Leger Grindon

Walter J. Cerf Distinguished Professor

Professor of Film and Media Culture

 work(802) 443-5593
 Spring term: Tuesday 2:00-3:00, Thursday 11:00-12:00, and by appointment
 Axinn Center at Starr Library 214



Leger Grindon is the author of Knockout: the Boxer and Boxing in American Cinema (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2011) http://www.upress.state.ms.us/books/1390, Hollywood Romantic Comedy: Conventions, History, Controversies (Malden, MA.: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011) http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-1405182652.html and Shadows on the Past: Studies in the Historical Fiction Film (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1994).  Professor Grindon received his Ph.D. in Cinema Studies from New York University in 1986. His research and teaching interests include film history, documentary film, Hollywood genres, and film criticism. For more details about his publications and professional activities, connect to his CV.

Professor Grindon's essays and reviews have appeared in numerous critical anthologies as well as journals such as Film Quarterly, Cinema Journal, The Quarterly Review of Film and Video, Film History and The Velvet Light Trap. He served as the Secretary-Treasurer of the Society of Cinema Studies from 1990-1992 and on the editorial board of Cinema Journal from 1999-2002.

In addition, he serves as a faculty associate with the men's tennis team. Leger is an avid tennis player, enjoys cycling and still loves going to the movies. He is a husband and father and has been on the faculty at Middlebury College since 1987.

Interested in exploring film studies? Two books Professor Grindon recommends are:

Movie-Made America: A Cultural History of American Movies by Rober Sklar

Making Movies by Sidney Lumet




Course List: 

Courses offered in the past four years.
indicates offered in the current term
indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]

FMMC 0102 - Film History      

Film History
This course will survey the development of the cinema from 1895 to present. Our study will emphasize film as an evolving art, while bearing in mind the influence of technology, economic institutions, and the political and social contexts in which the films were produced and received. Screenings will include celebrated works from Hollywood and international cinema. 3 hrs. lect./3 hrs. screen ART HIS

Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2017, Fall 2018

More Information »

FMMC 0204 - Hollywood Renaissance, 1967-76      

Hollywood Renaissance, 1967-76
In this course we will study the transition in American film history from the classical studio based production system to contemporary practice, sometimes known as "the Hollywood Renaissance". We will explore numerous changes marking this transition, including the influence of the European "art" cinema, the shift from the Production Code to the current ratings system, the impact of a young generation of filmmakers trained in the academy, developments in film technology, and the social and political changes influencing American culture during this era. Not open to students who have taken FMMC 0330. (FMMC 0101 or FMMC 0102 or by approval) 3 hrs. seminar/3 hr. screen AMR ART NOR

Spring 2016, Fall 2018

More Information »

FMMC 0232 - The Documentary Film      

Documentary: Art of the Nonfiction Film
Documentary film combines nonfiction with an aesthetic aspiration. This course will explore the achievement in the documentary, raising issues about the influence of documentary upon political persuasion, historical memory, the status of film as evidence, and its utility as a means of investigation. Questions will be posed, such as: Can documentary achieve a distinctive understanding of a phenomenon? How does nonfiction address/guide the relationship between sound, image, and subject? The course will offer a historical perspective, as well as study contemporary works, with the aim of preparing students to both understand and produce documentary films. 3 hrs. lect./3 hrs. screen. ART

Fall 2014, Fall 2017

More Information »

FMMC 0238 / AMST 0238 - Film Noir      

Film Noir
A series of urban crime films and melodramas made in Hollywood between 1940-1960, but concentrated in the decade immediately after World War II, have been understood by critics to constitute the movement of film noir. This course will study prominent films from this group as well as contemporary films influenced by them, and the critical literature they have elicited in order to understand the cultural sources, the stylistic attributes, the social significance, and the long-term influence attributed to film noir. 3 hrs. lect./3 hrs. screen. AMR ART NOR

Spring 2015

More Information »

FMMC 0242 / AMST 0242 - Film Comedy      

Film Comedy
A survey of American film comedy from the silent era to contemporary productions. The course will focus on various approaches such as clown comedy, romantic comedy, and satirical comedy. In addition, the course will explore screen comedy in the context of various theories of comedy, including the narrative design, the social dynamics, and the psychological understanding of humor. The filmmakers will include: Chaplin, Keaton, Lubitsch, Wilder, Woody Allen, among others. Screenings, readings and written assignments. 3 hrs. lect./3 hrs. screen. AMR ART NOR

Spring 2016

More Information »

FMMC 0252 - Authorship and Cinema      

Authorship and Cinema
Topic is determined by the instructor - refer to section for the course description. ART

Winter 2018

More Information »

FMMC 0360 - Methods of Film Criticism      

Methods of Film Criticism
In this seminar we will study film criticism. Questions include: How does criticism combine description, analysis, interpretation and evaluation? What are the values and techniques of various methods of film analysis, such as genre, authorship and neo-formalism? What can techniques, such as plot segmentation, teach us about film narrative? How can criticism take into account the response of the spectator? Films considered will be those which raise particular challenges for the film critic. This is an intensive writing course. Assignments will include readings, screenings, class presentations, short papers, and a 10-12 page research essay. (FMMC 0101 or FMMC 0102 or instructor's approval) 3 hrs. lecture/3 hrs. screen. CW

Fall 2015, Spring 2018

More Information »

FMMC 0507 - Independent Project      

Advanced Independent work in Film and Media Culture
Guidelines for submitting proposals are available on the Film & Media Culture web site along with a list of prerequisites.

Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019

More Information »

FMMC 0700 - Senior Tutorial      

Film and Media Senior Tutorial
All FMMC majors must complete this course, in which they undertake a critical essay, a screenplay, or a video. The following prerequisite courses are required: for a video project: FMMC 0105, FMMC 0335, FMMC/CRWR 0106; for a screenwriting project: FMMC 0105, FMMC/CRWR 0106, FMMC/CRWR 0341; for a research essay: demonstrated knowledge in the topic of the essay, as determined in consultation with the project advisor, and coursework relevant to the topic as available.

Spring 2015, Spring 2018, Spring 2019

More Information »

FMMC 1021 - Boxers in US Cinema      

Boxers and Boxing in American Cinema
In this course we will examine the representation of boxing and the boxer in American film, principally fiction film. Popular images of “the fight” and “the fighter” will be investigated and special attention will be given to social conflicts including class, race, and gender expressed through these films. We will study the influence of literature, painting, sports culture, and the film industry upon the evolution of the boxer in American cinema. The formal conventions and innovative practices that organize such representations and, in turn, affect audience response will also be investigated. ART NOR WTR

Winter 2016

More Information »

Favorite Films

(In order of release date)
Charlie Chaplin's 12 Mutual short films made between 1916-17
October [1927, USSR, directed by Sergei Eisenstein],
The Man With a Movie Camera
[1929, USSR, directed by Dziga Vertov],
M [1931, Germany, directed by Fritz Lang, starring Peter Lorre]
Trouble in Paradise [1932, directed by Ernst Lubitsch starring Herbert Marshall and Miriam Hopkins].
The Rules of the Game [1939, France, directed by Jean Renoir, starring Renoir and Marcel Dalio]
Citizen Kane [1941, US, directed by Orson Welles, starring Welles and Joseph Cotton]
Three Hollywood Westerns directed by John Ford: Stagecoach [1939, starring John Wayne], My Darling Clementine [1946, starring Henry Fonda], The Searchers [1956, starring John Wayne]
Late Spring [1949, Japan, directed by Yasujiro Ozu starring Setsuko Hara and Chisu Ryu]
3 Italian films directed by Roberto Rossellini: Paisa [1946], Voyage to Italy [1953], The Rise to Power of Louis XIV [1966],
Sunset Blvd. [1950, US, directed by Billy Wilder starring William Holden],
The Seven Samurai [1954, Japan, directed by Akira Kurosawa],
Vertigo [1958, US, directed by Alfred Hitchcock, starring James Stewart and Kim Novak]
L'Avventura [1960, Italy directed by Michelangelo Antonioni starring Monica Vitti.
My Life to Live, aka Vivre Sa Vie [1962, France, directed by Jean Luc Godard starring Ana Karina]
8 1/2 [1963, Italy directed by Federico Fellini starring Marcello Mastroianni]
2001: A Space Odyssey [1968, US/UK, directed by Stanley Kubrick]

MORE RECENT FAVORITES [from the last decade or so]
The Piano [1993, New Zealand, directed by Jane Campion starring Holly Hunter, Harvey Keitel]
Pulp Fiction [1994, US, directed by Quentin Tarantino starring John Travolta]
Fallen Angels [1995, Hong Kong, directed by Wong Kar-wai]
Sense and Sensibility [1995, UK, directed by Ang Lee starring Emma Thompson]
LA Confidential [1997, US, directed by Curtis Hanson starring Russell Crowe, Kevin Spacey]
The Thin Red Line [1998, US, directed by Terrence Malick
Flowers of Shanghai [1998, Taiwan, directed by Hou Hsiao-Hsien]
Topsy-Turvy [1999, UK, directed by Mike Leigh]
Yi-Yi [2000, Taiwan, directed by Edward Yang]
Mystic River [2003, US, directed by Clint Eastwood starring Sean Penn]
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind [2004, directed by Michel Gondry written by Charlie Kaufman, starring Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet]
Before Sunset [2004, directed by Richard Linklater starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy]
I'm Not There [2007, directed by Todd Haynes starring Cate Blanchett, Heath Ledger]

Department of Film and Media Culture

Axinn Center at Starr Library
15 Old Chapel Road
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753
Fax: 802.443.2805