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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

Popular Culture Programs

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, September 27, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Some moments in movies never leave us: the piercing eyes of a private eye, a raft hurtling down the rapids, that little black dress, the close-up of a fading movie star. In a 5-session film discussion series, documentary filmmaker and writer Sara Lukinson revisits some of our favorite movies and characters, setting them against the backdrop of their times, the people who dreamed them up, and the America they reflected—or asked us to imagine. This session focuses on Humphrey Bogart and Paul Newman.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, September 30, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

He went from bobby-soxers’ dreamboat to the Chairman of the Board—and he did it his way. Music historian John Edward Hasse toasts the unmistakable voice that defined Sinatra’s stardom.

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, October 4, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Some moments in movies never leave us: the piercing eyes of a private eye, a raft hurtling down the rapids, that little black dress, the close-up of a fading movie star. In a 5-session film discussion series, documentary filmmaker and writer Sara Lukinson revisits some of our favorite movies and characters, setting them against the backdrop of their times, the people who dreamed them up, and the America they reflected—or asked us to imagine. This session focuses on Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Charade.

Lecture/Seminar
Sunday, October 17, 2021 - 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET

Film music can inspire and romance us, salvage a bad movie and make a good one great. In this weekend series, speaker and concert pianist Rachel Franklin explores the many elements that go into creating an effective score and showcases the memorable work of some of the leading masters of the form. Fasten your seatbelts…it’s going to be a fabulous ride! This session focuses on film music from Jaws, Laura, and The Third Man.

Lecture/Seminar
Sunday, October 24, 2021 - 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET

Film music can inspire and romance us, salvage a bad movie and make a good one great. In this weekend series, speaker and concert pianist Rachel Franklin explores the many elements that go into creating an effective score and showcases the memorable work of some of the leading masters of the form. Fasten your seatbelts…it’s going to be a fabulous ride! This session focuses on film music from The Madness of King George, Chicken Run, and Dr. Zhivago.

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, October 25, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Some moments in movies never leave us: the piercing eyes of a private eye, a raft hurtling down the rapids, that little black dress, the close-up of a fading movie star. In a 5-session film discussion series, documentary filmmaker and writer Sara Lukinson revisits some of our favorite movies and characters, setting them against the backdrop of their times, the people who dreamed them up, and the America they reflected—or asked us to imagine. This session focuses on Billy Wilder.

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, October 26, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

In a pre-Halloween program to enthrall anyone yearning to lift the veil on our fascination with the eerie, morbid, and supernatural, British author and professor Roger Luckhurst introduces the world of Gothic fiction, film, and fine art. Expect vampires, werewolves, zombies, and other wonders to flicker into existence as you explore the topography of this shadowy territory.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, October 28, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

Like a select few in music—Hoagy, Duke, Elvis, Wynton, Dolly—you recognize her by her first name alone. Join John Edward Hasse, co-curator of the long-running Smithsonian exhibition Ella Fitzgerald: First Lady of Song, as he draws on film and video clips, rare photographs, and original recordings to provide insights into her extraordinary journey from shy orphan to beloved international celebrity.

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, November 2, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Since its very beginning, Hollywood has made audiences laugh in forms from slapstick to screwball, romance to social satire, musicals to gross-out teen films. Media expert Brian Rose looks at major highlights of screen comedy over the last 125 years, drawing on more than 40 examples from Hollywood’s funniest films. Prepare to LOL.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, November 4, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

Beginning with cartoonist Thomas Nast’s lasting images of Uncle Sam and Santa Claus created during the Civil War, author Jeremy Dauber traces the sweeping story of cartoons, comic strips, and graphic novels, and their continuing hold on the American imagination.

Lecture/Seminar
Sunday, November 7, 2021 - 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET

Film music can inspire and romance us, salvage a bad movie and make a good one great. In this weekend series, speaker and concert pianist Rachel Franklin explores the many elements that go into creating an effective score and showcases the memorable work of some of the leading masters of the form. Fasten your seatbelts…it’s going to be a fabulous ride! This session focuses on film music from The Red Pony, High Noon, and The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly.

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, November 8, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Some moments in movies never leave us: the piercing eyes of a private eye, a raft hurtling down the rapids, that little black dress, the close-up of a fading movie star. In a 5-session film discussion series, documentary filmmaker and writer Sara Lukinson revisits some of our favorite movies and characters, setting them against the backdrop of their times, the people who dreamed them up, and the America they reflected—or asked us to imagine. This session focuses on Anatomy of a Murder and 12 Angry Men.

Course
Wednesday, November 10, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Pop music would not be the same without Carole King, Tina Turner, Billy Joel, and Neil Diamond. Their music defined the summer of a generation’s youth, and now the whole world still sings their songs. In this 2-session daytime series, join Sara Lukinson, filmmaker and writer for the Kennedy Center Honors for 38 years, to talk about the lives of these performing arts legends, enjoy clips of their performances, and explore what made them so moving, memorable, and exciting. This session focuses on Carole King and Tina Turner.

Lecture/Seminar
Sunday, November 14, 2021 - 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET

Film music can inspire and romance us, salvage a bad movie and make a good one great. In this weekend series, speaker and concert pianist Rachel Franklin explores the many elements that go into creating an effective score and showcases the memorable work of some of the leading masters of the form. Fasten your seatbelts…it’s going to be a fabulous ride! This session focuses on film music from To Kill a Mockingbird, Psycho, and Planet of the Apes.

Course
Wednesday, November 17, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Pop music would not be the same without Carole King, Tina Turner, Billy Joel, and Neil Diamond. Their music defined the summer of a generation’s youth, and now the whole world still sings their songs. In this 2-session daytime series, join Sara Lukinson, filmmaker and writer for the Kennedy Center Honors for 38 years, to talk about the lives of these performing arts legends, enjoy clips of their performances, and explore what made them so moving, memorable, and exciting. This session focuses on Billy Joel and Neil Diamond.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, December 1, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Hollywood is an industry that has always depended on blockbusters. But beginning in 1974, two young filmmakers, Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, would together change the way the movie industry made movies, introducing the age of the “modern blockbuster,” which featured elaborate special effects and thrilling spectacle. Brian Rose, professor emeritus at Fordham University, looks at their four decades of filmmaking and discusses how they changed the movies.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, December 9, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

The tumultuous friendship between George Harrison and Eric Clapton shaped not only their lives and careers but the shifting face of rock music in the early 1970s. Beatles expert Ken Womack and music historian Jason Kruppa explore the rock legends’ musical and personal collaboration, friendship, and rivalry—and a love triangle for the ages, involving Clapton, Harrison, and Harrison’s wife Pattie Boyd.