Full course description

Starts June 1, 2015

Summer is cooler in the shadows.

We invite movie fans from around the world to join us for a flexible, multimedia investigation and celebration of film noir.

In this nine-week course, we’ll go back in film history to investigate the "The Case of Film Noir"—the means, motives, and opportunities that led Hollywood studios to make these hard-boiled crime dramas, arguably their greatest contribution to American culture.

This course will run concurrently with the Turner Classic Movies "Summer of Darkness” programming event, airing 24 hours of films noir every Friday in June and July 2015. This is the deepest catalog of film noir ever presented by the network (and perhaps any network), and provides an unprecedented opportunity for those interested in learning more to watch over 100 classic movies as they investigate “The Case of Film Noir.”

Both the course and the associated films will enrich your understanding of the film noir phenomenon—from the earliest noir precursors to recent experiments in neo-noir. You will be able to share thoughts online and test your movie knowledge with a worldwide community of film noir students and fans.

Course Outcomes

Students will
  • gain a deeper appreciation of classic Hollywood movies
  • be able to identify the characteristics of a film noir
  • able to explain the origins and history of film noir
  • be able to perform close analyses of films noir
Topics include
  • What is Film Noir?
  • Film Noir and Its Influences
  • Film Noir in the Studio System
  • Film Noir Themes and Characters
  • Film Noir in the Postwar Period

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need access to TCM to participate in this course?
No. For non-TCM subscribers, we will have free links to online public domain films noir, so anyone can participate fully in this course.

How long is this course?
Nine weeks, since it is designed to run in conjunction with TCM's "Summer of Darkness."

Will this course offer a certificate of completion?
Yes.

What kind of time commitment may I expect?
For students who seek to complete the course, it will take between two and four hours each week, not including additional time to watch a few films noir each week on your own or on TCM. For students who wish to participate but are not interested in a certificate of completion, we still want you to be involved. This course is flexible in its design, and you may choose to do as much or as little as you have time for each week.

Are there any synchronous or live events in this course?
Yes. The course will use social media and Google Hangouts on Air to have a few live events. But in case you are not available when an event is occurring, an archived video copy will be available for later viewing.

Will the instructor be involved in the course?
Yes.

Richard Edwards

Richard L. Edwards, Ph.D.

Executive Director, iLearn Research

Dr. Richard L. Edwards received his Ph.D. in Critical Studies from USC's School of Cinematic Arts. He is the co-author of The Maltese Touch of Evil: Film Noir and Potential Criticism (University Press of New England, 2011). He is the co-host of the long-running podcast series, "Out of the Past: Investigating Film Noir." Dr. Edwards previously taught a Film Noir MOOC on the Canvas Network in 2013. In addition to his interests and expertise in film noir, Dr. Edwards is the Executive Director of iLearn Research at Ball State University where he specializes in teaching and learning innovations for online, blended, and face-to-face environments.