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February 2002, Week 4


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Sat, 23 Feb 2002 18:32:56 -0600
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
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Melissa Williams <[log in to unmask]>
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I don't know if I'd use the term "represent" when talking about the
relationship between war films and American cultural attitudes.
Usually, war films have an agenda related to maintaining or reclaiming
certain aspects of cultural identity.  While I'm not sure if any of
these resources specifically address the films you listed, there are
lots of great texts on war films and their roles in creating public
memory.  Actually, I think all of the following texts I suggest deal
only peripherally with war, but they'd be a good place to start:

1. Lary May, The Big Tomorrow (May discusses film's role in shifts in
American culture from the 1930s to the 1950s, and he talks a great deal
about WWII films)
2. Susan Jeffords, Hard Bodies (Jeffords addresses how 1980s action
films attempted to restore rigid gender identity for men in the wake of
Vietnam and Watergate)
3. Susan Faludi, Stiffed: The Betrayal of the American Male (Faludi's
work is perhaps most peripheral, but she has this great chapter on
Vietnam which uses the book and film First Blood as an example of the
remaking of American memory of Vietnam)

Hope this helps a little.  Depends on how big your project is, I
suppose, but they're great starters for understanding how war films work
with cultural shifts to affect public memory and attitudes.  Good luck!

Melissa Williams
IT Fellow, American Studies
104 Scott Hall
University of Minnesota
Minneapolis, MN 55455
(612) 624-4190
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Date:    Sat, 23 Feb 2002 01:51:57 +0000
From:    =?iso-8859-1?q?James=20Camp?= <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Hollywood and the war film


Can anyone give me any information or advice regarding
useful information on war films. I`m particuarly
concentrating on Platoon, Apocalypse Now, Full Metal
Jacket, Saving Private Ryan, The Longest Day. Im
looking to see how these films represent US culture
and attitudes of the times.
Any information or links to decent websites would be
most helpful.



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