American Cinema of the 1960s: Themes and Variations (Screen Decades: American Culture/American Cinema)

Alfred Stieglitz and the American Avant-Grade
Free download. Book file PDF easily for everyone and every device. You can download and read online American Cinema of the 1960s: Themes and Variations (Screen Decades: American Culture/American Cinema) file PDF Book only if you are registered here. And also you can download or read online all Book PDF file that related with American Cinema of the 1960s: Themes and Variations (Screen Decades: American Culture/American Cinema) book. Happy reading American Cinema of the 1960s: Themes and Variations (Screen Decades: American Culture/American Cinema) Bookeveryone. Download file Free Book PDF American Cinema of the 1960s: Themes and Variations (Screen Decades: American Culture/American Cinema) at Complete PDF Library. This Book have some digital formats such us :paperbook, ebook, kindle, epub, fb2 and another formats. Here is The CompletePDF Book Library. It's free to register here to get Book file PDF American Cinema of the 1960s: Themes and Variations (Screen Decades: American Culture/American Cinema) Pocket Guide. Cute extraterrestrials revivified the year's second highest grosser, Men in Black, and George Lucas hit pay dirt with a reissue of his Star Wars trilogy. Other figures exhumed from Hollywood's crypt via sequels and remakes included James Bond in Tomorrow Never Dies, the duo of Batman and Robin, blaxploitation star Pam Grier through Quentin Tarantino's Jackie Brown , Ripley and her alien opponent in Alien 3, werewolves in the remake of An American Werewolf in Paris, the absent-minded professor in Flubber, the comic book Neanderthal in George of the Jungle, and the live-action but still myopic title character in Mr.

More sophisticated evocations of old times brought modest returns but better critical notices. With Boogie Nights, indie film maverick Paul Thomas Anderson boosted his commercial appeal by renewing interest in seventies pornography and the myth of John Holmes.

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Curtis Hanson's L. Confidential channeled American film noir and breathed life into the career of Kim Basinger. In The Ice Storm, Ang Lee returned to the scene of the sexual revolution in s suburbia to show how the children of two swinging couples pay dearly for the sins of their parents. The film's deathby- electrocution climax, aided by the forces of nature, befitted Lee's disarmingly moralistic perspective on the heyday of sexual liberation. On the independent front, the critical acclaim and profits fetched by playwright Neil LaBute's In the Company of Men fed the dreams of the country's young directors.

But their commercial success was not necessarily a good thing, according to Spike Lee, who publicly criticized some of the comedies for being "coonish" and "clownish" Judell; Merida. While this diverse corpus of films does not easily suggest a common theme or represent a specific development in Hollywood aesthetics and industry, a striking constellation of historical films commands attention, first and foremost for their authorial pedigree: Steven Spielberg's Amistad, Spike Lee's 4 Little Girls, Martin Scorsese's Kundun, and James Cameron's Titanic.

By linking these films to some of the year's most pressing issues and elucidating their discourses on the essential stuff of history-corpses, commerce, catastrophe, and the like-one can explore and answer questions of how and for what purpose they summon the usable past. N2 - The animus of this year is a peculiar melange of death, commerce, and corpses. AB - The animus of this year is a peculiar melange of death, commerce, and corpses. Abstract The animus of this year is a peculiar melange of death, commerce, and corpses. Fingerprint Movies. Films advocating Progressive reforms or, alternately, those highlighting the damage done by sanctimo- nious meddlers might fall within this category.

Typically, such social prob- lem films forward some clearly communicated didactic position. Alternately, a film might tap into topical issues less for the sake of earnest message-mongering than for sensationalism and curiosity value. Many films, like those in the white slavery cycle of this decade, harbor some degree of ambiguity in this regard, accommodating opposing assessments of their motivations. Or, as it is commonly argued — probably correctly — films can or cannot help but reflect their cultural moment and influence spectators' conceptions of the world, in a more implicit, non-intentionalist way by displaying contemporary customs, norms, manners, lifestyles, trends, fashions, behaviors, tacit assumptions, material environments, con- sumer ideals, and so on.

It is unlikely that a director shooting a thrilling race-to-the-rescue chase between a locomotive and a roadster, incorporat- ing telegraphs, cut phone lines, and so on, proceeded with any consciously formulated objective of reflecting "modernity" or the spatio-temporal transformations brought about by new technologies. These elements of iconography are the raw materials for constructing stories and only inad- vertently chronicle the cultural milieu.

