Arts & Humanities Society & Culture

Cinema roundtable to highlight 1973 in American film

Richard Neupert

Athens, Ga. – “The Way We Were in 1973: From Mainstream Nostalgia to New Hollywood, Blaxploitation, and Foreign Art Cinema,” the latest in an ongoing series of Cinema Roundtables sponsored by the University of Georgia Jane and Harry Willson Center for Humanities and Arts, will be Oct. 25 at 4 p.m. in Room 150 of the Zell B. Miller Learning Center.

Richard Neupert, Wheatley Professor of the Arts in the UGA Franklin College of Arts and Sciences department of theatre and film studies, will serve as moderator. The panelists are Freda Scott Giles, associate professor of theatre and film studies and African American studies; Rielle Navitski, assistant professor of theatre and film studies; and Christopher Sieving, assistant professor of theatre and film studies.

The discussion expands on the “Now and Then: 1973” exhibit at the Richard B. Russell Building Special Collections Libraries. The exhibit examines the converging and often conflicting American political events of that pivotal year, which saw the unfolding of the Watergate scandal, the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision and the Arab oil embargo.

“Hollywood was truly in transition during the early 1970s,” Neupert said. “The old studio system had crumpled, and downtown theaters were being abandoned for boring suburban malls.

“A few big-budget star vehicles like ‘The Sting’ were strong in 1973, but there was also an explosion of risky projects aimed at niche audiences, including ‘The Exorcist,’ ‘Mean Streets,’ ‘Badlands,’ and Bob Dylan in ‘Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid.’ Plus, there were ‘angry white male’ dramas like ‘Walking Tall’ and ‘Magnum Force’ playing against ‘Cleopatra Jones’ and ‘Coffy.’ We had great new movies by Truffaut, Bergman and Fellini, though ‘Last Tango in Paris’ was dominating the art house box office. It was a great year to see American culture in transition on its movie screens.”

Neupert also will participate in a related discussion and storytelling event, “It Was a Big Year,” Oct. 24 from 7-9 p.m. in Room 285 of the Russell Special Collections Building.

The Willson Center Cinema Roundtable meets to discuss topics of film history, criticism and theory. Neupert, the coordinator of UGA film studies, organizes and moderates the events.

For more information on the “Now and Then: 1973” exhibit, see For more on the “It Was a Big Year” event, see

Willson Center for Humanities and Arts
The Jane and Harry Willson Center for Humanities and Arts is a unit of the Office of the Vice President for Research at UGA. In the service of its mission to promote research and creativity in the humanities and arts, the Willson Center sponsors and participates in numerous public events on and off the UGA campus throughout the academic year. It supports faculty through research grants, lectures, symposia, publications, visiting scholars, visiting artists, collaborative instruction, public conferences, exhibitions and performances. For more information, see