UCR Osher / OLLI

Fall, 2020 (distance)


Weekly Film Schedule

Week 1

Tuesday, Sept. 15

Prehistory – Moving Images and Mobility

Voyage dans la Lune (1902) – Georges Melies

In this unit, we will explore the beginning of cinema and its close relationship to the subject of transportation. Our discussion will include brief clips from other films and fragments…


Week 2

Tuesday, Sept. 22

Generic Precursors

Detour (1945) – Edgar Ulmer

(Also on Amazon Prime)

 Film Noir is obsessed with mobility and alienation (and these will become primary themes of the road movie).  We will also look at clips from Westerns where these themes are also explored.


Week 3

Tuesday, Sept. 29

Alienation Abroad and the American Influence

Breathless (1960) – Jean-luc Godard

[Link to film.]

(Also on Amazon Prime)

Godard’s (and the French New Wave more generally) love affair with American culture begins with an acknowledgment of his own generic influences.  This is a road movie that never goes anywhere!  We will look at clips from other European films that engage with American culture similarly.


Week 4

Tuesday, Oct. 13

The Counterculture?

Easy Rider (1969) Dennis Hopper

(Also on Amazon Prime):

Hopper’s film borrows extensively from its European predecessors… So, it’s the myth of American mobility looked at by an American INFLUENCED by European examinations of the same.  The results are hazy.  They are also fascinating.  Other key 60s and 70s road movies will be discussed (this is the genre’s heyday).

Week 5

Tuesday, Oct. 6

The Road Less Studied: a selection of home movies and educational films (1950s-70s)

[Link to film.]

Here we will explore the long, bloody history of road safety films and see if we can’t discern in them a theme that resembles what we’ve been studying thus far.  We will also look at some home movies of traveling Americans.  NOTE: The road safety film I’m having you watch before class in NOT gruesome (Some are!) nor will I be showing the gruesome parts of the films I’ll refer to in our discussion.  I know these films have a well-deserved reputation (which we will discuss), and I wanted everyone to be comfortable going into this…


Week 6

Tuesday, Oct. 20

Contemporary Roads

The Peanut Butter Falcon (2019) Tyler Nilson, Michael Schwartz

Vimeo Link will be provided

(Also on Amazon Prime, Hulu):

We end our course with an acclaimed feature from just last year…. I suspect that a number of our themes from this tour through the road movie’s historical progression will come up in interesting ways here.