Associate Professor Lesley Marx, Centre for Film and Media Studies, University of Cape Town

Judy Garland celebrates the Easter parade down Fifth Avenue; Gene Kelly rhapsodies about this ‘wonderful town where the Bronx is up and the Battery’s down and people ride in a hole in the ground’; Liza Minnelli dreams of waking up in the ‘city that doesn’t sleep’ and Billy Joel sings soulfully of his ‘New York state of mind’. At once vital and violent, gorgeous and gaudy, this city has inspired writers and filmmakers to create work that thrills, horrifies and enchants. The course will start with an overview of the history and myths of New York and then focus on film adaptations of key novels by Edith Wharton and Henry James, groundbreaking gangster films of the Depression years and later innovations, spellbinding musicals and delectable romances.



1.  ‘The Jewelled City of the North’

2. Old New York: The Heiress and The Age of Innocence

3. Gangster New York: from Curtiz and Coppola to Scorsese

4. Musical New York: from Broadway Melody to West Side Story

5. Romantic New York: affairs to remember with Audrey and Meg and Cher


Recommended reading (any edition)

Jordan Belfort, The Wolf of Wall Street
Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Henry James, Washington Square
Nicholas Pileggi, Wiseguy
Mario Puzo, The Godfather
Damon Runyan, “The Idyll of Miss Sarah Brown”
William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet
Edith Wharton, The Age of Innocence



Date: 20–24 January
Time: 3.00 pm
COURSE FEES Full R590 Staff & Students R295
Venue: LT1 Kramer Law Building UCT