Mills Panoram and Soundies
In the 1940s, these short films set to music transgressed Hollywood’s racial mythology to create space for Black artists to experiment—and have fun.
How Films Can Teach History
By viewing movies like The Manchurian Candidate, students can see one version of history that they can then use to dig deeper, explore more.
Colonialism Birthed the Zombie Movie
The first feature-length zombie movie emerged from Haitians’ longstanding association of the living dead with slavery and exploited labor.
The Confounding Career of William Klein
The American artist brought the physical world into fashion photography in ways that were often unappreciated or unpredictable.
By the time L. Frank Baum introduced the world to Dorothy and the gang, he’d already made his name as a shop window dresser par excellence.
How “Talkies” Disrupted Movies for Deaf People
The years of silent films are sometimes described as a "golden era" in the cultural history of the American Deaf community.
Fear of an Insect Planet
"Big bug movies" of the 1950s have been interpreted as projections of nuclear anxieties. But what if they were about...actual fear of bugs?
How Two Kansans Invented the Safari Documentary
Martin and Osa Johnson were celebrities in their day, but their vision of Africa was way out of touch with reality.
When the CIA Was Everywhere—Except on Screen
Hollywood was just fine avoiding all portrayals of the Central Intelligence Agency for years after the agency's founding in 1947.
The Private Life of a Cat
Maya Deren was a fringe filmmaker who existed far outside the Hollywood machine, but she often borrowed its tactics to promote herself and her movies.