Monday, September 1, 2008

WWII, Westerns, Epics, and Musicals

My daughter works in the ad agency industry and is encouraged to see movies so that she can keep up with popular culture.  Mark Harris, author of Pictures at a Revolution: Five Movies and the Birth of a New Hollywood,  (as reported on NPR), " . . .says, that something happened in the late 1960s to a Hollywood that was always a bit behind the times.  It was a moment, Harris says, when "movies finally started to catch up with what was going on in the culture at large.'"  (If you view some really early film, before the censors took over, you might have a different view of Hollywood.)

Harris posits that these five Oscar nominees for  best film in 1968  represent a shift in movies:  The Graduate shifted the audience of movies to the new, younger generation,  Bonnie & Clyde reflected realistic foreign films, Dr. Doolittle of the old school completely flopped.  The movies began to reflect popular culture.

I wonder if another shift has occurred and that movies are creating popular culture rather than simply reflecting it. Do we go to movies and watch TV to see what popular culture is or what it will be.   The Media does change culture in the sense of giving us new language, new ways to talk about the same old things.  I'm just saying....

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