Just 15 years after the birth of the moving image, the first film was shot in Tucson. Sunshine, railroad access, and exotic flora, fauna, and faces made Tucson an ideal movie location. Images of the frontier, the Old West, and the New West have been shaped in the public imagination by our celluloid desert. Join film scholar and cultural critic Jennifer Jenkins as she discusses some of the many iterations of film in Tucson, including early silent films, Hollywood westerns, melodramas, mysteries, television series, commercials, and homemade films about the region. Participants will gain an understanding of the mechanics of the early moving image, the ways in which cinemagoing changed as the medium evolved, and an historical understanding of the visual and cultural thematics of films shot in our desert region.
In each of the five weeks, a one-hour asynchronous pre-recorded session will introduce topics and films for the week. One-hour live Zoom sessions on Tuesdays will incorporate viewings of clips and shorter films, some lecture, and discussion.
Participants may wish to view full-length movies discussed in the course on their own time via a streaming platform of their choice.