In the interest of continuing education I'm enrolled in the Enlightenment through Film Certificate Program at George Clooney University. Not only do you get George, but some of the other profs are pretty awesome too. I'm a little behind on the coursework, but wanted to share some favorite classes with my take on course materials.
Matt Damon - Howard Zinn Chair of Social Justice in International Affairs
Ben Affleck - Henry Fonda Chair of American History
Steven Soderbergh - John Cassavetes Chair of Philosophy
Richard Linklater - Philip K. Dick Chair of Psychology in Time
Stephen Gaghan - Christiane Amanpour Chair of Journalism
ART HIST - Monument's Men - (taught by George, co-taught by Matt Damon) An Ocean's Eleven romp through the art policies of the Nazis. This course offers an introduction to the importance of cultural preservation. Prerequisites: None. Textbook: Saving Italy by Robert M. Edsel. Learn More: The Rape of Europa Film and Book. For the Middle Grade to Young Adult student: Heist Society by Ally Carter.
HIST - Good Night and Good Luck - In this course you'll explore the history of government agencies suppressing free speech in the name of anti-communism and role of journalism in exposing government tactics through the work of Edward R. Murrow. Prerequisite: For McCarthyism in Hollywood - The Way We Were. Textbook: Edward R. Murrow and the Birth of Broadcast Journalism by Bob Edwards. Were McCarthy's tactics all that different from the Stasi in The Lives of Others? See more fearless journalism in Absence of Malice, All the President's Men, The China Syndrome and Veronica Guerin.
HIST - Syriana (taught by Stephen Gaghan, co-taught by George and Matt Damon). Oil and World Politics. How the fight for control over one of modern history's most important resources affects the global pulse. Textbook: See No Evil by Robert Baer Learn More: The Oil Trusts and Anglo-American Relations. Co-written by an MI5 spy 90 years ago. For Discussion in Current Events: Khodorkovsky.
HIST - Argo - (taught by Ben Affleck) - A highly dramatized version of the Canadian Caper, the escape of six American embassy workers posing as Canadian film makers during the Iran Hostage Crisis. Textbook: Taken Hostage: The Iran Hostage Crisis and America's First Encounter with Radical Islam by David Farber For Discussion: What can be learned from early 20th century Pan-Islamic radicalism and its source in controlling powers? See Russian Roulette: How British Spies Thwarted Lenin's Plot for Global Revolution by Giles Milton and The Russian Connection of the Indian Muhajirin: 1920-1924 and Pan-Islam in British India by M. Naeem Qureshi Also For Discussion: How closely should film stick to facts in movies based on true stories? See OSCARS: Filmmakers Walk A Fine Line When Dramatizing Real-Life Events
HIST - Leatherheads - Learn how football uses and is effected by the media and current events, circa 1925. Prerequisites: None Textbook: Sports Governance, Development and Corporate Responsibility For Discussion in Current Events: Anna Isaacson - Today's woman in the make or break hot seat of the NFL. and NFL announces four women will help shape league policy.
PHIL - Solaris (taught by Steven Soderbergh) What is life in the mind, in the body? Life on earth and in the universe? Prerequisites: None Textbook: Solaris by Stanislaw Lem Learn More: Summa technologiae by Stanislaw Lem. For discussion: What memory do you save when the body is gone? After Life.
PSYCH - A Scanner Darkly - (taught by Richard Linklater, co-taught by Soderbergh with George as producer) Linklater's deep dive into the well of Philip K. Dick. In this course you'll explore the sacrifices a government and individuals will make to fight the war on drugs. Textbook: A Scanner Darkly by Philip K. Dick Prerequisite: Minority Report Learn More: The Shifting Realities of Philip K. Dick: Selected Literary and Philosophical Writings by Philip K. Dick (Author) Lawrence Sutin (Editor) For Discussion: Gaghan's Traffic, of course.