Movie Madness University

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Movie Madness University is a film & television appreciation program of the Hollywood Theatre. Our class offerings range from in-depth four-week seminars to casual curated film series along with special presentations. The goal of all of our programming is to help people learn more about movies; explore Movie Madness' world-class collection; and meet like-minded film lovers.

Scroll down to explore our August 2024 classes.

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Single Session Classes

Stroszek: Dancing Chickens & a Frozen Turkey

Monday evening, August 5th, at 6:30pm

Cost: $22 ($18 members)



Recently released from prison for a drunk and disorderly offense, street musician Bruno Stroszek, his pet mynah bird, and his two friends flee their miserable existence in Berlin for a better life in Wisconsin. Director Werner Herzog wrote STROSZEK (1977, 108 min) specifically for Bruno S., using details from the actor’s real life to create a sympathetic and compelling portrait of a social outcast trying to find his way in a strange new land.

In this class we will examine how STROSZEK embodies certain themes that Werner Herzog has highlighted and revisited throughout his lengthy career including the pursuit of dreams and the psychological impact of immigrant experiences on individuals.

Visiting assistant instructor Jennifer Key will teach this class. Jennifer previously taught a class on the film SISTERS.

Class size will be limited to 18.

Throne of Blood

Monday evening, August 12th at 6:30pm

Cost: $22 ($18 members)



In 1957, Akira Kurosawa’s THRONE OF BLOOD (100 min) transposed Shakespeare’s Macbeth from medieval Scotland to feudal Japan, infused it with the aesthetics of Noh theater, and jettisoned the Bard’s language altogether. As a result, the film stands not only as one of the director’s finest works but one of the greatest Shakespearean screen adaptations.

In this class, we’ll situate THRONE OF BLOOD within Kurosawa’s larger body of work and explore the ways it channeled the anxieties of its cultural moment. We’ll then discuss some of the director’s signature techniques and some of the play's key themes and examine their bearing on this screen rendition.

This class will be taught by visiting assistant instructor Jacob Mazer, Director of Programs and Education at the Bryn Mawr Film Institute in Pennsylvania.

Class size will be limited to 18.

The Movie Magic of Magic Mike

Monday evening, August 26th at 6:30pm

Cost: $22 ($18 members)


Based loosely on actor & dancer Channing Tatum’s own experiences in Florida as an 18-year-old male stripper, MAGIC MIKE (2012, 100 min) is as complex an art film as it is a blockbuster of a good time. Directed by Steven Soderbergh (SEX, LIES & VIDEOTAPE), the film creates a nuanced and emotional map of the world of male stripping and lays bare an economy of desires.

In this class, we’ll track the film’s road to production and unpack its visions of eroticism & masculinity. Come see what MAGIC MIKE and its leading men have to reveal about gender, sexuality, and capitalism, and enjoy the excellent show they put on while they take it off.

This class will be taught by Max Swanson, a filmmaker/performer, writer, educator, and organizer based in Portland, OR. They currently also teach at NW Doc and PSU, and work as a freelance story consultant. They are also a co-producer of the local drag and art collaborative Max & Mars Present.

Class size will be limited to 18.


Four Session Classes

Black Southern Gothic

Starting Tuesday evening August 6th at 6:30pm

Cost: $90 ($75 for members) for the four-class series.



Black Southern Gothic is a literary and cinematic genre that blends elements of traditional Southern Gothic with the experiences of Black people in the American South. Black women and femmes in particular play a crucial role both as creators and subjects within the genre.

In this class, we will uncover how the following films artfully blend historical realities with elements of magic and mysticism to underline the complexities of race, gender, sexuality, and ancestry. Join us as we study the multifaceted experiences of Black culture and womanhood and the nuanced portrayals of community and home through a distinctly Black lens.


8/6: THE COLOR PURPLE (1985, 153 min)

8/13: EVE’S BAYOU (1997, 109 min)

8/20: BELOVED (1998, 172 min)

8/27: DAUGHTERS OF THE DUST (1991, 112 min)

This class will be taught by visiting assistant instructor Kristina Mucker, who recently led a course on THE BLACKENING. Her background is enriched by her love of psychological thrillers, socially conscious horror, southern heritage and Black feminist thought.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Class size will be limited to 18.

Japanese New Wave: Youth / Yakuza

Starting Wednesday evening August 7th at 6:30pm

Cost: $90 ($75 for members) for the four-class series.



The Japanese New Wave was one of the most audacious film movements changing the shape of cinema in the decades after World War II. These films in various ways rejected aspects of classical Japanese and modern approaches to cinema, combining formal experimentation with critical engagements with Japanese history, society, and culture.

In this course we will focus on films from the Japanese New Wave that attempt to engage new audiences through a focus on youth and/or yakuza: an early sun tribe film, Imamura’s breakthrough black comedy, a noir yakuza film from Masahiro Shinoda, and a pop-yakuza from Seijun Suzuki.


8/7: CRAZED FRUIT (1956, 86 min)

8/14: PIGS AND BATTLESHIPS (1962, 108 min)

8/21: PALE FLOWER (1964, 96 min)

8/28: TOKYO DRIFTER (1966, 82 min)

This class will be taught by MMU Instructor Jordan Sudermann, who teaches IB Film and various social science courses at Lincoln High School. His interests in film include post-war European art cinema, East Asian cinemas, and queer cinemas.

Class size will be limited to 18.


Genius of Genre: Roger Corman

Starting Thursday evening August 8th at 6:30pm

Cost: $90 ($75 members) for the four-class series


In May of this year cinema lost one of its greats. Roger Corman had a filmmaking career that spanned over seven decades. His contributions to cinema are endless and his influence on the medium will be felt for generations. 

Corman enthusiastically embraced genre filmmaking, and by approaching budget limitations as creative challenges, created an extremely diverse and entertaining filmography. In this course we’ll look at four films from four different genres, each encapsulating a unique time in both Corman’s career and Hollywood itself.


8/8: The Horror

8/15: The Western

8/22: The Comedy

8/29: The Sci-Fi 

This class will be taught by MMU lead instructor Kia Anne Geraths, a filmmaker and educator. Her previous classes include the Cult Horror series, Intro to Varda, Science Fiction B-movies, and more.

Class size will be limited to 18.

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