It takes no great powers of observation to see that Hollywood has long been far to the left of the general American public. Even in stories that have no overt political content, the social and moral assumptions in films rated from GP to R are often at odds with the deeply held values of most of the viewing audience. But that’s not the whole story, argues the literary and cultural critic Mark Royden Winchell in God, Man, and Hollywood. A surprising number of films articulate culturally unfashionable attitudes—and it is from these movies that we learn the most about our society and ourselves.
Beginning with D. W. Griffith's The Birth of a Nation and ending with Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ, Winchell reveals the politically incorrect notions at the heart of eighteen classic films, including Ben-Hur, Intruder in the Dust, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Patton, The Deer Hunter, A Clockwork Orange, Gangs of New York, and Gettsyburg. Along the way, he shows how a number of filmmakers, sometimes unwittingly, have produced unconventionally honest explorations of the nature and meaning of race relations, love, family, community, worship, and other aspects of our shared human experience. Winchell ends with synoptic assessments of an additional one hundred politically incorrect films, from About Schmidt to Zulu. The result is an indispensable film guide showing that sometimes even Hollywood has done better than we typically give it credit for.
|What They're Saying...||
"In his introduction he make it clear that he is writing from a conservative point of view to provide balance to more liberal film critics. His choices include movies from those that were largely accepted in their day but are now seen as racist to recent movies that seem to counter 'liberal' attitudes. Therefore his interpretation of the films and his comments on how they reflect society are worth studying, especially by film students.”
"An exciting and valuable guide to some of the most interesting-if sometimes also unfashionable-Hollywood films."
"Both movie-goers and cultural critics will enjoy Winchell’s engaging and wide-ranging analyses."
"…by the time you finish Mark Royden Winchell's God, Man, and Hollywood, you'll have discovered the 'subversive' in the least-expected places—and there's more of it than you might have imagined. For Winchell, whose prose is as crisp as his critiques are sharp, the politically correct tends toward the socially conservative. It defends small-town life without being blind to its drawbacks; it regards Southern culture—ante- and post-bellum—with respect; it celebrates a genuine patriotism (as opposed to mere jingoism); it looks for a religious dimension to life to counter the materialistic. You may disagree with some of Winchell's assessments, taking offense at what he considers harmless or puzzling over omissions…But God, Man, and Hollywood provides both an entertaining course in the art of reading film subtext and a dallop of hope that there's more on offer at your local cinema than the stale harangues of the gulag and the guillotine crowd."
|Eligible for Readers Club Discount||Yes|