Newspapers, along with other communications media in America, are important sources for information. Atop the ivory tower of American newspapers is The New York Times. Since its start in the mid 19th century, The New York Times has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize 122 times, which is more than any other publication worldwide. (“Pulitzer Prizes”, 2017; “The New York Times“, 2017). Impressive circulation numbers show that The New York Times is a main source of local, national, and international news for Americans from the well-educated to the merely informed. The New York Times’ heavy influence is demonstrated time and time again; just recently its reporter Emily Steele is credited for bringing down Fox News’ highly successful host Bill O’Reilly (Lutz, 2017, Apr 20).
With recent attention on the film Gaslight (Cukor, 1944), let’s not overlook its director, George Cukor (1899-1983). There is much to be learned from this interesting man who got his professional start in New York. Starting in the mid 1920’s when silent movies evolved to talkies, Cukor was called to Hollywood as a voice coach thus giving him opportunities to work his way up to the coveted role of director. A prolific career of over 60 films and an Academy Award for Best Director in 1965 for My Fair Lady (Cukor, 1964), on top of numerous other nominations, ensured that George Cukor made a strong mark on Hollywood. Continue reading George Cukor, Director of Influence
MoviesonMyMind continues our discourse on the Spring 2017 theme of persuasion with the documentary, Guerilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst (Stone, 2004). The 1974 kidnapping of “newspaper heiress” Patty Hearst was sensational.
In California, the SLA shoot‐out seemed an event almost as gripping as a Presidential assassination. People stopped strangers on the street to ask if Patty was all right, and called friends to tell them to turn on the television. At the Student Union in Berkeley, groups gathered around monitors, staring at the incongruity of palm trees and flame. It seemed horribly ironic that such a holocaust would occur in Los Angeles. As long as the SLA had stayed in the Bay area, they managed to foil all pursuers. It was as if they were protected by a ring of sympathetic communities unwilling to help the FBI. (Davidson, 1974).
High-profile crimes such as this one always bring a maelstrom of reporters, investigators, and media pundits, as well as a nation of armchair detectives. Continue reading The Patty Hearst Case: Persuasion, Persecution, or Predisposition?
Here we are in 2017, just a short eight years away from the 100-year mark since Sergei Eisenstein’s Battleship Potemkin (1925) was released. Credited with revolutionizing the art and craft of filmmaking through its utilization of montage and special effects, this movie also forms an essential foundation for the use of film for propaganda. The film indeed remains influential today, not only for its innovative techniques, but also for its model as a clear example of persuasive methods. In fact, Battleship Potemkin was banned in several countries, including the UK, out of concern that it would motivate potential rebellion.
Hollywood pays homage to Eisenstein’s work
Unfortunately, for all his brilliance in filmmaking, Eisenstein Continue reading Sergei Eisenstein Leaves an Enduring Legacy for Filmmakers
With 2016 finally past us, Movies on My Mind is vigorously moving forward with a new list of fascinating movies to research and discuss as well as to enjoy! Mervin LeRoy’s Blossoms in the Dust has the honor of being the first movie of 2017, which is most appropriate. The motto of its subject Edna Gladney was, “Life is good, and it’s going to get better.”
A highly unusual movie for its time, Blossoms in the Dust is about adoption, a cause that Edna Gladney championed with passion Continue reading That Gladney Woman
It would be interesting to know if John Cassavetes read Flannery O’Connor’s short stories. His film, A Woman under the Influence (1975), would be right up her alley. For those not familiar with the famous American writer, she wrote quirky short stories about simple country folk. Perhaps the most famous is “A Good Man is Hard to Find” (O’Connor, 1983), a short story that is the subject of numerous essays and articles that are longer than the story itself (e.g., Curtin, 2015; Fassler, 2013). A hallmark of Flannery O’Connor’s stories is redemption. Readers initially perceive certain characters to be crazy or bad until an unexpected moment of divine intervention Continue reading A Woman under the Influence: A Flannery O’Connor Redemption Story?