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July 1996, Week 3


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Donald Larsson <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 12 Jul 1996 11:06:13 -0600
text/plain (49 lines)
Chella Courington requests:
"I'm playing with the idea of offering a short course (4 weeks) on American
films made during the last ten years that examine working-class characters.
A few films immediately come to mind--"White Palace," "Thelma and Louise,"
"Stanley and Iris." I would appreciate any suggestions. Thanks, Chella"
Depends on how you define "working class" (include farmers?  non-industrial
workers?), but here are some possibilities:
Although his family is not the center of the film, Charlie Sheen's working-
class origins are important to Stone's WALL STREET.
If you don't mind a documentary, you can't do much better than Barbara Koppel's
AMERICAN DREAM, which examines a strike at the Hormel plant in Austin, MN.
As a stock comedy variation on a "Capraesque" theme, see IT COULD HAPPEN TO
COUNTRY is about a family trying to hold on to its farm in the midst of the
1980s "farm crisis."
The family in Spike Lee's CROOKLYN could qualify, as could several other
films by African-American directors.
For a film about an illegal immigrant waiting tables in Queens, see Tony
John Travolta is a small-town auto mechanic who suddenly gets smart in
the currently-playing PHENOMENON.
Robert DeNiro's A BRONX TALE is about a boy torn between the local mob capo
and his busdriver father.
It's eighteen years old now, but Paul Schrader's BLUE COLLAR is still a very
provocative film.
Hope these suggestions help.
Don Larsson, Mankato State U (MN)
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