Dreams of Flight: The Great Escape in American Film and Culture

Thursday, 3 March 2022, 9:30 a.m. on Zoom (ID: 984 9799 8991)

Caught on film, the iconic jump of Virgil Hilts (Steve McQueen) leaping over an imposing barbed wire fence on a stolen chopper in The Great Escape (1963) has become the
unforgettable symbol of a disaffected 1960s America. In his presentation, Polan brings the film into conversation with cultural and intellectual history of the times. He examines the film’s production history, including prior adaptations of celebrated author Paul Brickhill’s original nonfiction book about the escape, and compare the cinematic fiction to the real events of the escape in 1944.

DANA POLAN is Professor of Cinema Studies in the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. He is the author of 10 books in film and media studies and of approximately 200 essays, reviews, and review-essays. He is a former president of the Society for Cinema Studies, the primary professional organization for the field, and former editor of its publication, Cinema Journal. He has been knighted by the Ministry of Culture of the French government for contributions to cross-cultural exchange. In 2002, he was selected as one of the two Academy Scholars for that year by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Host: Professor Zhu Ying (Academy of Film, Hong Kong Baptist University)

Discussant: Professor Ellen Seiter (Academy of Film, Hong Kong Baptist University)

For enquiries: fmiresearch@hkbu.edu.hk

Organized by Centre for Film and Moving Image Research of Academy of Film