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Thursday, June 25, 2015

I Coulda Been A Contenda !

On The Waterfront

Sometimes film and cinema does not get the respect that it deserves. Sometimes it is treated like a book to read at the beach during summer vacation. Sometimes it is made sacred as a work of Art, and thus, is in a sense removed from the material world and the hustings and hustlings of history.

Great Art moved the souls of mankind. It was not remote from the world when it "kicked soul".
Literature of all types set wildfires or contained them in our hearts.
So,too, the film is in history, causing effects and effecting new, potential causes.

How an Infamous Movie Revived the Confederacy
100 years ago, Birth of a Nation reimagined the Civil War and created the modern and enduring cult of the noble Lost Cause.
By JOSH ZEITZ June 22, 2015
In the immediate aftermath of last week’s appalling act of terror at Charleston’s Emanuel A.M.E. Church, Republican presidential candidates found themselves in a tight bind: how to acknowledge what everyone in the civilized world seems to understand—yes, the crime was racially motivated and, no, you can’t decry hate crimes and defend the Confederate flag—without giving offense to Tea Party voters in early primary states?

The subsequent discovery of the alleged shooter’s rambling, racist “manifesto,” along with photos of him brandishing a Confederate flag, either threw the GOP contenders a lifeline or further complicated the issue, depending on whom one asks.

As the United States revisits its enduring debate over the meaning of the Confederate flag, we also mark the centennial of its initial political resurgence. One hundred years ago, the pioneering director David Wark Griffith released his epic masterpiece, The Birth of a Nation. The first-ever feature-length film, it reimagined the events of 50 years earlier —the end of the Civil War and start of Reconstruction—and created the modern and enduring cult of the noble Lost Cause. Its artistic accomplishment is undeniable, but the film also distorted American political culture in all the wrong ways for many decades to come...

Films shape thoughts, and then thoughts shape new films, and the process continues until the inspiration dries up into a desiccate arroyo, like the Colorado River does, far from the ocean, or forges on, the same or mutated, re-invigorated by new streams of thought, or fed by the same rains that fell in the past.

I find very few films that are only worth one look. They are deep, deep communal efforts of joint artistry that speak to us in all the voices of the creative crew and all their ancestors of influence, and we may respond!


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