American Film and Society since 1945 by Leonard Quart

By Leonard Quart

This post-World battle II survey of yankee cinema presents an in-depth exploration of ways movie acts as a robust cultural expression of the yank public's goals and desires.

• contains an creation that addresses the heritage of the decade and discusses occasions reminiscent of the assaults of September eleventh, 2001, typhoon Katrina, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the commercial predicament, and the election of President Barack Obama

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2 That rage soon found a home in the McCarthy and HUAC investigations of a domestic communist conspiracy, which supposedly owed its loyalty to the Soviet Union. This conspiracy was seen as both threatening and attempting to take over a number of American institutions including Hollywood. The anti-communist crusade involved a variety of groups ranging from the American Civil Liberties Union (who refused to defend communists from 1953-59), and Hubert Humphrey, who as a senator proposed a bill to outlaw the Communist Party, to Senator Joseph McCarthy (Republican, Wisconsin), who opportunistically manipulated the issue to promote his own power and career.

Obviously some of the dark oppressive tone derived from the budgetry limits placed on wartime film-making, where lighting had to be cut down and sets substituted for location shooting. Neverthe- THE FORTIES 23 less, the eerie menace inherent in the films' look was more than an adjustment to industry economics. It was a conscious choice made by the films' directors, many of them expatriates who were influenced by or leading exponents of the German Expressionism of the twenties (for example, The Cabinet of Dr.

However, much more original than the film's imagery is Polonsky's use oflanguage - dialogue and narration - which he aims to make play an equal, sometimes dialectical, relationship with the visual images. And though at moments the words become overly literary and self-conscious, itsJoycean repetitions, city argot and inflection and metaphors (for example, 'money spread over the city like perfume') create a true sense of street poetry and set the film apart from almost all other forties' films. Force of Evil concludes withJoe Morse descending on a grey morning to the 'bottom of the world' to discover his brother Leo's dead body left looking like an 'old dirty rag'.

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