Odyssey: Rebels of Destruction...or How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the Apocalypse

In addition to the significant distraction and allure of television in the 1950s, the intrusion of the House Un-American Activities Committee and its concomitant blacklist decimated the ranks of talented actors, producers, screenwriters, composers, and directors and threatened to drain Hollywood's once seemingly depthless talent pool. With this in mind, how did the decade of the 1950s and its after-effects that spilled over into the early 1960s manage to produce some of the most outstanding and controversial cinematic achievements in the history of the movies? The treacherous web of limitations imposed forced filmmakers to become much more sophisticated in the articulation and dissemination of their jaundiced view of society, compelling them to disguise their true artistic intentions and scathing critique of a culture headed toward total self-destruction and complete annihilation behind a clever mask of genre thrills.

Playwright and screenwriter Marc Lapadula will examine two classic cinematic films in their entirety that are examples of this. They are Rebel Without a Cause (1955) directed by Nicholas Ray and Dr. Strangelove (1964) directed by Stanley Kubrick. These two entries are timeless works of cinematic mastery that eloquently transcend the era in which they were made and continue to speak to us today. The discussion will deftly uncover what has been woven into the rich fabric of these subtextually complex and sophisticated narratives.

913.196.01 Homewood campus Saturday, Dec. 9, 9 a.m. to noon and 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Cost: $102 (full day, lunch on your own)

JHU full-time faculty/staff are eligible for tuition remission of 80 percent; spouse/same-sex domestic partners, 50 percent. You will be unable to register online and receive the discount. Contact 410-516-8516 for more information.