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Reel Talks with Foster Hirsch

June 10, 2024, 12:30pm–1:30pm

Talks on movies, the culture of cinema, and filmmaking.

Foster Hirsch, Hollywood and the Movies of the Fifties: The Collapse of the Studio System, the Thrill of Cinerama, and the Invasion of the Ultimate Body Snatcher-- Television

Hosted by Scott Adlerberg, Film Connoisseur

Professor, film historian, and interviewer Foster Hirsch is a graduate of Stanford University (class of 65) and received an M.F.A. in Film from Columbia University and an M.F.A. and Ph.D. from Columbia in English. He joined the Department of English at Brooklyn College in 1967 and moved over to the college’s newly-formed Film Department in 1973 and has been there ever since.

He is the author of numerous books on both film and theater, including The Dark Side of the Screen: Film NoirDetours and Lost Highways: a Map of Neo-NoirThe Hollywood EpicActing Hollywood Style; A Method to Their Madness: the History of the Actors Studio; Love, Sex, Death, and the Meaning of Life: the Films of Woody Allen; Otto Preminger: The Man Who Would Be KingKurt Weill from Berlin To BroadwayHarold Prince and the American Musical TheaterLaurence Olivier on ScreenWho’s Afraid of Edward Albee?Joseph Losey; George Kelly

Hirsch is a frequent host/moderator at numerous venues, theaters, and festivals including the Lambs Club, the Coffee House Club, Film Forum, the American Cinematheque, the AFI Silver in Silver Springs, Maryland, the Music Box in Chicago, the Brattle Theater in Cambridge, the National Arts Club, the USA Film Festival in Dallas, the RiverRun Film Festival in Winston-Salem, the Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival, the Cleveland Cinematheque.

His numerous interviews with celebrities and authors – including those with Carroll Baker, Bobby Rydell, Todd Fisher, Juliet Mills, Piper Laurie, Harry Belafonte, among many others – are available online. He appears in documentaries about Rita Hayworth, Sidney Poiter, and Jack Garfein, and has recorded commentaries for many DVDs including Imitation of Life and America, America which happen to be two of his favorite films. For the State Department, he lectured on American films throughout India and has spoken about American films in England, France, New Zealand, Russia, Israel, Germany, China, and Dubai.

He is now at work on a follow-up volume to his history of Hollywood in the fifties called Hollywood and the Movies of the Sixties: Wild In The Streets.

Scott Adlerberg is the author of the novels Spiders and Flies, Jungle Horses, Graveyard Love, Jack Waters, and The Screaming Child. He has written many short stories and contributes pieces regularly to sites such as CrimeReads, Mystery Tribune, and Criminal Element.  Every summer, he hosts the Reel Talks film commentary series in Bryant Park in Manhattan.  He was born in New York City and lives in Brooklyn.

June 10
Foster Hirsch, Hollywood and the Movies of the Fifties: The Collapse of the Studio System, the Thrill of Cinerama, and the Invasion of the Ultimate Body Snatcher-- Television

June 17
Imogen Sara Smith, In Lonely Places: Film Noir Beyond the City

June 24
Paul Schrader, Transcendental Style in Film: Ozu, Bresson, Dreyer

July 1
Erin Carlson, No Crying in Baseball: The Inside Story of A League of Their Own: Big Stars, Dugout Drama, and a Home Run for Hollywood

July 8
Scout Tafoya, But God Made Him a Poet: Watching John Ford in the 20th Century

July 15
Yuante Huang, Daughter of the Dragon: Anna May Wong's Rendezvous with American History

July 22
Philip Lopate, My Affair with Art House Cinema: Essays and Reviews 

July 29
Glenn Kenny, The World is Yours: The Making of Scarface