‘MTSU On the Record’ sits in on ’70s films for pro...

‘MTSU On the Record’ sits in on ’70s films for professor’s fall honors course

The decade when American films took a dramatically different artistic turn was the subject of a recent “MTSU On the Record” radio program.

Dr. Will Brantley

Host Gina Logue’s interview with English professor and film aficionado Dr. Will Brantley first aired Aug. 22 on WMOT-FM Roots Radio 89.5 and You can listen to their conversation above.

Brantley will teach “American Film in the ’70s,” an honors interdisciplinary seminar, from 6 to 9 p.m. each Wednesday during the fall 2017 semester. It is open to students who have completed the general studies requirements in English and can be counted as three hours of upper-division English credit.

Film critics regard the 1970s as a halcyon period of creativity for American films as directors such as Francis Ford Coppola, Robert Altman, Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg came into their own.

WMOT Roots Radio-new logo-2017 web Owing to the seeds of distrust that had been sown by the Vietnam War and the Watergate scandal, the films reflected a skepticism and tendency to challenge established views that prior films had not displayed.

“The studio system found itself in disarray and was willing to try new things and to turn power over to some filmmakers who wouldn’t have had that much power previously,” said Brantley.

“They almost, to a fault, rejected the happy ending. They valued ambiguity. They valued raising questions as opposed to answering them.”

Scheduled screenings for the course include “Five Easy Pieces,” “Taxi Driver,” “The Deer Hunter,” “The Conversation,” “Nashville,” “The Last Picture Show,” “Cabaret” and “Carrie.”

To hear previous “MTSU On the Record” programs, visit the searchable “Audio Clips” archives at

For more information about “MTSU On the Record,” contact Logue at 615-898-5081 or WMOT-FM at 615-898-2800.

This still from the 1975 satirical film “Nashville,” directed by Robert Altman, depicts the climactic rally at the Parthenon in Centennial Park for a fabricated presidential candidate. Dr. Will Brantley of MTSU’s English department will discuss this film and others from the 1970s in an honors class this fall and on the Aug. 22 and 27 editions of “MTSU On the Record.” (photo courtesy of Paramount Pictures/Viacom)