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David B. Jaffe wonders:
"Here at Connecticut College we have a theme that we focus a series of
lectures, discussions, and events around. The theme is chosen a year in
advance.  Next year's theme is "Concepts of Community." Might you all
have suggestions for films that illuminate issues of community, how the
comm. acts against or with the individual, how comm. is created or
destroyed, etc? Ideally, there would be one that is not well known, but
available on video that might serve as a launching point for other events.
 
Whaddaya think?"
 
Here are some thoughts:
John Ford and Frank Capra often deal with this theme, eg. MY DARLING CLEMENTINE,
THE QUIET MAN, HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY and THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE;
MR. DEEDS GOES TO TOWN, MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON, MEET JOHN DOE, LOST
HORIZON, and IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE.
 
Altman's MCCABE AND MRS. MILLER and NASHVILLE
 
Sentimental versions of community in WAY DOWN EAST, I REMEMBER MAMA, A TREE
GROWS IN BROOKLYN, PLACES IN THE HEART, and STEEL MAGNOLIAS.
 
Deconstructions of community in WELCOME TO L.A. and MRS. PARKER AND THE
VICIOUS CIRCLE.
 
Ethnic communities in BOYZ N THE HOOD, DEVIL IN A BLUE DRESS, and TO SLEEP
WITH ANGER; A WEDDING BANQUET; and THE MILAGRO BEANFIELD WAR.
 
Counterculture communities in ALICE'S RESTAURANT.
 
Foreign films: Pagnol's THE BAKER'S WIFE, Renoir's GRAND ILLUSION, RULES OF THE
GAME, and THE RIVER; Fellini's AMARCORD; Clouzot's THE CROW; S. Ray's DISTANT
THUNDER; Zhang Yimou's TO LIVE; the Taviani Bros.' NIGHT OF THE SHOOTING STARS;
Chabrol's MADAME BOVARY; Teshigahara's WOMAN IN THE DUNES and Immamura's
INSECT WOMAN and BLACK RAIN; the Norwegian KAMILLA; and the British/Italian
IL POSTINO.
 
There are also interesting variations as Cold War/Red Scare films in such
movies as HIGH NOON, INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (Kaufman's remake is
also interesting), and STORM CENTER.
 
The German multi-part film HEIMAT is yet another.
 
Don Larsson, Mankato State U (MN)
 
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