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 June 2024 classes.

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Single-Afternoon Classes

Few women had the opportunity to direct and release their films theatrically in the ‘70s and ‘80s. But the ones who did, even briefly, blazed the trail for future female directors. These single-afternoon classes follow that trail, celebrating three women directors and their landmark films.

Each of these single-afternoon classes classes will be presented by Jenny Lee, a 2024 Oregon Literary Arts Fellow in Drama, whose previous MMU Friday afternoon classes include STAGECOACH (John Ford), THE EARRINGS OF MADAME DE (Max Ophuls), and LA GRANDE ILLUSION (Jean Renoir).

Celebrating Women Directors: Wanda

Friday afternoon, June 7th at 1pm

Cost: $22 ($18 members)



In the underseen WANDA (1970, 102 min) Barbara Loden wrote, directed, co-produced, and starred in what is considered to be one of the best independent American films ever made. Loden has been likened to the “female John Cassavettes” with her improvisational, directorial style. In this class, we’ll learn about Loden’s all-too brief career and the cultural impact her film still has today. Join us as we discuss and explore gender roles and the universal truth for understanding.

Class size will be limited to 18.

Celebrating Women Directors: Girlfriends

Friday afternoon, June 14th at 1pm

Cost: $22 ($18 members)



Released in 1978, GIRLFRIENDS (88 min) is a landmark film by Claudia Weill about two young women in New York City diverging on their paths for career and marriage. Stanley Kubrick thought this intelligent and well-made independent film should have had greater success than it did. In 2019, Weill’s debut feature was selected to be preserved by the Library of Congress’s National Film Registry for its cultural significance.

In this class, we’ll discuss the landscape of independent filmmaking for women in the 1970s and learn more about this influential director. We’ll explore themes of self-discovery, independence, and adulthood.

Class size will be limited to 18.

Celebrating Women Directors: Smooth Talk

Friday afternoon, June 28th at 1pm

Cost: $22 ($18 members)


Joyce Chopra’s masterful drama SMOOTH TALK (1985, 92 min), based loosely on the acclaimed short story by Joyce Carol Oates, won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance in 1986. This chilling film features a breakout performance by a teenage Laura Dern navigating the darker edges of youthful power and vulnerability. We’ll explore themes of innocence and power dynamics, and learn why Chopra left feature filmmaking in Hollywood after such a successful start.

Class size will be limited to 18.


Four-Week Crash Course

MMU Crash Course classes offer a low-intensity way to explore a filmmaker or genre, in a friendly environment shared with fellow film lovers. Unlike our MMU seminars, Crash Courses offer a more casual approach. There’s no formal lecture or discussion, but films are curated and presented by staff experts.

Undead & Loving It

Starting Monday evening June 3rd at 6:30pm

Cost: $30 ($25 for members) for the four-class series.


Outside of your average zombie, can you name another type of walking dead? In this MMU class, we'll watch and learn about a variety of horror and thriller films from the 1970-80s featuring underrepresented forms of the recently deceased. From ghouls and revenants, to the possessed and medically-enhanced, these reanimated dead just refuse to stay in the grave! This series is guaranteed to make your blood run cold, but you'll at least end the course with a more knowledgeable, and delicious, brain.


6/3: DEATHDREAM (1974, 88 min)

6/10: THE FOG (1980, 99 min)

6/17: SOLE SURVIVOR (1984, 85 min)

6/24: DEAD AND BURIED (1981, 94 min)

This class is taught by Movie Madness staffer Sara Reinhart.

Class size will be limited to 18.


Evening Four-Week Seminars

Into the Twilight Zone

Starting Tuesday evening June 4th at 6:30pm

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


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Due to high demand, we’re repeating this popular class!

Considered by some to be the greatest television series ever made, The Twilight Zone not only pushed the boundaries of the medium but it continues to influence storytellers to this day. In honor of the 65th anniversary of the series, each week we’ll be taking a look at 3 episodes connected by a similar focus. From the iconic to the obscure, to the shows it helped influence, join us for this special journey into The Twilight Zone and beyond.

We don’t want to give away the episodes we’ll be watching, but here is how class sessions will be thematically organized:

6/4: The Essentials

6/11: The Writers

6/18: The Directors

6/25: The Influenced

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

Class size will be limited to 18.

Trailer Made: The Art of Selling An Audience

Starting Wednesday evening June 5th at 6:30pm

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



Do you love film trailers? Have you ever watched a film trailer and thought, "How do they make those?" Then this is the class for you.

We’ll explore the evolution of blockbuster film trailers over time, examining how and why the styles have changed, and dive deep into the best film trailers of all time to break down what makes them alluring. We’ll also look at the film trailer industry to understand the process and politics of creating a film trailer campaign. And finally, we’ll look at how film trailers are made using actual projects and examples from Nick’s editorial career.

If you’ve ever been curious about entering the secret world of film trailer creation, this class is your chance to get a look inside the industry.

Weekly Topics:

6/5: The History of the Film Trailer

6/12: An Appreciation of the Film Trailer

6/19: The Film Trailer Industry

6/26: The Making of a Film Trailer

This class will be taught by visiting assistant instructor, Nick Davis, an editor who has worked on film trailer campaigns for GAME OF THRONES, THE PACIFIC, US, THE BOXTROLLS, PARANORMAN and many more.

Class size will be limited to 18.


Lavender Lens

Starting Thursday evening June 6th at 6:30pm

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


New Queer Cinema emerged throughout the 90s as a revolutionary stylistic movement that challenged mainstream media’s sanitized and assimilated view of queerness as Other. Rather than an adjustment to the heterosexual lifestyle, these independent films and filmmakers used radical aesthetics and subverted storytelling to reject the zeitgeist and reclaim this Otherness to create a wondrous, weird, and spirited view of the world.

As the first installment of Lavender Lens, a series that will explore the ever growing range of the Queer Film Canon, we’ll be considering how these foundational films have shared community for a new generation to explore, question, and celebrate. Join us this Pride Month to see a vibrant way of life and watch some really gay movies together!


6/6 PARIS IS BURNING (1990, 78 min)

6/13 POISON (1991, 85 min)

6/20 THE WATERMELON WOMAN (1996, 90 min)

6/27 NOWHERE (1997, 78 min)

This class will be taught by MMU Instructor Zoe Gillian, whose recent classes include Exploring Portland Through Film, and a one-evening class exploring transcendental and slow cinema in Paul Schrader’s FIRST REFORMED.

Class size will be limited to 18.

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