Finally, films often reflect their times in deliberate but indirect ways that normally fall even further below the threshold of spectator awareness. A case in point would be a kind of negative reflectionism underlying what kinds of films are not produced at a given historical juncture. One might assume that World War I primarily shaped American cinema through forces of propaganda motivating depic- tions of Hun atrocities or through moderately topical reportage motivat- ing representations of the experiences of doughboys or of the folks back home. But the war probably shaped American cinema more substantially through producers' sensitivity to escapist counter-impulses and situational biases.

As Adolph Zukor observed in , There are some styles that none of the people want right now. They do not want "costume" plays, fairy stories, or anything that is morbid or depressing. In these war times, there is enough of the depressing in the air and people go to the movies to be amused.

Therefore we have to cut out all cos- tume play, "wig stuff," and "sob stuff. They do not care for war drama except in small doses and then only if the scenes are real and there is not too much featuring of some actor who they may think ought to be at the front and not merely playing at being a soldier. Throughout, it should be borne in mind that the two interacted in many different and complicated ways. This vol- ume highlights some of the most illuminating examples of their crucial interrelationship.

But others saw the movies growing into the new century's defining mode of entertainment, and perhaps destined for something more. Typical, in both its awe over the phenomenon and its worry over unruly audiences and under-regulated films, was a magazine piece titled "A Theatre with a 5,, Audience": Squads of police are necessary in many places to keep in line the expectant throngs awaiting their turn to enter the inner glories.

Five million people are thought to be in daily attendance at the picture shows. If it is a matter of public concern what sort of plays are run on the stage and what sort of arti- cles are published in the newspapers and magazines, it is surely important that the subject-matter of the most popular medium of reaching the people be at least not degrading. This chapter looks into a few of the more revealing movies of the year — a year without any agreed-upon canonical masterworks — and into some of the fears and dreams that movies inspired, but it helps first to remember what it was like to live then.

Because it was a federal census year, it is possible to characterize life in the United States with a little more precision than usual. The population was less than a third of what it is today, some 92 million. The frontier lingered: the Pacific and Moun- tain West remained male-dominated with men per women , while New England had more women than men. European immigration had declined from its peak of three years earlier in the face of nativist resentments and labor union pressures, although close to two million entered during the year, most settling in larger cities.

For all the focus in the muckraking press on the problems of crowded cities, however, America was still predominantly a rural and small-town country: more than half the nation lived in communities of less than 2, Agriculture remained the largest occupation, accounting for some 12 million of the nation's 37 million workers, but if one includes manufacturing, construction, and mining in "industry," that adds up to another 11 million in occupations that were often dangerous: about 2 5, were killed in industrial accidents during the year U.

Rapid communication and transportation were still available only to a few. Eighty-five percent of homes lacked electricity; there was one tele- phone for every ninety people; less than 5 percent of eighteen- to twenty- one-year-olds went on to college Schlereth ; Cooper The number of automobiles had grown to almost half a million from fewer than ten thousand at the turn of the century , but that meant just one for every two hundred people Cooper Long-distance travel meant tak- ing the railroads; travel within cities generally meant taking streetcars or trolleys.

Rural travel meant walking or riding a horse, mule, or horse- drawn wagon. Even New York City had a horse population sufficient — as one of the era's intrepid statisticians calculated — to deposit three million pounds of manure and sixty thousand gallons of urine on its streets every day Schlereth 20, With the year's first tests of electric "self-starters" in place of hand cranks on cars, driving was opening more widely to women Cooper Seven million of the nation's wage earners were women, who still had vot- ing rights in only four sparsely populated western states.

The November election added one more western state, Washington. More significant, how- ever, was the increased shift toward a national suffrage campaign, includ- ing more activist tactics by the women's movement, such as the first large U. Economically, it was a prosperous time, following the recession of American Federation of Labor unions had tripled in size since the turn of century, to 1.

President William Howard Taft, who had taken office the year previous, was more of an activist trustbuster than his pred- ecessor, Theodore Roosevelt, but lacked the former president's charisma. The national midterm election ushered in a decade of Democratic control, with Taft's Republican Party ceding the House of Rep- resentatives for the first time in sixteen years and losing ten seats in the ninety-two-man Senate. Roosevelt as a New York state senator. The year saw many reports about the demise of live popular theater, and with surprisingly little lament.

A New York Times article, "Moving Pictures Sound Melodrama's Knell," asked, "Why pay 30 cents to see a rehash of an ancient theme by an obsolete troupe of archaic players when for 10 cents the village critic can see Reformers were not amused. Dour accounts of the typical moviegoing experience regularly appeared in muckraking periodicals like McClure's Magazine, which reported that "the moving-picture show has become a problem in all large cities," especially because "the managers paid no attention to ventilation" Hendrick Health magazine fretted over "eye strain," "unsanitary conditions," "foul air," as well as "another aspect.

