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June 1998, Week 3


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"Lisa R. Barry" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 19 Jun 1998 15:28:54 -0400
text/plain (49 lines)
What strikes me, here, is the fact that BIRTH OF A NATION made the list,
but that INTOLERANCE didn't.  Sure, INTOLERANCE may have been a bit choppy,
and Griffith seems to have been smitten with elaborate settings.  However,
INTOLERANCE dealt more with human's, human nature and the
tragedies/victories of life.  BIRTH OF A NATION, on the other hand, was
very racist -- this is a well-known and oft-debated fact -- and seems in
line with other posts that have commented on the "white-bread" nature of
the list, especially Gloria Monti's post.
On the other hand, and as Mike Frank has stated, the list has done some
good.  I know several people who watched the show and were amazed at how
FEW films they recognized or even knew about.  I forget that at my young
age (I'm a young thirtysomething) I am still older than most I encounter
here at the university.  I reference events that happened in the 1980s (I
was an adult then, and feel that the 80s are recent history), only to find
out that most of my students and, in fact, many of the graduate students in
my department (Speech Communication) are completely unfamiliar with the
event to which I am referring.  The same goes for films.  For most of my
students ET is a VERY old film, and anything predating that is a classic (I
guess that means I'm a classic, too?).  At the very least, the list brought
some very good films into the public eye; films that many of us might not
believe to be deserving, but films we all recognize.  Others might benefit
from exposure to these films.  I can't tell you how many people have NO
CLUE what "Rosebud" is.  My six-year-old son, on the other hand, stayed up
late with me watching CITIZEN KANE last semester so that he could find out
what "Rosebud" was (he didn't like CASABLANCA, though -- too mushy for
him).  It's a sad state of affairs when the generations between the
thirtysomethings and First Graders are so unfamiliar with such a wonderful
institution as Film.
Lisa :-)
". . .feminism is a politics with material consequences that entails hard
choices, hard work, and a commitment to collective action."
                                              --Bonnie Dow
Lisa R. Barry
Ph.D. Candidate
The Pennsylvania State University
234 Sparks Building
University Park, PA  16802
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