Required Viewing: Film History Classes at the Film Forum


Northwest Film Forum is pleased to expand its commitment to film education with the launch of “Required Viewing,” a new series of classes that explore the history of cinema. This winter’s schedule includes the seminars, “New Hollywood Cinema” and “French History in the 90s,” which will combine lectures with film viewing and discussion, in six weekly sessions.

Northwest Film Forum has offered workshops and classes for almost ten years.  While many of the regularly scheduled classes focus on hands-on filmmaking technique, the organization has a history of also presenting seminars and discussions that contextualize films for audiences. Past classes include “Introduction to Film History: Griffith to Kiarostami, Full Stop,” a survey of the major movements and defining directors from around the world, “Hardcore: The Screwball Comedy,” which explored Hollywood comedies of remarriage, “Introduction to Canadian Cinema,” “Intro to Film Theory,” and “The Importance of Cinema History to the Filmmaker.”

The two classes in “Required Viewing” demonstrate the Film Forum’s renewed commitment to lecture and discussion oriented seminars for film lovers.  “New Hollywood Cinema” (meeting Mondays, Jan 18 – Feb 22, at 7pm) will explore the themes and styles of the New Hollywood movement that lasted from 1967 to 1980, the year of Raging Bull. Key films will be screened, studied for their cinematic power and discussed for how they reflect the wider culture, in which gender roles were changing along with sexuality and views of class and race. This class will be taught by Dennis West, Professor of Hispanic Film and Culture at the University of Idaho. He is a contributing editor of Cineaste magazine who has served on numerous festival juries.

“French Films in the 90s” (meeting Tuesdays, Jan 19 – Feb 23, at 7pm) will be taught by Joan West, Professor of French and Women’s Studies at the University of Idaho. This class is an introduction to the films of the decade, withdiscussion of French culture woven in. Films studied will represent highlights from a decade significant for its artistic and economic transition into the 21st century, when the “cinema du look” was waning, heritage epics held strong, women directors were becoming visible and a new generation of young filmmakers began to rise.

Both classes cost $80 for Northwest Film Forum members and $100 for non-members. Interested participants can enroll or find out more about these classes, as well as the Film Forum’s filmmaking specific workshops, at


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