The performances being of necessity given in a darkened house, opportunity for undue familiarity between the sexes is afforded" "Moving Pictures". Few others hesitated to dwell on the opportunities dark theaters afforded for fraternizing between the sexes. The key technical fact about American movies in the immediate pre- feature era — central to both moviegoing this year and to the sense one can feel today of these films' desperate narrative compression — is that virtually all films were standardized at "one reel" in length that is, from about feet to a maximum of 1, feet of 35 mm film.

This meant that the longest films, seen at the slowest of the variable projection speeds, would run about seventeen minutes. Films were virtually everywhere, not only in schools, YMCAs, and department stores. Contrary to the nervous troubles predicted for viewers by Health, the Nebraska state asylum for the insane installed a projector because "these pictures appear to soothe patients and.

A screen was installed for bored commuters in Pittsburgh's central railroad station, with films changed daily, if subjected to one bit of censorship: "'There will be no pictures of train robberies,' said Albert Swinehart, who is in charge of the Pennsylvania Railroad detectives, 'nor of train wrecks. It would leave a bad impression on the minds of the travel- ers'" "Films for Commuters". At nickelodeons, moviegoers came to know on which days of the week new films from their favorite companies were shown; the most popular were from Vitagraph and Biograph.

Sadly for today's viewers, a huge fire in July at Vitagraph's Manhattan studio ignited the company's entire twelve- year library — one factor in the poor survival rate now of Vitagraph films " Trapped". This was also the year when the monopolistic Motion Pic- ture Patents Company — known to most simply as "the Trust" — was at its most powerful, but behind the scenes came the first hints that the industry was already growing out of its control.

An early indication of the emerging star system came when Carl Laemmle's aggressive Independent Moving Picture Company known by its IMP or "Imp" acronym tempted away the most recognizable actresses — Florence Lawrence and then eighteen-year-old Mary Pickford — from the Biograph Company, which was holding out against mention of its actors' names. Lawrence, the "Biograph Girl," had jumped to IMP near the end of the previous year, and it was in March that the company sprang the era's best-remembered publicity stunt, planting news stories of her death and then piously refuting them in "We Nail a Lie" advertisements Bowser ; Abel The term "star" seems to have first been applied to film actors early this year, and a February Los Angeles Times article described how fans 30 SCOTT SIMMON recognized favorite players even when films and promotional posters lacked credits: "Regular patrons of the many moving picture theaters of the city — and most of the patrons are regulars — have learned to know the different characters of the pictures, and no matter what character is assumed by the actors, their mannerisms are easily detected.

To see those whom they have learned to know, large numbers of them flock to the motion picture theaters. As another February Los Angeles Times article noted about location shooting, "The participants have been handicapped by the number of spec- tators. That is one of the things most dreaded by the picture actors" "In the Motion". Movie fan culture had evidently arrived. The L. With the Trust companies and Inde- pendents together supplying about fifty films a week, studios couldn't dream of slowing for the winter.

The Los Angeles Times already trumpeted that the "Climate and Scenic Settings Here are Ideal" for motion pictures in February, when it counted "upward of " production personnel in the city. With the many new warm-weather studio locations — including IMP in Cuba, Melies in San Antonio, Vitagraph in San Diego, and Essanay in northern California — few would yet have guessed that "Hollywood" alone would win out and become synonymous with American studio filmmaking, but the Times exhibited a prescient boosterism in talking about the touring companies: "At first they came here to escape the snow and ice, but the bright quality of the sunshine and the number of clear days in which they may work, together with the variety of scenery, has all been found ideal, and their making here is now permanent" "In the Motion".

Those first fan-culture articles also give hints about who was going to the movies this year. To judge from commentaries and a precious few sur- veys, what was new about the audiences, especially in comparison with those who attended live melodrama and vaudeville, was the increased pro- portion of children and young women, and notably from the working classes. It's anecdotally evident too that most polite society did not deign to go to nickelodeons — although they would willingly see movies in lecture halls and the other socially acceptable venues.

The relatively short dura- tion of nickelodeon programs — typically about an hour this year — also meant that workers were able to squeeze in time for movies, even when only 8 percent of them had a regular schedule of forty-eight hours a week or less Cashman, Ascendant A survey by the reformist Russell Sage Foundation about the mill town of Homestead, Pennsylvania, discovered that "many people.

On a Saturday afternoon visit to a nickelodeon, which advertised that it admit- ted two children on one ticket, I was surprised to find a large proportion of men in the audience" Byington Though this report's author was taken aback by the number of men in the audience, worried reformers focused much more on children and female viewers. A survey of a Connecticut town at the end of the year found 90 percent of children ten to fourteen going to the movies, more than half attending once a week or more, and over a third going without a parent or guardian Jump.

