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Major Filmmakers of New Hollywood

This free online course on New Hollywood will trace the beginnings of this movement and highlight its major filmmakers.

Publisher: NPTEL
You will be transported to the anti-authoritarian, anti-establishment and free spirited world of New Hollywood films in this free online course. You will learn about the beginning of this movement, the socio-cultural and political factors that led to its emergence and finally the reasons for its demise. You will be introduced to the works of the major filmmakers of this era, making this course a useful chapter for those interested in films.
Major Filmmakers of New Hollywood
  • Duration

    3-4 Hours
  • Students

  • Accreditation






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New Hollywood is also referred to as the American New Wave or the Hollywood Renaissance. It refers to a movement in the American film history from the mid-1960s to the early 1980s. This was the era, when a new generation of fresh filmmakers gained fame in the US. This course will introduce you to New Hollywood and its major filmmakers. It will discuss the works of Martin Scorsese, Roman Polanski, Dennis Hoppers, Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and others in detail. You will learn about the socio-cultural and political factors that led to the emergence of this movement. Some key political events of that period, such as the Vietnam war, the political assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy, and the Democratic convention in Chicago in 1968, had caused unrest in people's minds. There are insights on motorcycle club and European cinema as well, which influenced the New Hollywood, characterised as anti-authoritarian, anti-establishment and free spirited. This was also the period when producers were open to new forms of storytelling and hand held cameras and other cheap, light-weight equipment were developed. These multiple different factors caused the emergence of New Hollywood.


Among the major films of this era, this course will discuss films such as; Easy Rider, Bonnie and Clyde, The Graduate, The Conversation, The Last Picture Show, Targets, Mash, McCabe and Mrs. Miller, Nashville, Two Men and a Wardrobe, Rosemary's Baby, Frantic, All the President's Men, Jaws, Star Wars, Manhattan and many others. In New Hollywood cinema, film directors enjoyed more power and prestige. They all aspired to be auteurs. Some of the directors made films to pay homage to one of the greatest auteurs, Alfred Hitchcock. This course will discuss the works of some directors, such as, Hal Ashby, William Friedkin, Paul Schrader, Martin Scorsese and Roman Polanski to name a few. You will learn about the changing and evolving socio-cultural concepts that influenced the American society's readiness for creepy tales of demonic possessions. Thus, you will be able to appreciate the emergence of the themes of pessimism, horror and paranoia in this period.


This course will also touch upon the idea of high concept films such as the Ocean's series, Mission Impossible and the James Bond films. Lastly, you will be introduced to the works of Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. Spielberg's 'Jaws' and Lucas' 'Star Wars' began the downhill trajectory of New Hollywood. You will understand the reasons for the demise of New Hollywood and be made aware of the dynamics in the external environment of cinema. A changing political landscape can also have an impact on the audience's preferences and tastes. Those interested in cinema and the students or researchers of film studies will find this course interesting and thought provoking. This may even provide some new perspectives and research ideas to film writers, bloggers and those associated with the media and communications industry. The detailed discussions on films and techniques will be helpful to those learning or aspiring to be film critics. Enrol in this free course today to start learning.

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