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July 1994


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"Richard A. Karten" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 12 Jul 1994 09:39:00 EDT
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After following the list for the last 3-4 months and enjoying the spirited
discussions (a polite term for it), I thought that I might try to get a
discussion going on something that I've seen running through the posts.
From Birth of a Nation through the family violence postings I have noticed
that film and television have this ability to shape history as observed from
our perspective.  For example, BOAN led to a resurgence of the Klan in the
20's, the Burning Bed and other film and television movies of the mid to
late 80's have led to tougher domestic violence laws and the more rigorous
enforcement of the existing laws.  One could even say that "Star Wars"
seduced a government into believing in laser beam weapons and space shields
work.  Is this perspective too narrow, ignoring the societal and global
forces at work?  Or is it as Meteoroligists theorize "the beating of one
butterfly's wings in an unstable atmosphere can cause disastorious storms to
form".  And too, do filmakers have a responsibility to consider the future
impact of their work.  This is for discussion only and doesn't represent my
views on the subject.  I am just interested in critical thinking on this
Rich Karten
Educational Communications/WPSX-TV/WPSU-FM
115 A Wagner Building
University Park, PA 16802-3899
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(814) 865-3333 Extension 299 Fax:(814) 865-3145