Percentages in a survey by New York City's reformist People's Institute were higher, with "fully three-quarters of the children" attending at least once a week Inglis. Concerns about children centered on their exposure to films about crime, and a seemingly endless series of news stories bemoaned how previously angelic kids spiraled downward toward their destruction because of the movies. She told the judge she had devised the scheme by combining plots from two films.

Her hapless father, who had taken her to those movies himself, received a stern lecture from the judge: "Fathers should be very careful about such things and see to it that pictures that exert evil influence are not seen by their children. The New York Times con- cluded in August that the growth in such crimes could only be explained by the hypnotic power of film on the susceptible young "Moving Pic- ture Hypnosis".

Recurring worries about the morals of teenaged girls and young women permeated such accounts, prompting claims that their repeated attendance at movies would lead to the compromising of those morals. Because they could be paid less, women had for some time been replacing male workers 32 SCOTT SIMMON in increasingly mechanized factories, and for more tfian a decade women hiad dominated tfie sales force in department stores Schlereth 57, The special problem for reformers was that long working hours meant that young women were now going to the movies unchaperoned in the late evenings, too.

The president of Chicago's Juvenile Protective Association in reporting on this survey warned that in nickelodeons "the darkness afforded a cover for familiarity and sometimes even for immorality" de Koven Bowen 56, Its heroine, Mary, a high school senior in a small Pennsylvania town, allows herself to be taken to a nick- elodeon by a handsome Hungarian immigrant. The chase comedy they watch seems unobjectionable, but it is shot in New York City and the chase goes past the Waldorf and Park Avenue hotels, plunging Mary into a "fairy- land" of riches.

Twenty pages later, she's in Lower Manhattan, her drink drugged, and the next morning she wakes up naked in a strange brass bed, her face in the mirror "alien, a ruin, an accusation. Lest anyone think the novel exaggerated, later editions reprinted as an appen- dix the June findings of a New York grand jury — known as the Rockefeller Report — on the "white slave traffic. In spite of the activities of the authorities in watching these places, many girls owe their ruin to frequenting them" Kauffman The same month. Judge Frederick B. House made a sweeping indictment: "Ninety-five per- cent of the moving picture houses in New York are dens of iniquity.

More young women and girls are led astray in these places than in any other way" "Unwarranted". While commentators feared the influence of moviegoing on young women, a few pointed out how women might be influencing motion pic- tures. As Bertha Richardson suggested in her revision of The Woman Who Spends: A Study of Her Economic Function, women were a growing force in "the economics of consumption, otherwise known as the spending of their money" The nickels from new audiences added up, and the year saw active, heroic female leads take the screen.

As Eileen Bowser points out, in this era when nickelodeon programs always were built from several short films, exhibitors expected to receive new films in three large genre categories — comedies, dramas, and westerns. A "balanced program" of genres was the ideal Bowser Below we look into a few genre films as well as a couple of less easily classifiable titles, and take as our guides the year's many female heroines: in the social drama A Child of the Ghetto, the westerns Ramona and The Red Girl and the Child, the Civil War film The House with Closed Shutters, the Shakespeare adaptation Twelfth Night, and the advertis- ing film The Stenographer's Friend.

One fact needs noting about the films of this year: more than in any other except , film survival distorts film history. It is not possible to say with any precision how many films in total were made in the United States this year — there are no surviving production records for most companies and most nonfiction film types — but it would be a reasonable guess that at least 3, films were released.

This impressive number is less surprising when one remembers that most theaters changed programs daily and that the Trust and Independent distribution "exchanges" competed, each with a full slate of releases. Another fair guess would be that at least 90 percent of these titles are now "lost" — that is, all copies were thrown away, allowed to deteriorate, or burned in such fires as the one at Vitagraph. This has been the common fate of the first thirty-five years of filmmaking worldwide, but the particular distortions this year come from an unusual imbalance.

Films directed by D. Griffith for the Biograph Company represent more than one -quarter of the surviving U. A full history would want to correct this imbalance, but one-reel films from the pre-feature era remain difficult enough to see under any cir- cumstances, and so I have chosen titles to discuss below mainly from among those available on video. It is compensation that, this year at least, Griffith's films are unrivaled in stylistic sophistication, if not in their range of subjects. Griffith's A Child of the Ghetto manages to be both a documentary-inflected look at social problems and a timeless fable.

It opens in a dingy tenement room in Manhattan's Jewish ghetto, as a girl in her late teens Dorothy West watches her mother die. In a ghetto garment shop, she picks up home-assembly work, but when she brings back the finished goods, the owner's son plants on her money stolen from his father's wallet — leading to the presumption of her guilt and pursuit by a policeman.

