The New Hollywood: Revolution in American Cinema

After thirty years of strict enforcement of the Motion Picture Production Code, Hollywood finally, in the mid-1960s, triumphantly smashed the shackles of censorship and proudly proclaimed its independence from the Puritanical constraints that had defined the very nature of commercial American moviemaking.

Hollywood at long last began to embrace images and ideas that had formerly been considered strictly unacceptable and off-limits. Eventually provocative subject matter, coarse language, a pre-occupation with violence, and increasingly more adult sexual content became commonplace as domestic films exploded with fresh urgency across movie screens.

Film Series Overview

This fertile and adventurous period in Hollywood history is intended not only as an appreciation for a select group of films, but also as a reflective look at times in which they were made. The films being produced often mirrored the dramatic events taking place across the country and the world: a bloody and seemingly endless war in Viet Nam, racial tensions tearing American cities apart, growing mistrust of political leadership, and a burgeoning sexual revolution all contributed to a new and challenging identity for American films.

Filmmakers like Mike Nichols, Robert Altman, Francis Ford Coppola, William Friedkin, and Arthur Penn (all represented here) helped re-invent American cinema during this creatively rambunctious period and were now among the ruling members of the New Hollywood. Seemingly, all bets were off as Hollywood now found itself entering a bold and provocative new chapter of its ever-evolving history.

This intensive ten-week survey of American films produced from the mid-60s to mid-70s will provide a vividly penetrating backdrop for an unusual and highly stimulating cinematic experience.

Films in this Course

These are the TEN films we'll be watching in luxurious comfort at Cinema 21 in Portland each Saturday morning at 11:00 am beginning Saturday, January 11.

  • January 11: BONNIE & CLYDE (1967; Arthur Penn)
  • January 18: THE GRADUATE (1967; Mike Nichols)
  • January 25: POINT BLANK (1967; John Boorman)
  • February 1: THE SWIMMER (1968; Frank Perry)
  • February 8: HEAD (1968; Bob Rafelson)
  • February 15: MEDIUM COOL (1969; Haskell Wexler)
  • February 22: THE FRENCH CONNECTION (1971; William Friedkin)
  • February 29: NO CLASS
  • March 7: BADLANDS (1973; Terrence Malick)
  • March 14: THE CONVERSATION (1974; Francis Ford Coppola)
  • March 21: THE LONG GOODBYE (1973; Robert Altman)

PLEASE NOTE: This is a complete program and no individual tickets/days will be sold.

Course Information

Saturdays at 11:00 am beginning January 11, 2020.

Cinema 21 616 NW 21st Ave., Portland, OR 97209

Jan. 11 - Mar. 21, 2020
10 weeks
Portland, Oregon
price (2)


Elliot Lavine

Elliot Lavine has been a film programmer of national repute since 1990, both in the San Francisco Bay Area and now here in Portland. In 2010, he received the Marlon Riggs Award from the San Francisco Film Critics Circle for his revival of rare archival titles and his role in the renewed popularity of film noir. He has taught film studies courses for Stanford's Continuing Studies Program since 2006.

Past Students' Work

Take a look at some recent projects our students have created.