jane Fonda, Denzel Washington, Audrey Hepburn, John Wayne, and some contemporary film stars. Students encounter star performances and star images historically, aesthetically, and ideologically by examining how their films, along with magazines, the studio system, their personal lives, and advertising, contributed to making them important cultural figures. The course pursues the idea that they became icons because they tapped into and fulfilled, for better and worse, substantial emotional needs within their cultures. Students also will examine the whole nature of celebrity in our culture, while also critically addressing concerns related to non-violence, racism, and women.