Officer Quinn. She loses him on the Lower East Side and hops a trolley into the country, where she flees along a dirt road until collapsing outside the gate of a rural home. Rescued by a farmer and his mother, she "learns to smile" and to find love. Some time later. Officer Quinn heads out for "a day's fishing" and stops for water at that very farm.

Such coincidence is at the core of melodrama. Quinn finally does puzzle out the mystery and runs back to make the arrest. But her pleas, or perhaps just the country atmos- phere, make him hesitate, and when the farmer walks up, Quinn pretends to search for something lost in the grass to explain his return. He strolls back to the river with a smile. The film, like so many this year, draws from America's long cultural clash between urban modernity and rural traditionalism.

The speed with which films were made and released meant that it was easy for them to react to contemporary events. A Child of the Ghetto may have drawn one inspiration from the New York City garment workers strike known in labor history as the "Uprising of the Twenty Thousand," which was settled in Feb- ruary. Especially newsworthy — thanks to the backing from Manhattan socialites — was the strike's leadership by the teenaged Clara Lemlich, who used Yiddish to rally the strikers, young women earning about six dollars a week Howe Filmed two months after the conclusion of the strike and released to theaters in June, A Child of the Ghetto feels like a nos- talgic recuperation of the sympathy shown by the public — and no doubt especially by nickelodeon audiences — to the plight of young garment work- ers.

A slatternly landlady shoos the girl into the streets after her mother's death, a melodramatic enactment of the fact that housing for "fighting life's battle alone" was simply not affordable on one garment worker's salary. About 90 percent of female factory workers and clerks lived with other family members [Peiss 52, ]. Unlike the film's documentary snapshot of the city, the rural world — with its lazy river, broad shade trees, and grazing cows — comes across as a timeless "pastoral" a genre category in Biograph's advertisements this year for In the Season of Buds and A Summer Idyl.

Three dancing girls, dressed in white, laughing, waving blossoming branches, are presumably younger sis- ters of the farmer but also symbols of the bucolic freedom thus far denied the immigrant city girl. The film's solution will be to integrate the Jewish girl into a country home just as the Irish cop Quinn represents an earlier wave of assimilated immigrants and to protest the masculine bustle of commerce via female images. Biograph films this year are less sympathetic to men who complain of the urban system, as in The Iconoclast, where a printing plant worker's sarcastic gestural style illustrates — in the words of the company's publicity — how "selfishness is the seed of irrational social- ism, nurtured mainly by laziness and, very often, drink.

Jane Addams asked, "Is that dreariness in city life, that lack of domesticity which the humblest farm dwelling presents, due to a with- drawal of one of the naturally cooperating forces? If women have in any sense been responsible for the gentler side of life which softens and blurs some of its harsher conditions, may they not have a duty to perform in our American cities? A Child of the Ghetto critiques urban problems via longstanding romantic ideals, both of pastoralism and the woman- centered home. The film has the year's typical style. Compared to , editing tempos are slightly faster, cameras move slightly closer to the actors, who are more restrained, and intertitles are slightly more frequent Keil, Early 62, George O.

Nichols as "Officer Quinn" manages to convey a complex series of emotions primarily through facial expression — when he puzzles out just where he might have previously seen the girl. Previously the camera was seldom close enough to the actors to allow for such subtlety. To our eyes, the typical framing of actors this year — with two-thirds of their bodies usu- ally in view — still seems distant, but the camera was now close enough for audiences to read actors' lips, as is indirectly evident from a December front-page story in the New York Times headlined "Object to Film Profanity": "Deaf mutes are complaining against the use of profane and indecent expressions by players in moving picture films.

From a survey of trade-paper reviews, Robert Anderson calculated that one out of every five films released this year was a western Anderson But the genre was then wider and more fluid than in Holly- wood's "classic" era. Westerns encompassed not merely tales of early fron- tiers but contemporary stories as well.

After all, the last Indian Wars conflict at Wounded Knee, South Dakota was only twenty years past, horses were still everywhere, and the distinction between films of the "Old West" and those set in the present was often hazy.

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American Cinema of the s: Themes and Variations. EDITED BY BARRY KEITH GRANT. Series: Screen Decades: American Culture/American Cinema. American Cinema of the s: Themes and Variations (Screen Decades: American Culture/America) [Barry Keith Grant, Murray Pomerance, James Morrison.

Westerns were also not nearly so centered on male heroics as they would come to be, and the popularity of plucky cowgirls grew over the next two years. What were revelatory to audiences this year were westerns that began to exploit the actual landscape of the far West.

