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screenwriting program, long one of the department’s strongest, can
now boast of an astonishing list of big-time screenwriter alums.
Last summer’s top four films were all written by UCLA educated screenwriters:
Con Air (Scott Rosenberg), Jurassic Park: The Lost World (David
Koepp), Face/Off (Michael Colleary) and Men in Black (Ed Solomon).
Add to the Summer ’97 hit list the box office success George of
the Jungle (Audrey Wells) and the critically acclaimed independent
picture, Ulee’s Gold (Nunez). UCLA’s critical studies program in
cinema came into full flower at the end of the seventies and is
today flourishing. More and more universities nationwide now offer
classes in film history, theory and criticism, and of the new generation
of film educators, many studied at UCLA. Film preservationists and
archivists trained at UCLA now do important work at the UCLA Film
and Television Archive, the Sundance Institute, the American Film
Institute and other major repositories for motion pictures. With
the digital revolution already bringing about dramatic changes in
how movies are made and distributed, the UCLA film program is moving
into its second half-century of educating not only America’s future
filmmakers, but its future filmgoers as well.
Lewis is Professor of English at Oregon State University. His most
recent book, The New American Cinema, is published by Duke University