Skip to main content
This program is over. Hope you didn't miss it!

How To Watch Movies Like a Film Professor

Evening Lecture/Seminar

Monday, July 19, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET
Code: 1H0609
This program is part of our
Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.
Select your Tickets
Powered by Zoom
Materials for this program

Great film directors all have one thing in common—lofty artistic ambitions. They take on the toughest issues and most provocative social themes of their day hoping to eloquently bring them to life on screen. Utilizing the movie screen the same way great artists gaze upon their canvases, cinema artists know that every inch of the frame offers a crucial opportunity to leave audiences spellbound by their handiwork.

The most challenging directors disguise their bold artistic intentions behind the mask of easily accessible genre forms, often burying something quite profound beneath a story’s glossy surface. This sort of subtext and the prospect of unraveling a hidden encoded message in the fabric of the film’s narrative is what drives some movie lovers (and film professors) to attempt to decipher what is really going on beneath the scenes playing out before our eyes and ears. There is always something mesmerizing to be uncovered in a great film.

Join Yale University film professor Marc Lapadula for a dive into some remarkable examples of cinematic mastery that reflect technical innovation and complex thematic construction. The films selected accomplish their missions by creating some of the most memorable and timeless moments and performances ever captured on celluloid. Clips from You Only Live Once, Sullivan's TravelsTouch of Evil, On the Waterfront, The Night of the Hunter, Rebel Without a Cause, Birdman, and other films are screened.

Patron Information

  • If you register multiple individuals, you will be asked to supply individual names and email addresses so they can receive a Zoom link email. Please note that if there is a change in program schedule or a cancellation, we will notify you via email, and it will be your responsibility to notify other registrants in your group.
  • Unless otherwise noted, registration for streaming programs typically closes two hours prior to the start time on the date of the program.
  • Once registered, patrons should receive an automatic email confirmation from
  • Separate Zoom link information will be emailed closer to the date of the program. If you do not receive your Zoom link information 24 hours prior to the start of the program, please email Customer Service for assistance.
  • View Common FAQs about our Streaming Programs on Zoom.