American Cinema of the 1920s: Themes and Variations (Paperback or Softback)

U6A The country fragmented as various challenges to state power were met with increasing and violent resistance. Eisenhower had warned in his reference to the military-industrial complex in his farewell address in January Whether you are a widow yourself or have simply experienced loss, you will be sure to find something moving and profound in these diverse tales of mourning, remembrance, and resilience. The hippie movement included a back-to-the-land idealism that was expressed by the appropriation of Native American iconography beads, feathers, fringes, headbands as part of subcultural fashion. The amazing trajectory of Mary Pickford, the decade's leading star, drives this point home.

Among films available today, most spectacular in its use of this landscape is Biograph's Ramona: A Story of the White Man 's Injustice to the Indian, again directed by D. This is the first of the four American film adaptations of Helen Hunt Jackson's best seller, written to protest the near-genocidal wrongs against California's Native Americans. Set mainly in the late s, just after Mexico's defeat by the United States but before California statehood, Jackson's story — which the film follows closely in outline — cen- ters on the star-crossed love of Alessandro, a mission Indian, and Ramona, from an aristocratic Mexican family.

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For the four-day shoot, from 30 March through 2 April, Biograph made a further location trip fifty miles north from Los Angeles. Jackson placed her characters. Unusually for this year, even the film's one interior space — the room where Ramona is told by her stepmother "that she herself has Indian blood" — is shot on location. That revelation of Ramona's racial heritage is surprising without the novel's back story of her adoption, and many of the film's other intertitles such as "the meeting in the chapel" and "the iNTmTioN" sug- gest illustrations of famous moments that audiences might have been expected to remember from the novel or its forty-some previous stage adaptations including one in in which Griffith had played Alessan- dro.

Ramona, age nineteen at the start of the novel, is played in the film by Mary Pickford, then a week shy of her eighteenth birthday and not yet the "Picture Personality" that Moving Picture World would profile in Decem- ber, in another hint of the growing star system "Miss Mary". In less than a year, she had made sixty films. Ramona is a tragedy, compressing several years into its quarter-hour running time, as Ramona and Alessandro played by Henry B.

Walthall are pushed ever higher into the wilderness by white men who claim their land. The burial of their infant receives a spectacular mountain backdrop unlike anything in previous westerns, but the shots that prompted most praise occur earlier, when Alessandro watches his tribal village burn, filmed with extreme depth of field.

The burning huts, the hurrying people and the wagons of the whites are clearly visible, though they appear but as mere specks in the distance" Pratt As is not unusual among the year's films, the female lead is the emo- tional pillar, and Ramona survives after her husband is driven mad and murdered. The film's final shot, in which Ramona is comforted at Alessan- dro's gravesite by her stepbrother Felipe Francis J.

Grandon , only hints at the mitigation of the tragedy — and the political critique — in the conclusion of the novel, where Ramona and Felipe marry and abandon the United States to move to Mexico. In the transition from novel to film, most of Jack- son's social protest was lost, and movie reviewers went out of their way to deny that any lingering protest might hit home.

At least ten Indian westerns were released each month. For several reasons, espe- cially the landscape of the East Coast where most Indian films were shot, they drew more from James Fenimore Cooper's novels of sociable natives than from the post-Civil War plains battles that became the model for a half-century from 1 onward Simmon, Invention Several com- panies had a sideline in Indian westerns, including Selig, Lubin, and Bio- graph, and among the most fascinating are those directed for Pathe by James Young Deer, of Winnebago ancestry. Although not currently avail- able outside of archives.

It stars his wife, Lillian St. Cyr — also a Winnebago, who acted under the name Redwing — as an Indian maiden who starts in a traditionally passive characterization. Her attempts to sell beadwork elicit only taunts from some loutish cowboys, who have ridden their horses into the saloon. By the end of the film, however, she displays heroic mastery, leading a horseback chase for the kidnappers of the son of the one cow- boy — seen earlier as a solid family rancher — who had attempted to defend her. Disguised in men's clothes, she tempts the kidnappers to chase her and the child over a rope she has strung across a sheer- walled canyon, along- side a spectacular waterfall.

Audiences are entirely on her side when, with savage pitilessness, she cuts the rope, sends the pursuers plummeting to their deaths, and rides back to reunite the family. James Young Deer, who came to scenario writing and directing from Wild West shows and small parts in films, was never a subtle director of actors, but his staging of the action sequences and use of landscape here show great flair.

Although it's less compelling. White Fawn's Devotion, Young Deer's only other identified surviving film from this year, can be more easily seen.

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It too is racially icon- oclastic, ending with a white pioneer happily reunited with his Indian wife and their child. Young Deer's first westerns were all shot in New Jersey, and The Red Girl and the Child in particular finds open plains that nicely impersonate the West. Later in the year he was appointed "Director and General Manager" of the Los Angeles unit of Pathe, for whom he directed about films of which about a half dozen survive.

