Film Noir with a Touch of Class: TCM’s “Summer of Darkness” Now in Session!

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School’s not out for summer just yet. This month, class just got a whole lot cooler by letting students and cinema lovers dive deep into the world of film by devoting two to four hours a week, simply watching television. That’s right—you read correctly. Watch television and learn something?

In mid-May, it was announced that the Peabody Award-winning television network, Turner Classic Movies would collaborate with one of the nation’s best public institutions, Ball State University on the Canvas Network for a free online course open to the public. Leaping into the world of film noir with the help of social media, the course is one of several interactive efforts from the television broadcaster in hopes to connect audiences from around the world to study and appreciate the roots of this beloved, classic genre.

As a life-long fan of Turner Classic Movies and a student at Ball State, I truly believe this groundbreaking course redefines the medium of education, setting a definitive precedent for advanced learning that is open to all. It’s a big step forward into the tech-driven classroom culture and with the blend of television, this makes the experience all the more fun for everyone involved. Online education has exploded in recent years, giving students the chance to explore beyond the classroom and interact with technology, but this course is different in the sense that it’s not as isolating. With the combination of video lessons and lectures with social media, students will not just focus on the films itself, but gain knowledge from public discussion with others. The nine-week course running concurrently with TCM’s Summer of Darkness programming event (an annual tradition first introduced in 1999) will air 120 noir classics in 24-hour marathons every Friday in the month of June and July.

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