Registration Deadline: July 5
Taught by Joe Frankel
Thursdays 5:00 PM – 6:30 PM
4 Sessions, July 8-29
$125 ($105 for JxJ Donors of certain levels*)

Grab a bucket of popcorn or chow down on your favorite movie treat and kick back and enjoy this unique survey of the blockbuster movies that signal warmer weather and help us ease into a vacation mindset!

The purpose of this course is to deconstruct some of the biggest zeitgeist- busting hits that command the collective consciousness and gain a deeper understanding of what has made them endure in the culture. The best summer movies are often products of contentious collaboration and astonishing financial risk invested in stories that seem destined to fail and yet go on to miraculously connect with a large audience.

Contemplate the making and legacy of four franchise films that raised the bar on modern movie spectacle: Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (May 25, 1977), Raiders of the Lost Ark (June 12, 1981), Back to the Future (July 3, 1985) and Mission Impossible (May 22, 1996). Lively group discussions will unpack the special alchemy that made them so much fun and elevate them beyond their dubious source material.

Taught by award-winning producer and screenwriter Joe Frankel.

Additional streaming film rentals required. The film list is subject to change if streaming availability changes.

Teacher:Joe Frankel has worked as a writer, director and producer, in Toronto, New York and LA, for companies ranging from Cineplex Entertainment to Universal Studios. His credits include a limited series based on The Phantom comics and Steve Guttenberg: Frenchman, a new animated comedy that is under development in Hollywood. In 2019 Joe founded the Imaginary Courtyard content agency and IC Movieology, an online film school that offers courses in film studies and smartphone filmmaking.

Joe is an alumnus of the MFA Screenwriting program at USC, the BFA Film & Video Production program at York University and the co-founder of the Zoom Film Festival a showcase of international student films that just celebrated its 25th anniversary.


*The following JxJ Donors are eligible for class discounts:

  • Fan Level ($175) and above donors renewing their donations for the 2020/2021 Season (gifts received after July 1, 2020).
  • New Donors at the Fan Level ($175) or Above

Use the email address attached to your JxJ account and your donor discount will automatically be taken in your cart. If you have questions, call 202.777.3210 and we will be happy to help you complete your transaction.