Westerns this year were not particularly violent. Deaths often occur off- screen, and many Indian westerns are close in storyline to family melo- drama. The National Board of Censorship, the film industry's new self-censorship group based in New York, claimed to inspect "at least 90 per cent of the total output of motion pictures placed on the American market" Storey.

The board's goal, as with later production codes, was to preempt local censorship. In that it was only partially suc- cessful this year. A Cleveland reformist group, surveying films shown in May, found that 1 3. There was some question whether westerns remained truly popular. The west- ern genre was changing rapidly thanks to the new locations, and what may have wearied the public were westerns filmed in "the peaceful wilds of New Jersey" as Moving Picture World mocked , with their pastoral landscapes and relatively nonviolent stories.

An action genre growing in popularity was the Civil War film. Again, almost all of the year's surviving examples are Biograph films directed by D. All of them hold up remarkably well by mixing war stories with family psychodrama, and the battles are almost invariably fought within earshot of the soldiers' homes. One only needs to compare Griffith's Civil War films to Vitagraph's Ransomed; or, A Prisoner of War to see how relatively primitive in editing, camera style, and even story complexity may have been his competition.

Among Griffith's entries in the genre this year. The House with Closed Shutters is the most remarkable. Released in August, it is an elaboration on The Honor of His Family, which had been released in January, in which a loving southern father must mur- der his cowardly son and return the body to the battlefield to uphold the family name. For all his Civil War films, Griffith infused unexpected ele- ments from the woman's melodrama — with its conventions of suffering and private triumphs — as a metaphor for the South's experience.

Walthall , cheered off to the war by townsfolk and his proud mother and sister Agnes Dorothy West , who literally wraps herself in the flag. Trusted with a dispatch by Robert E. Lee, he proves himself only a "drink-mad coward," in an intertitle's words. He flees from sight of the wounded back to the sanctuary of the family mansion, where even the blackface slave shakes his head in shame.

After his mother and sister are unable to break through his drunken panic, Agnes dons her brother's uni- form, cuts off her hair, and displays a hell-bent valor, delivering the dis- patch through enemy lines and then dying heroically while retrieving the Confederate flag.

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The large-scale, smoke-filled battle — the most riveting that reviewers had ever seen — contrasts with the confined interiors of the home, as Charles sobers into some sense of his failure. But this is only the first two-thirds of the film: the narrative has more than twenty-five years to compress into its final six minutes.

The suffering mother Grace Henderson must now invent a gender-shift fiction to account for the shadowy figure hidden behind closed shutters, and so she deceives Agnes's two suitors into thinking that the brother's battlefield death has driven Agnes insane. A revelation scene, when the white-haired Charles finally flings open the shutters at the moment of his death, closes out the film. The House with Closed Shutters transforms the southern belle into another impressive action heroine. In many films this year, women regularly have capacities beyond men to remedy misfortune, especially if they can cross- dress, as in The Red Girl and the Child and several other of Griffith's Biographs, including Taming a Husband and Wilful Peggy.


The United States and the Soviet Union invested heavily in propaganda designed to influence the hearts and minds of people around the world, especially using motion pictures. The gap between American and Soviet film gave the Americans a distinct advantage over the Soviet Union; America was readily prepared to utilize their cinematic achievements as a way to effectively impact the public opinion in a way the Soviet Union could not. Cinema, Americans hoped, would help close the gap caused by Soviet development of nuclear weapons and advancements in space technology. The Americans took advantage of their pre-existing cinematic advantage over the Soviet Union, using movies as another way to create the Communist enemy.

In the early years of the Cold War between —53 , seventy explicitly anti-communist films were released.

American Cinema of the 2000s

The films released during this time received a response from the Soviet Union, which subsequently released its own array of films to combat the depiction of the Communist threat. Several organizations played a key role in ensuring that Hollywood acted in the national best interest of the U. Catholic Legion of Decency and the Production Code Administration acted as two conservative groups that controlled a great deal of the national repertoire during the early stages of the Cold War. These groups filtered out politically subversive or morally questionable movies.

More blatantly illustrating the shift from cinema as an art form to cinema as a form of strategic weapon, the Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals ensured that filmmakers adequately expressed their patriotism. Beyond these cinema-specific efforts, the FBI played a surprisingly large role in the production of movies, instituting a triangular-shaped film strategy: FBI set up a surveillance operation in Hollywood, made efforts to pinpoint and blacklist Communists, secretly laundered intelligence through HUAC , and further helped in producing movies that "fostered [the FBI] image as the protector of the American people.

