The Maltese Falcon, The Big Sleep, Chinatown, and Casablanca: The Hero in Film
In his discussion of each of these films, Dennis Huston, professor of English at Rice University, will focus on the nature of the hero, the problems the hero faces, the complexity of the world in which he operates and the ultimate solution he chooses. What does this solution tell us about his world, himself and his degree of power in that world? Professor Huston will also be concerned with the nature of the important woman in each film, how she is defined, how powerful she is, how she affects the hero, and what happens to her. How, too, does what happens to the woman affect and further define the hero? The films will be discussed, using video excerpts, in the order they appear above; those wishing to watch the entire movie may rent them. Participants may bring lunch; drinks will be provided.