TCM Is Presenting a Free Online Summer Course in Film Noir

Fred MacMurray in "Double Indemnity"

The phrase “summer school” usually dredges up all sorts of unpleasant connotations—unless you’re a big Mark Harmon fan—but this is just about the coolest summer learning program we can imagine: a nine-week course in film noir. And it’s presented by Turner Classic Movies. And it’s free.

Hat tip to Cinematically Insane for flagging “TCM Presents Into the Darkness: Investigating Film Noir,” an online course from the Canvas Network, defined as “a flexible, multimedia investigation and celebration of film noir.” The course is tied to TCM’s noir retrospective “Summer of Darkness,” wherein the network will run 120 noir classics in 24-hour marathons, over a series of Fridays in June and July. That obviously makes for some grade-A course viewing, but you don’t even have to be a TCM subscriber to take the course; per the syllabus, “we will have free links to online public domain films noir, so anyone can participate fully in this course.”

The course will use social media, Google Hangouts, and the like to allow anyone to participate who wants to—and those who do will receive a certificate of completion at its conclusion. (Put that bad boy up next to your MFA.) And your instructor is no slouch, either; it’ll be taught by Richard L. Edwards, Ph.D., who co-hosts the “Out of the Past: Investigating Film Noir” podcast.

You can register for the course here. Or, ya know, just make a note that TCM’s running over a hundred film noir classics this summer, either way’s fine.