In the s, Hollywood began using spy films to create the enemy through film. Previously, the influence of the Cold War could be seen in many, if not all, genres of American film. By the s, spy films were effectively a "weapon of confrontation between the two world systems. Film depicted the enemy in a way that caused both sides to increase general suspicion of foreign and domestic threat. Between —54, the Soviet Union mimicked the US adoption of cinema as a weapon. Under Stalin 's rule, movies could only be made within strict confines.

Cinema and government were, as it stood, inextricably linked. Many films were banned for being insufficiently patriotic. Nonetheless, the Soviet Union produced a plethora of movies with the aim to blatantly function as negative propaganda. In the same fashion as the United States, the Soviets were eager to depict their enemy in the most unflattering light possible. Between and , Attacks made by the United States against the U.

R were simply used as material by Soviet filmmakers for their own attacks on the US. Soviet cinema during this time took its liberty with history: "Did the Red Army engage in the mass rapes of German women and pillage German art treasures, factories, and forests? In Soviet cinema, the opposite was true in [The Meeting on the Elbe]. Despite efforts made to elevate the status of cinema, such as changing the Committee of Cinema Affairs to the Ministry of Cinematography, cinema did not seem to work as invigorating propaganda as was planned.

American Cinema Editors - Invisible Art, Visible Artists

Although the Anti-American films were notably popular with audiences, the Ministry did not feel the message had reached the general public, perhaps due to the fact that the majority of moviegoers seeing the films produced were, perhaps, the Soviets most likely to admire American culture. After Stalin's death, a Main Administration of Cinema Affairs replaced the Ministry, allowing the filmmakers more freedom due to the lack of direct government control. Many of the films released throughout the late s and s focused on spreading a positive image of Soviet life, intent to prove that Soviet life was indeed better than American life.

Russian science fiction emerged from a prolonged period of censorship in , opened up by de-Stalinization and real Soviet achievements in the space race, typified by Ivan Efremov's galactic epic, Andromeda Official Communist science fiction transposed the laws of historical materialism to the future, scorning Western nihilistic writings and predicting a peaceful transition to universal communism. Scientocratic visions of the future nevertheless implicitly critiqued the bureaucratically developed socialism of the present.

Dissident science fiction writers emerged, such as the Strugatski brothers, Boris and Arkadi, with their "social fantasies," problematizing the role of intervention in the historical process, or Stanislaw Lem's tongue-in-cheek exposures of man's cognitive limitations. In addition to fears of a nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union, during the Cold War, there were also fears of a direct, large scale conventional conflict between the two superpowers. Wendy's Hamburger Chain ran a television commercial showing a supposed "Soviet Fashion Show", which featured the same large, unattractive woman wearing the same dowdy outfit in a variety of situations, the only difference being the accessory she carried for example, a flashlight for 'nightwear' or a beach ball for 'swimwear'.

This was supposedly a lampoon on how the Soviet society is characterised with uniformity and standardisation, in contrast to the U. Apple Computer 's " " ad, despite paying homage to George Orwell's novel of the same name, follows a more serious yet ambitious take on the freedom vs. Daisy was the most famous campaign commercial of the Cold War. Johnson 's defeat of Barry Goldwater in the presidential election. The contents of the commercial were controversial, and their emotional impact was searing.

The commercial opens with a very young girl standing in a meadow with chirping birds, slowly counting the petals of a daisy as she picks them one by one. Her sweet innocence, along with mistakes in her counting, endear her to the viewer. When she reaches "9", an ominous-sounding male voice is suddenly heard intoning the countdown of a rocket launch. As the girl's eyes turn toward something she sees in the sky, the camera zooms in until one of her pupils fills the screen, blacking it out.

American Cinema of the 1970s: Themes and Variations

The countdown reaches zero, and the blackness is instantly replaced by a simultaneous bright flash and thunderous sound which is then followed by footage of a nuclear explosion , an explosion similar in appearance to the near surface burst Trinity test of , followed by another cut to footage of a billowing mushroom cloud. As the fireball ascends, an edit cut is made, this time to a close-up section of incandescence in the mushroom cloud, over which a voiceover from Johnson is played, which states emphatically, "These are the stakes!

To make a world in which all of God's children can live, or to go into the dark. We must either love each other, or we must die. The stakes are too high for you to stay home. Bear in the woods was a campaign advertisement endorsing Ronald Reagan for President. This campaign ad depicted a brown bear wandering through the woods likely implying the Soviet Union and suggested that Reagan was more capable of dealing with the Soviets than his opponent, in spite of the fact that the ad never explicitly mentioned the Soviet Union, the Cold War or Walter Mondale.