Leger Grindon

Emeritus Professor of Film and Media Culture



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 - Global Film Histories      

Global Film Histories
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 representative and celebrated works from world cinema. 3 hrs. lect./3 hrs. screen ART HIS

Fall 2018, Fall 2019

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FMMC 0204 - Clas Hollywood/New Hollywood      

Classic Hollywood/New Hollywood
During the period know as “New Hollywood” (1967-76), American filmmakers routinely turned to classical genres as a way both to celebrate the films that had inspired them and to re-think their values and themes in light of the changes in American culture during that period. In this class, we will focus on three film genres (detective, western, and gangster films) and will view classical versions and New Hollywood reworkings. Films screened will include The Maltese Falcon (1940), Chinatown (1974), My Darling Clementine (1946), McCabe & Mrs Miller (1971), Little Caesar (1931), and The Godfather (1972), among others. (FMMC 0101 or FMMC 0102 or by approval) 3 hrs. seminar/3 hr. screen AMR ART NOR

Fall 2018

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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 2019

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FMMC 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 2019

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FMMC 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 2019

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FMMC 0507 - Independent Project      

Advanced Independent work in Film and Media Culture
Consult with a Film and Media Culture faculty member for guidelines.

Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Fall 2020

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FMMC 0707 - Senior Independent Work      

Senior Independent Work
After completing FMMC 0700, seniors may be approved to complete the project they developed during the previous Fall semester by registering for this independent course during the Winter Term, typically supervised by their faculty member from FMMC 0700. Students will complete an independent project in a choice of medium and format, as outlined on the departmental website. This course does not count toward the required number of credits for majors, but is required to be considered for departmental honors. In exceptional cases, students may petition to complete their projects during Spring semester.

Winter 2019

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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