Thursday, March 30, 2023, 6:30 pm to 10:00 pm
Instructor: Andrew Owen, Ph.D., Department of Sociology, Lebanon Valley College
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) envisions its mental hospital as a dystopian world, ruled by authorities possessing a dream of purity, of power for power’s sake, who seek to control all ideology, to subjugate, to enforce conformity and tractability. No one can stand before it. Many gladly surrender to it, rendered docile and happy by medication, dreaming dreams of blissful surrender to the dogma of subservience. It is a domain of bleached halls, padded rooms, straitjackets, and prescribed television, allowing no deviation from the established formula.
Into such an environment strides R.P. McMurphy, like the smirking figure of Pan, the symbol of daring and subversion, refusing to capitulate, offering a toothy grin to the sole of conformity’s boot as it seeks to stomp on his face . . .
Miloš Forman’s adaptation of Ken Kesey’s novel explores the concept of freedom within a society that enforces a doctrine of conformity. This seminar addresses the role of the artist in such an environment, engaging in perpetual conflict with the forces that seek to enslave all in the name of obedience. We’ll examine the importance, as well as the purported dangers, of complete social freedom using classic Greek mythology, contemporary social and political ideology, and the tenets of artistic censorship.
Are you interested in “just” seeing this movie? Visit the public screening page here.
Cinema Classics Seminars offer an entertaining and engaging way to learn more about some of the true classics of world cinema. All students receive an introductory lecture before the film and a guided discussion after the film. In addition, those in attendance receive a ticket to see it on the big screen, as well as popcorn and a drink. Please note: the screening associated with this seminar will be open to the public, as well.
If you are unable to attend this seminar on site, you can rent and stream it in our Remote Classroom beginning a week after the event date.
Please email BMFI Programs and Education Coordinator Jill Malcolm with any questions.